Connie Britton: I lost "Jerry Maguire" role to Renee Zellweger

Connie Britton poses backstage at the Monique Lhuillier Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on Feb. 9, 2013, in New York. Getty

Connie Britton is known for her roles on TV's "Friday Night Lights," "American Horror Story" and now "Nashville," but stardom almost came much earlier, in the form of a major movie role.

A profile of the actress in The New York Times Magazine reveals that Britton came close to landing the role in "Jerry Maguire" that ultimately went to Renee Zellweger.

The year was 1995, the article explains, and Britton was given the script by her "The Brothers McMullen" director/co-star Ed Burns. He wasn't interested in starring in the film, but thought she'd be perfect for the female lead.

"So I took [the script] home and I read it," Britton told the Times. "I was blown away. I loved the script, the role -- I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, this is incredible.' And I walked into my brand-new agent's office the next day, and I put the script down on his desk, and I was like, 'I have two words for you: Jerry Maguire.'"

She nailed the audition and got director Cameron Crowe's blessing, the article continues, and even flew to New York to do a reading with Tom Cruise.

But, Britton added, on the day she and Cruise did a screen test, she heard that "they just want to screen-test one other actress." That actress, of course, was Zellweger.

"It was heartbreak," Britton recalled. She offered up one theory for why she didn't get the part: "Maybe I was too tall."

The New York Times Magazine profile also touched on "Nashville" and Britton's role as a mother to 2-year-old son Eyob, whom she adopted from Ethiopia in 2011.

You can read the full article here.

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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