Auditioning is one of the most stressful things actors have to do. Imagine how stressed out you were when you walked in to an interview for a job that you really wanted — and multiply that by 10. Actors have to try to recreate a character in someone’s head based on a very short scene. It can be difficult to stand out, which is why some actors are trying out unconventional methods to land them their next role. Like, for example, when Jason Mitchell auditioned for the role of Eazy-E for the movie Straight Outta Compton. He couldn’t afford to travel to Los Angeles, so he auditioned for the role over Skype!
However, some actors have just stood out by chance. For example, actor Kit Harrington said that he was cast as Jon Snow because he had gotten into a fist fight the night before. While at a McDonald’s late at night with a girl he had been seeing, Harrington picked a fight with a man who was berating Harrington’s girlfriend. After stepping outside, Harrington panicked that the man had actually accepted his offer to fight. Harrington swung and then got beaten up by this man. When he walked into his audition for Game of Thrones the next morning, he had a black eye and the casting director’s loved it! So, what other weird audition stories are there? Find out below!
15. Emma Stone — Auditioned With A Webcam Video
Emma Stone sort of stumbled her way to Hollywood stardom. When she was first starting out, she managed to land roles in some of the most iconic movies of the 2000s, like Superbad and Zombieland. Following those two roles, Stone wanted to boost her career even more. She auditioned for the movie Easy A, which is essentially about a girl using her webcam to spread rumors to boost her popularity.
When auditioning for the role, Emma Stone was asked to send the casting director a one-minute monologue taped using her webcam. According to Stone, she hated being told to record herself because she knew that she would never be satisfied with the result. Stone apparently spent hours recording the brief monologue and only sent it in after her roommate pestered her to do so!
14. Robin Williams — Impulsively Sat On His Own Head
Back when it was dominated cable TV, Happy Days had an episode that made viewers question their own sanity. Basically, one of the writers was inspired after watching Star Wars with his son, and decided to introduce an alien character into the show. The character, Mork (played by Robin Williams), was an alien that tried to bring one of the cast members back to his home planet. In the show, the entire episode ended up being a dream, but Mork was such a popular character that the ending was later changed, and a spin-off show was created, titled Mork & Mindy.
Before his work on Happy Days, Robin Williams was an unknown actor. He was a nobody who was given an audition for a throwaway character in the most popular sitcom at the time. When auditioning, Williams was asked to take a seat and immediately sat on his head on the chair. The producer was so impressed that he offered Williams the job on the spot!
13. Nancy Cartwright — Ignored Instructions Like Bart Simpson Would
Did you know the voice of Bart Simpson is actually a woman name Nancy Cartwright? When Cartwright first heard of the show she planned on auditioning for Lisa Simpson, but decided to switch to Bart because she thought the character was more interesting. Matt Groening decided to let her audition for the role, and it’s good that he did, too. Bart Simpson is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world, and his voice is just as iconic as his orange shirt and blue shorts.
Inspired by her character, Nancy Cartwright decided to pull a trick out of Bart’s handbook while auditioning. After she read her lines, she was asked to take a seat in the waiting room. Instead of following instructions, she just kept walking out of the building. By the time she had gotten home, she had a message on her answering machine saying that she was being offered the part!
12. Olson Twins — Only Set Of Twins To Not Cry
At 9 months old, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were cast in Full House after their mother showed an agent a photo of them. The agent asked the twins to audition, and, due to the fact that they were only 9 months old, their mother was reluctant. Nonetheless, she brought them to the audition. Out of 20 sets of twins at the audition, Mary Kate and Ashley were the only ones that didn’t cry during the audition. As a result, they were offered the part!
The Olsen Twins had a somewhat tragic fall from the spotlight. Their first major role was in Full House and they found a little success after the show ended. But, like most child stars, Mary Kate and Ashley began partying too hard and the tabloids were gossiping about the girls’ mental health issues. That said, it seems the Olsen Twins have gotten their lives back on track and are focusing on their careers in the fashion industry.
11. Margot Robbie — Unexpectedly Slapped Leonardo DiCaprio
Margot Robbie is Australia’s hottest star. She became a household name (and just about everyone’s celebrity crush) when she starred in The Wolf of Wall Street, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. If you haven’t seen the movie, Robbie plays DiCaprio’s second wife, and the two have somewhat of an explosive relationship to say the least.
When auditioning for the role, Robbie did what most actresses wouldn’t dream of doing — she unexpectedly slapped Leonardo DiCaprio. According to the director, “She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting — by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all.” Robbie said that during the audition, she was told to improvise a thirty second scene with DiCaprio, but she struggled to get a word in. DiCaprio asked Robbie to come give him a kiss, but instead, she just walked over and slapped him!
10. Christina Ricci — Got Her Competition Fired
Christina Ricci has had a long, prosperous career in Hollywood, but let’s be honest, everyone knows her as Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family. It was one of the first roles she was cast in, and you couldn’t have asked for a better way to break into the entertainment industry. It’s a vicious industry, too. And this is even more apparent when you learn how Ricci got her first ever acting role at the age of 8.
Ricci auditioned for her school play but the role was given to a boy in her class. To get the role, she annoyed the boy enough where she eventually convinced him to hit her. After he hit her, Ricci ran to a teacher and snitched on the boy. As a punishment, the boy lost his role and it was given to Ricci. While acting in the play, Ricci was discovered by a critic and subsequently offered paid roles after the fact.
9. Judd Nelson — Only Auditioned To Watch Other Auditions
Judd Nelson is best known for playing Bender in the 1980s classic, The Breakfast Club. The movie was iconic in the way that it accurately portrayed the struggle of fitting in while going to high school. The movie has been so impactful that it’s still relatable to teenagers today. While he had a long career after The Breakfast Club, Nelson never came close to achieving the same success.
Before he was an actor, Judd Nelson would go to his friend’s auditions for moral support. In one instance, he was told that if he wasn’t auditioning he would need to leave. Not wanting to abandon a friend, Nelson auditioned for a minor role and ended up getting offered the role. Hopefully his friend got the role they auditioned for, too. Otherwise, it would have been an awkward car ride home. It seems like an unnecessary measure, but some directors are uptight about who can watch auditions because it can be considered unprofessional to have your friends or family there watching you. After all, would you want your friend to sit with you during an interview?
8. Jason Statham — His Criminal History Was His Audition
By now, it seems that Jason Statham has been starring in action movies forever, but he’s only been in the business for 20 years. The 1998 hit film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was the first movie he ever appeared in. He was offered the role after being introduced to the director, Guy Ritchie. Though he didn’t have any acting experience, Ritchie was convinced that Statham would be perfect for the part because of a unique story he heard about Statham.
Jason Statham didn’t have the easiest life growing up. His father was a street seller, and eventually, he turned to the streets to sell illegal goods. In order to formally audition, Statham was asked to pretend to be a street vendor selling illegal jewelry to Guy Ritchie. Because he had actually hustled as one, Statham was able to draw on his own experiences and nailed the audition. He was offered the role and his career took off.
7. Riz Ahmed — Spammed The Director With Audition Tapes
Riz Ahmed became an overnight success. Most notably, Ahmed was cast in Nightcrawler, as well as the hit TV show The Night Of, which got him nominated for numerous awards. Feeling like he was on the verge of a big break, Ahmed wanted to audition for Star Wars Rogue One and tried to get in contact with the director. According to reports, director Gareth Edwards gave Ahmed his personal email so that the actor could send in an audition tape. But it didn’t end at just one tape.
After submitting his first two tapes, director Gareth Edwards was almost certain that he was going to cast Ahmed. Instead of telling Ahmed he immediately had the role, he said that he had to double check with some of the executives. Despite the news, Ahmed continued sending tapes to Edwards. Over six days, Ahmed sent Edwards 12 audition tapes! His persistence paid off and was rewarded with the role.
6. Jenette Goldstein — Thought Ridley Scott’s Aliens Was About Illegal Immigrants
When reading something written by someone else, it’s easy to misunderstand what the author was trying to say. This rang true for Jenette Goldstein when she auditioned for her breakthrough movie, Aliens. At the time, Goldstein was working without an agent, and saw a casting call for Aliens, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien. She had seen the first movie, but it didn’t even occur to her that Aliens was a sequel. She thought the movie was about people immigrating to England.
Goldstein went to her audition wearing a sleeveless shirt, high heels, tons of make-up, and had her waist-length hair down. When she got there, she saw everyone wearing army clothes and she realized that she had made a mistake. Amazingly enough, Goldstein had recently taken up bodybuilding and her sleeveless blouse showed off her muscular arms. The casting director made note of her arms and asked her to come to a second audition. The second time around, she wore army boots and pulled her hair back, and was eventually offered the role.
5. Emilia Clarke — Performed The Funky Chicken
Emilia Clarke, or as you might known her, Daenerys Targaryen, did the most unorthodox thing at her audition. She was feeling a little nervous when she stepped into the audition room, and later told the reporters that she was feeling jacked up on Diet Coke. You have to remember that before Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke was a nobody in the acting world. After reading her lines, she asked if there was anything else she needed to do for the audition. The show’s co-creator jokingly said that she could do a dance.
Clarke took the request a little seriously and started a routine that can only be called to a fusion of the funky chicken and a robotic dance. Clarke said that the sugar from the Diet Coke lead her to act more absurdly than she usually does. She had been avoiding sugar to look her best, but at the audition she was offered a Diet Coke and that’s what fueled her career-making dance moves! Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall after her audition?
4. Neil Patrick Harris — Accidentally Knocked Himself Out
Neil Patrick Harris relaunched his on-screen acting career by playing the flamboyant Barney Stinson in the show How I Met Your Mother. For those that haven’t seen the show, the character is essentially a teenage boy in the body of a man who has an unhealthy obsession with laser tag.
When auditioning for the role, Neil Patrick Harris decided to fully immerse himself in Barney Stinson’s mind. Just before he walked into the audition room, he told Alyson Hannigan (who was later cast as Lily) that he was going to improvise a tactical roll while auditioning. Alyson asked Neil to knock on the wall after he did the role, so that she would know he actually did it. Neil went to perform his roll, but misjudged how close to the wall he was and slammed himself right into, knocking himself out! Oops!
3. Jason Momoa — Asked To Perform A Warrior Dance
Jason Momoa had a failed acting career before he was cast as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. In order to secure his spot, Momoa offered to perform the Haka, a Maori war dance that was traditionally used on the battlefield. If you’ve ever watched international rugby, you’ve probably seen the New Zealand All Blacks’ perform the routine at the start of the game. Many other island countries, such as Fiji, or Papua New Guinea, perform their own version of the Haka. You can actually watch Momoa’s audition on YouTube!
When asked about his audition, Moma said, “On Game of Thrones [Khal Drogo] doesn’t say much. So how do you convey him? There’s nothing in the script. So I said: ‘I have this idea. Is it okay to do a dance before the audition?’ And they were like, ‘Oh, sure.’ Then I did the Haka. It was challenging to do the audition afterward — I couldn’t stop my heart from beating. The first time I did it they were very scared. But then they wanted me to come back in so they could put it on tape.”
2. Eddie Redmayne — Read Pride And Prejudice With Darth Vader’s Voice
Eddie Redmayne found success by starring in the series Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them but he was almost the star of another franchise. A few years ago, Redmayne auditioned for the role of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, Redmayne’s dream of starring in the biggest movie franchise of all time was busted when he bombed his audition.
In the audition, Redmayne was told to read a scene from Pride and Prejudice, but was then told he was auditioning for the villain in the movie. The Oscar-winning actor started to read his lines doing his best Darth Vader impersonation, thinking that was what the casting directors were looking for. He mimicked Vader’s iconic breathing sound while reading the lines and after 10 quick readings, the casting director asked if he had anything else to which Redmayne shamefully said no. It just goes to show you that even Oscar-winning actors can bomb auditions. And it’s a good thing, too, because he’s great in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
1. Harrison Ford — Offered The Part By Not Auditioning
Harrison Ford’s career has been used to inspire struggling actors for decades. Early on, Ford struggled to find any sort of work outside of minor television roles. He eventually started to work as a self-taught carpenter to support his family and made relationships with a number of upcoming casting directors and producers in the entertainment business. Through one of these connections, Ford was connected with George Lucas, who cast him to act in the movie American Graffiti.
When George Lucas held auditions, he wanted actors to audition in groups of three, meaing one person auditioning for Luke, Leia, and Han. However, Lucas had five actors auditioning for Luke and Leia, but only four people auditioning for Han Solo. Lucas asked Ford to come into the audition room to be a placeholder. After the auditions took place, Ford was baffled that he was offered the role because he had no idea that he was even being considered for the part of Han! After nailing the role of Han Solo, Ford quit carpentry and went on to have a rather illustrious career.
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