Ellen Pompeo played Naomi, the ex-girlfriend of Joel (Jim Carrey), in the critically acclaimed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but ended up having her part cut out of the final film.
One big reason is likely that if they’d put too much focus on the relationship between Joel and Naomi, it might have distracted from the core relationship between Joel and Clementine (Kate Winslet). This video essay takes a deep dive into why cutting Pompeo’s part was the right call.
But another potential factor was Carrey’s reaction to the casting of Pompeo, and his belief that director Michel Gondry cast her because of her resemblance to Carrey’s real-life ex Renée Zellweger. Carrey told Vanity Fair, “I was pretty hurt. Michel likes to have real feelings in the scene and real chemistry, so he hired Ellen Pompeo, who’s a wonderful actress. But she reminded me completely of Renée. Her look was similar. And I said, Bastard! And it ends up that she’s not even in the movie.”