Denzel Washington

The movie: "Michael Clayton"

The role: Michael Clayton, an attorney with a conscience, who breaks down the corruption surrounding a chemical scandal.

The final pick: George Clooney. To this day, Washington regrets turning down the role. "With 'Clayton,' it was the best material I had read in a long time, but I was nervous about a first-time director, and I was wrong," Washington said.

Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press; Myles Aronowitz
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