See, Pitt was the third choice for the role. According to IMDb, William Baldwin was the first choice, but he gave it up to star in Backdraft. (George Clooney also lobbied hard for the gig.) The choice makes sense. Why play some bit part when you can star in a Ron Howard flick with Kurt Russell, Robert De Niro, and Donald Sutherland? If only the sensible always made sense... Alas, you don't hear people still talking about Baldwin's firefighting, you hear about the sexy robber known as J.D.
Backdraft didn't kickstart Baldwin's career, and while it hasn't tanked like, say, Stephen's, it hasn't been the greatest for a guy who had Brad Pitt grabbing his cast-offs. One of Baldwin's biggest recent gigs -- the partner TV show cop in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. But what if he stuck with the original gig and rocked it as well? Would it have led from Johnny Suede to A River Runs Through It, Interview with the Vampire, and ultimately, Se7en? No doubt Pitt would've still found his way, but would it have been different enough that Baldwin would've grabbed some of those early gigs and more long-lasting fame?