Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were willing to beg for it? Well, if you have, it might comfort you to know that begging is something that nearly anyone will do if they are desperate enough— celebrities included. Whether you need the money or simply know in your heart that no one else could do the job as well as you, begging for something that will help achieve a goal is not something that is out of the question for some people.
It might come as a surprise, but many actors have actually begged for their roles in movies, and ended up being cast solely because they proved how much they really wanted it. If it weren’t for their pleas of consideration they might never have gotten the chance to act out the roles that they so desperately wanted.
In some cases, the world’s elite had no choice but to swallow up their pride and ask directors to choose them for roles that they were not genuinely going to be considered for. Although begging for a part might be seen as embarrassing to some people, others simply do not care, seeing it as worthwhile— as long as they get cast, of course. In fact, some of our favourite celebrities would never have risen to fame if they had not harassed directors or gotten down on their knees and begged for what they truly wanted.
More often than not, directors already have a certain type of person in mind when they are choosing their cast, and because of this they do not always consider every applicant equally. But sometimes, an actor’s willingness to beg for a role can sway their decision.
15. Shailene Woodley — The Fault In Our Stars
When Shailene Woodley landed the role of Hazel Grace Lancaster in 2014’s much anticipated The Fault In Our Stars, her fans went wild with excitement. The novel-turned-movie was instantly a hit to die-hard fans, causing many of them to weep in their seats at the movie theatre. What these fans might not know, however, is that Woodley was also a die-hard fan of this novel, and that she was willing to reach out to the whoever she could to act in its upcoming movie.
“Before I got Fault In Our Stars, I wrote a pretty lengthy email just sort of saying, ‘I’m obsessed with you and your book and I would do anything to be a part of it. Please let me audition for you,’” said Woodley, referring to the letter she wrote to the novel’s author, John Green. Green, who was not in charge of casting, kindly responded to Woodley’s letter, choosing to extend her wishes to the director. Woodley then landed an audition, snagged the part and stayed true to her promise of nailing it.
14. Channing Tatum — The Hateful Eight
Becoming obsessed over Quentin Tarantino‘s work is a very easy thing to do, but when it comes to actor Channing Tatum, I think we could all agree that he took it to the next level. When Tatum first heard about Tarantino’s upcoming movie The Hateful Eight, he immediately started fighting to land the role of Jody. Unfortunately for Tatum, Tarantino made it clear that he didn’t want any star names in his movie, which basically made him exempt from the casting list. Instead of admitting defeat, Tatum decided to use a different approach, which ultimately ended up with him getting cast.
“I basically sent about an email a day for about a month just threatening any other actors that might be up for the role. I was just praying that no one really tough was up for the role,” said the Magic Mike actor. After being harassed for a month, Tarantino finally agreed to giving Tatum the role he desired, and although Tatum was extremely nervous to act alongside movie legends, he did a great job.
13. Leonardo DiCaprio — Gangs Of New York
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese might be on the chummy side now, but that wasn’t always the case. Before the actor and director began to collaborate on a friendly basis, DiCaprio actually had to beg Scorsese to be cast in one of his movies. When DiCaprio first caught wind of 2002’s Gangs Of New York, he knew that he needed to do all that he could to land himself a role in the film. So DiCaprio ended up tracking down the script for the movie, reading it and then pleading Scorsese to team up with him on the movie.
“I grew up in a generation of actors that really admired the work from the 1970s, where the director’s vision was paramount, and at the top of that list was Marty’s work. As soon as I got the opportunity to finance a movie based on my own name, the only person on that list to be able to work with, at least only once, was Martin Scorsese. So I tracked down the only screenplay I knew had a character for me in it, and that was Gangs of New York.” said the acclaimed actor that we all love. Since then, DiCaprio and Scorsese have formed a close friendship and worked on over 5 films together.
12. Meryl Streep — Sophie’s Choice
Meryl Streep is still one of the best actresses of our time, and her acting career will probably live on long after many of us are gone. Streep’s acting talents quickly manifested themselves when she was a young woman, and before the world knew what hit it, Streep began landing roles left and right. However, building a small reputation did not prevent Streep from having to beg for her role in Sophie’s Choice. In 1982, Streep became infatuated with the thought of getting cast as Sophie Zawistowska, so much so that she literally got down on her hands and knees and begged director Alan J. Pakula to choose her for the part.
The director had previously been interviewing Marthe Keller and Barbra Streisand for the role, but when he saw Streep’s dedication and talent, he chose her instead. In the end, Pakula’s choice seemed to be the right one, as Streep’s performance in Sophie’s Choice is still ranked as one of the top 3 performances of all time.
11. Daniel Craig — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Now, this one might come as a shock, but actor Daniel Craig actually begged a director for a small and insignificant part in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Apparently, the James Bond actor wanted to appear in the film so badly, that he was willing to strike his name off of the credits and basically go unnoticed within the film. When Craig asked director JJ Abrams if he could have a cameo in the movie, his friend and director did not hesitate to give him the role of a Stormtrooper. So basically, Craig begged for a role that would give him no credit or recognition.
In order to remain discreet, Craig had to secretly sneak into the Pinewood Studios to act out his two-day part, and although he mostly went undetected, he was caught a couple of times lurking around Carrie Fisher‘s dressing room. So next time you watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, try to spot which Stormtrooper is actually being played by James Bond.
10. Jonah Hill — Wolf Of Wall Street
Although Jonah Hill is a well-known actor, he agreed to getting paid the SAG minimum wage in order to work alongside fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio and renown director Martin Scorsese. In fact, Hill wanted to play the role of Donnie Azoff in The Wolf Of Wall Street so badly, that be begged for it. You see, Hill was convinced that no one could play the part better than him, and when Scorsese heard of this, he was more than a little intrigued. In the end, Hill landed the part, but not without a price; he was paid $60,000 before tax and commissions for an intense seven-month shoot.
However, it isn’t the first time that an actor has been willing to take a major pay-cut in order to act in a specific movie. As a matter of fact, DiCaprio did it himself when he starred in Inception, because the directors could not promise him his usual $20 million fee and he desperately wanted to partake in the film. As for Hill, he might have begged for a minimum wage job, but it isn’t like he’s lacking in the money department anyways.
9. Chloe Grace Moretz — The Equalizer
Chloe Grace Moretz might only be 19 years old, but she has already made quite the name for herself. The young actress has been acting since 2004, managing to land roles in movies such as Kickass, Carrie and Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising. Despite her long list of recommendations, Moretz still had to beg for her role in the movie The Equalizer. In fact, Moretz wanted the role of Tia, a Russian hooker, so badly that she literally had to harass director Antoine Fuqua to give her the part.
“I really wanted it. I fought to get an audition and then I kept emailing and texting him. I went back for more auditions and I would keep sending him messages about how I knew I could play this role. Finally he called me one day and said, ‘You’re the one’. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy.” said Moretz when asked how she managed to land the role.
8. Michelle Pfeiffer — Dark Shadows
Michelle Pfeiffer is not a woman who needs an introduction, let alone an audition to land a role, which is why it is surprising to hear that she had to beg Tim Burton for her role in Dark Shadows. When Pfeiffer first got news that Burton would be remaking the 1960s TV series, she eventually grabbed her phone and began fighting for what she wanted. Although she did feel a little strange about imposing, the actress could not help herself and did what she had to do.
“I didn’t do anything at first. Eventually I worked up the courage to call him and was very apologetic. I didn’t want him to feel obligated but I told him I was a huge fan and I would love to do it if he was making it… He didn’t know what it would be and whether there would be anything for me. I think actually a year went by and I didn’t think it would ever happen. But then it did.” said the big-time actress.
7. Jason Bateman — The Change-Up
Jason Bateman might be a well-known and successful actor, but that didn’t stop him from having to beg for his role in The Change-Up. Bateman’s obsession with the movie started right around the time he finished reading the screenplay for it, and was only heightened when he found out that his friend Ryan Reynolds would also be starring in it.”It’s the funniest script I’ve ever read so when I finished it I immediately emailed the studio and said, ‘Please, please let me do this movie.'” said the Arrested Development star.
After clearly displaying his admiration and dedication for the film, Bateman was cast as Dave Lockwood and given the opportunity to act alongside the hilarious Leslie Mann. However, Bateman regrettably volunteered to go full frontal in the film, a decision that now makes him lower his head in shame. “I had a robe on that was open, but it didn’t really get done what I was supposed to be doing in that scene, which was to be some kind of shocking comedic relief at the end of a very sad, dramatic scene that Leslie does,” said Bateman.
6. William H. Macy — Fargo
William H. Macy decided to go to extreme lengths to land the lead role in the movie Fargo. When Macy first auditioned for the role of Jerry Lundegaard, he was immediately denied the role, no matter how hard he begged. Instead of calling it quits, the actor decided to be a little more aggressive, which ultimately got him the part. Macy eventually found out that the Coen brothers were holding another casting call in New York City, and so he decided to book a last-minute flight to stop them from making any bad decisions. When Macy finally arrived in New York, he barged into the casting room and completely freaked out the Coen brothers.
“I was making a joke and luckily it landed. But I said, ‘I’m afraid you’re going to screw up your movie and cast someone else in this role,” said Macy, making the Coen brothers laugh out loud. “And I said, ‘No, seriously, I’ll shoot your dog if you don’t give me this role.'” recalled the actor. His threat apparently hit close to home, as one of the Coen brothers had recently bought a dog, and he was immediately cast.
5. Nicole Kidman — To Die For
Nicole Kidman is an academy award-winning actress who has managed to land roles in many big-time movies. However, when it came to getting cast in 1995’s To Die For, Kidman was surprised to find out that she wasn’t the director’s first pick. Despite her stellar audition and reputation, it was clear that the studio did not want Kidman to play the lead role in the film, but that didn’t stop the actress from getting it anyways. Kidman instantly lowered her pride, called up director Gus Van Sant and begged him for the role.
When asked what the actress said to persuade Van Sant into giving her the role, she replied that she called him saying, “Please, give me the chance! I beg you.” But that’s not all she did, Kidman also used flattery to land the part, hinting that she exaggerated how much she had loved the writing, and how great the script really was. So there you have it folks— flattery really can get you anywhere.
4. Charlize Theron — A Million Ways To Die In The West
It’s no secret that Charlize Theron would seem out-of-place on the set of a humour-based film. This is because the oscar-winning actress has built her career off of acting in action and drama oriented movies. But after playing so many dark roles, Theron was determined to land herself a part in a comedy. “I’ve been interested in comedy for a while, but it’s been tricky because audiences know me so well doing something very different,” the gorgeous actress confirmed. So when Theron heard that director Seth MacFarlane was going to be coming out with a strange and hilarious western film, she knew she absolutely had to get on board. As a matter of fact, Theron has recently admitted to having begged MacFarlane to cast her in his movie A Million Ways To Die In The West, a request that he happily obliged to.
“In fact, what also interests me is odd comedy. Those are very rare. The combination of this script and Seth directing was a slam dunk for me. I started begging instantly. I closed the script and started begging.” said the South-African actress, who felt as though the script’s humour was spot-on with her own.
3. Anne Hathaway — Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway has a reputation for playing the role of an all-around sweetheart, but the talented actress could not wait to spread her wings and tackle something new. When she first found out that Les Miserables would be hitting the big-screen, she knew that she had to land the part— especially since her own mother, actress Kate McCauley, had performed in the musical’s original cast. At first, things did not go as planned for Hathaway as the adaption didn’t feel as though she was the right actress for the role, but all that changed when she took matters into her own hands and fought for what she wanted.
Hathaway immediately began to beg and plea for an audition, finally making her way into the casting room, where she clearly demonstrated her many talents. “I’m just very lucky that at this stage in my career, unless there’s really stalwart opposition, I can usually get myself into a room. Once you’re in there, all bets are off. You can change people’s minds. I did it, and I’ve done it before.” said Hathaway, who later lost a whopping 25 pounds to properly portray her character.
2. Orlando Bloom — Sympathy For Delicious
Orlando Bloom‘s acting career took a bit of a blow after he finished filming for The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogies. The reason behind this being that he had somewhat been pigeonholed into his previous roles, and could not land anything new and exciting. So when Bloom received word that Mark Ruffalo was going to be casting for his new movie Sympathy For Delicious, he just knew that he had to be a part of it. Although Bloom is the furthest thing from a singer, he took on the role of a musician, and did an amazing job acting like a bigoted rock star.
To land his new and exciting role, Bloom actually had to sit down with Ruffalo, and beg him for it.” I was coming from a place of desperation. I was desperate for an opportunity to break out of a preconceived idea of who I was, as an actor, based on finding myself in two of the biggest trilogies of all time,” said the English actor.
1. Kate Winslet — Titanic
Kate Winslet is an amazing actress who somewhat kick-started her career by starring in Titanic with fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio. What a lot of people do not know, however, is that Winslet actually had to beg the film’s director, James Cameron, to give her the iconic part of Rose. Now, not many of us can imagine a world where Winslet is not the Rose to DiCaprio’s Jack, but at some point in time Winslet was not at the top of Cameron’s casting list. When Winslet first finished reading the script, she began to weep and knew in that very moment that she needed to land this role, and so she got Cameron’s number and called him.
“I just have to do this, and you are really mad if you don’t cast me,” said the award-winning actress, instantly landing herself an audition. After Winslet auditioned for the role, she was so certain that she had landed the part that she sent Cameron a bouquet of roses, accompanied with a note that said: “From your Rose.”