At some point, you’ve probably watched a show that has gone through a recasting. It often occurs with someone who has a smaller role, which is typically less noticeable and jarring to audience members. However, when producers are forced to recast a larger role, viewers can’t help but notice the obvious swap — and they typically don’t like it. After all, they’ve gotten used to the original character; it’s who they expect to see on the show. But once in a while the replacement comes in and manages to captivate the audience. What noticeable recastings have successfully been pulled off? Here’s a look at seven TV shows that got it right.
1. Becky, Roseanne
What do you do when you’re trying to make a situation less uncomfortable? Make jokes, of course, which is exactly what the cast of Roseanne did when they swapped Alicia Goranson with Sarah Chalke in the role of Roseanne’s oldest daughter, Becky. It was a somewhat strange arrangement. Goranson took off to attend college, and Chalke stepped in. Goranson would then re-pick up the role as her schedule allowed, according to Lovelyish. The show played it off in Season 8. After Becky had a long stretch away she was repeatedly asked, “Where the hell have you been?”
2. Daario Naharis, Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has become somewhat notorious for rotating through cast members. For example, What Culture writes that audience members have seen a new Tommen Baratheon, who switched from actor Callum Wharry to Dean-Charles Chapman. Arguably, however, the biggest recast on the show is that of Daario Naharis, who plays a key role in Game of Thrones. Between Seasons 3 and 4, actor Ed Skrein was replaced by Michiel Huisman. Why the casting swap? Skrein signed on for a lead role in the next Transporter film, where he plays a younger version of Jason Statham’s character, per The Mary Sue.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Huisman said he tried to make Naharis’ character his own with the recasting. “They really allowed me to reinvent it. They told me to keep in mind what the character had gone through, and the backstory, but then just take it from there and give it my own interpretation, which is great, because it would be hard to replicate what someone else had done. The writers and producers were hoping that, although we’d already seen Daario a couple of times, the audience would forgive the change and accept me as Daario from now on.”