HomeGossip & News22 Major Stars Who Auditioned For Classic Roles — But

    22 Major Stars Who Auditioned For Classic Roles — But

    “I obviously didn’t get the part. That wasn’t my best moment.”

    1. Mahershala Ali bombed his audition for Xaro Xhoan Daxos on Game of Thrones. The part later went to Nonso Anozie.

    Steve Granitz / WireImage via Getty Images, HBO

    Ali told Jimmy Kimmel he blew the audition, calling it “one of the worst auditions of my life.” He said that he’d prepared long and hard but his planned audition involved power stances in a chair, and there were only high backless stools in the audition room, throwing him off and making his stance appear awkward and stiff.

    2. Jake Gyllenhaal pretty much tanked his audition as Frodo (the part that eventually went to Elijah Wood) in The Lord of the Rings series.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 29: Jake Gyllenhaal attends the premiere of “The Lost Daughter” during the 59th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on September 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”683″,”width”:”1024″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,0″,”alt_text”:”Jake Gyllenhaal”},{“index”:1,”number”:2,”has_caption”:false,”image_type”:”jpg”,”image_src”:””,”images”:{“mobile”:{“height”:”591″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”original”:{“height”:”1792″,”url”:””,”width”:”3000″},”standard”:{“height”:”373″,”url”:”″,”width”:”625″},”wide”:{“height”:”591″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”idx”:1,”original_src”:””,”image_src”:””,”nojs_src”:””},”original_src”:””,”width”:3000,”height”:1792,”attribution”:”New Line Cinema”,”id”:”127983069″,”external_link_text”:null,”external_link_url”:””,”has_external_link”:false,”description”:””,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1792″,”width”:”3000″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,0″,”alt_text”:”The ring falling onto Frodo’s hand in Lord of the Rings with Frodo played by Elijah Wood”}], “id”: 127424397, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127424397}”} } ]]>

    John Lamparski / WireImage via Getty Images, New Line Cinema

    In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Gyllenhaal described his audition, saying that the first scene had no lines and was just a bunch of stage directions of him looking at the ring, which he didn’t realize the gravity of.

    Basically, they just told him to open something and see the ring for the first time, and Gyllenhaal did this:

    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube / Via

    To which Peter Jackson apparently responded:

    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube / Via

    He also said that he didn’t do an accent for the role, and Jackson allegedly (this was possibly a joke) told him, “You are the worst actor that I have ever seen. Did anyone tell you you were supposed to have an accent?”

    3. He also auditioned (and failed to get a callback) for Jesse (who would end up being played by Ashton Kutcher) in Dude, Where’s My Car?

    20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection.

    In the same interview, he told Fallon that he came up with a character voice (sort of a lisp) for the role and felt VERY confident going in, but after his first reading, the producer asked him to do it without the accent.

    4. Tom Holland was asked to audition for Finn (eventually played by John Boyega) in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but he kept laughing through it.

    LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Tom Holland attends the “Onward” UK Premiere at The Curzon Mayfair on February 23, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1024″,”width”:”781″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,0″,”alt_text”:”Tom Holland”},{“index”:1,”number”:2,”has_caption”:false,”image_type”:”jpg”,”image_src”:””,”images”:{“mobile”:{“height”:”415″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”original”:{“height”:”858″,”url”:””,”width”:”2048″},”standard”:{“height”:”262″,”url”:”″,”width”:”625″},”wide”:{“height”:”415″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”idx”:1,”original_src”:””,”image_src”:””,”nojs_src”:””},”original_src”:””,”width”:2048,”height”:858,”attribution”:”Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Lucasfilm Ltd. / Courtesy Everett Collection”,”id”:”127977602″,”external_link_text”:””,”external_link_url”:””,”has_external_link”:false,”description”:””,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”858″,”width”:”571″,”x_offset”:”755″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;755,0″,”alt_text”:”John Boyega as Finn”}], “id”: 127977599, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127977599}”} } ]]>

    Mike Marsland / WireImage via Getty Images, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Lucasfilm Ltd. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Holland told Backstage, “I remember my audition for Star Wars. I was like four or five auditions in, and I think I was auditioning for John Boyega’s role. I remember doing this scene with this lady, bless her, and she was just a drone. So I was doing all of this, like, ‘We gotta get back to the ship!’ And she was going, ‘Bleep, bloop bloop, bleep bloop.’ I just couldn’t stop laughing. I found it so funny. And I felt really bad, because she was trying really hard to be a convincing android or drone or whatever they’re called. Yeah, I obviously didn’t get the part. That wasn’t my best moment.”

    5. Michael B. Jordan didn’t fare much better while auditioning for the same role.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Jordan called the audition one of his “worst to date,” saying, “I just couldn’t wrap my brain around some of the sides. When you’re reading for these high-level projects, there’s never really any specificity in the sides. Everything is super gray and a secret. Reading it through, I just couldn’t connect it. Definitely bombed that one, for sure…I’m pretty sure I ran out of there.”

    6. And neither did Kayode Ewumi.

    BAFTA Guru / YouTube / Via

    The British actor called it one of the top three worst auditions of his life, saying his American accent sounded Indian.

    (Also, if you’re wondering where you know Ewumi from…it’s probably this:)

    7. Emma Stone could’ve been a cast member on All That, but she wasn’t super prepared for her audition.

    ALL THAT, (l-r): Katrina Johnson, Lori Beth Denberg, Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Alisa Reyes, Josh Server, Angelique Bates, 1994-2005, u00a9 Tollin/Robbins Prod. / Courtesy: Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”3751″,”width”:”2501″,”x_offset”:”14″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;14,0″,”alt_text”:”All That cast”}], “id”: 127977615, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127977615}”} } ]]>

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Tollin/Robbins Productions / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Stone told Jimmy Fallon that she bombed her All That audition because she didn’t realize what she was supposed to come in prepared with. She thought she’d be given sketches, but five minutes before auditioning, she was told she needed to have three characters prepared. She threw something together, but it was not enough to get her a role.

    8. John Krasinski came *this close* to landing the role of Steve in Captain America (which was snagged by Chris Evans), but then it all went wrong in the costume fitting.

    THE AVENGERS, from left: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., 2012. Ph: Zade Rosenthal/u00a9Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”2000″,”width”:”1335″,”x_offset”:”360″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;360,0″,”alt_text”:”Chris Evans as Captain America”}], “id”: 127988741, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127988741}”} } ]]>

    Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Paramount Pictures, Zade Rosenthal / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    For Krasinski, the failure didn’t come in the audition (which he said he “acted [his] heart out” in), but in trying on the Captain America costume. As he was trying to get the costume past his hips, Chris Hemsworth passed by and said, “Ya look good, mate.” Krasinski joked that he immediately started taking the suit off. “He was just, like, jacked! He was like, ‘You’re gonna look great in that suit.’ And I was like, ‘Don’t make fun of me, Hemsworth,'” Krasinski told Ellen DeGeneres.

    9. Timothée Chalamet wasn’t at his best when he auditioned to play Spider-Man (a role that would later go to Tom Holland) in the MCU.

    LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 18: Timothu00c3u00a9e Chalamet attends the “Dune” UK Special Screening at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”890″,”width”:”890″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”67″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,67″,”alt_text”:”Timothu00e9e Chalamet”},{“index”:1,”number”:2,”has_caption”:true,”image_type”:”jpg”,”image_src”:””,”images”:{“mobile”:{“height”:”660″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”original”:{“height”:”1200″,”url”:””,”width”:”1800″},”standard”:{“height”:”417″,”url”:”″,”width”:”625″},”wide”:{“height”:”660″,”url”:”″,”width”:”990″},”idx”:1,”original_src”:””,”image_src”:””,”nojs_src”:””},”original_src”:””,”width”:1800,”height”:1200,”attribution”:”Chuck Zlotnick / Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection”,”id”:”127989533″,”external_link_text”:null,”external_link_url”:””,”has_external_link”:false,”description”:”

    SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, Tom Holland, 2017. ph: Chuck Zlotnick/ u00c2u00a9 Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1200″,”width”:”1200″,”x_offset”:”300″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;300,0″,”alt_text”:”Tom Holland as Spider-Man”}], “id”: 127989386, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127989386}”} } ]]>

    Samir Hussein / WireImage via Getty Images, Chuck Zlotnick / Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Chalamet said, “I read twice and I left sweating, in a total panic. I called my agent, [UTA’s] Brian Swardstrom, and I said, ‘Brian, I thought about this a lot and I have to go back and knock on that door and read again,'” because he thought he hadn’t done a good job. However, his agent cautioned him against going back in — and Chalamet did not get the role.

    10. Or when he auditioned to play Norman Bates in Bates Motel. Freddie Highmore ended up getting the role.

    Cate Cameron / A&E Networks / courtesy Everett Collection

    In what Chalamet called his “worst audition,” he confused Psycho with American Psycho while preparing, and went into the audition thinking he should do an impression of Patrick Bateman. He said it was “way off tonally.”

    11. Jamie Foxx could’ve played Rod in Jerry Maguire if he hadn’t gotten so starstruck — Cuba Gooding Jr. played the role instead.

    JERRY MAGUIRE, Cuba Gooding Jr., 1996, (c) TriStar/courtesy Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1699″,”width”:”2466″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,0″,”alt_text”:”Cuba Gooding Jr. as Rod in Jerry Maguire”}], “id”: 127989552, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127989552}”} } ]]>

    Cindy Ord / Getty Images, TriStar / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Foxx told Howard Stern that he was so starstruck by Tom Cruise in his second audition that he blew the audition badly enough that Cruise started laughing at him. At one point, Cruise took a dramatic pause, and Foxx thought he’d lost his place and pointed out where they were. At another point, Cruise was speaking softly, and Foxx asked him to speak up, which led the producer to pull him out of the room and level with him.

    12. And the same thing happened to Chris Evans when he auditioned for Patrick in Gone Baby Gone — a role that later went to Casey Affleck.

    GONE BABY GONE, Casey Affleck, 2007. u00a9Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”1801″,”width”:”1200″,”x_offset”:”924″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;924,0″,”alt_text”:”Casey Affleck in Gone Baby Gone”}], “id”: 127990129, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127990129}”} } ]]>

    Todd Williamson / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images, Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Evans described getting super nervous as soon as he saw Ben Affleck in his Gone Baby Gone audition: “I instantly was nervous. I went in and shook his hand, and the first thing I said was, ‘Hey, how ya doing — am I gonna be okay where I parked?’ And he said, ‘Where’d you park?’ And I said, ‘At one of the meters.’ And he said, ‘Did you put money in it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘I think you’ll be all right.’ From that moment, I just wanted to get the fuck out of the room.” Feeling stupid over this initial conversation, Evans kept giving one-word answers to their questions. “It was horrible, a complete disaster. So obviously, I did not get that job,” he finished.

    13. Tom Hiddleston went out partying the night before he auditioned for Will in Pirates of the Caribbean, ruining his shot. Orlando Bloom nabbed the role.

    PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Orlando Bloom, 2003, u00a9Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”2384″,”width”:”1590″,”x_offset”:”738″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;738,0″,”alt_text”:”Orlando Bloom as Will in Pirates of the Caribbean”}], “id”: 127989881, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127989881}”} } ]]>

    David M. Benett / Getty Images for Warner Bros., Walt Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Hiddleston admitted he got drunk the night before the audition to celebrate a friend’s final exams and was hung over at the audition the next day. He had gotten the script at 5 p.m. the day before and hadn’t even memorized his lines.

    14. Lucy Hale called herself “naive” when she auditioned to play Anastasia in 50 Shades of Grey — a role that later went to Dakota Johnson.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images, Universal Pictures

    Hale told the AP that she was “mortified” by her audition, in which she read a very “sexually forward monologue” and “didn’t really even know what [she] was saying.”

    15. Elizabeth Olsen bombed her audition for Daenerys (who would end up being played by Emilia Clarke) on Game of Thrones.

    Rich Fury / Getty Images, HBO

    Olsen said she auditioned for the assistant to the casting director and did “the Khaleesi speech when she comes out of the fire,” calling her audition “awful” and saying she didn’t receive a callback. 

    16. Eddie Redmayne made a fatal mistake in his audition for Kylo Ren in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The role would end up going to Adam Driver.

    David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images for ATG, Lucasfilm

    Redmayne said he put on a ridiculous voice: “That was really a hilarious moment. Because it was Nina Gold — who I have to thank a lot because she’s cast me in several films — and she was just sitting there, and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of ‘koohh paaaah’ [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice. And after like 10 shots, she’s like, ‘You got anything else?’ I was like, ‘No.'”

    17. And he made the same mistake in his audition for Bilbo in The Hobbit (a role that would go to Martin Freeman).

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Redmayne said he tried to copy the way Ian Holmes played the character in The Lord of the Rings, but only a few words into the audition, he was stopped and told to use his “own voice.”

    18. Jared Leto failed to receive a bit part in Star Trek: The New Generation.

    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Year 4, 1990-1991, (Front), LeVar Burton, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, (Back), Whoopi Goldberg, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Wil Wheaton.”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”2124″,”width”:”2486″,”x_offset”:”0″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;0,0″,”alt_text”:”the cast of Star Trek TNG”}], “id”: 127990969, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127990969}”} } ]]>

    Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic via Getty Images, Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Leto auditioned for just one line in the show. He told E!, “I was terrible and definitely did not get the part.”

    19. Chris Klein had an infamously bad audition for Sky in Mamma Mia. Dominic Cooper ended up getting the role.

    David Livingston / Getty Images, Universal Pictures

    After his audition was leaked (and ridiculed), Klein admitted, “It was really a dreadful audition” — he said he can’t sing and just decided to take a chance by auditioning.

    You can watch the audition here, if you’d like:

    View this video on YouTube

    20. Tom Hanks could’ve played Danny in the tour of Grease early in his career…if he hadn’t gotten a cold.*

    Danny Zuko and Sandy perform a scene – played respectively by Danny Bayne and Susan McFadden – from the musical Grease, which will play at the Piccadilly Theatre in central London from 08 August 2007. (Photo by Joel Ryan – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)”,”thumbnail_crop”:{“height”:”651″,”width”:”435″,”x_offset”:”152″,”y_offset”:”0″},”thumbnail_src”:”;152,0″,”alt_text”:”Actors onstage dancing and singing as Danny and Sandy in a scene from Grease”}], “id”: 127990051, “bfa”: {“e”:”{idx:0,subbuzzId:127990051}”} } ]]>

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Joel Ryan — PA Images / PA Images via Getty Images

    Hanks had to sing “Alone at the Drive-In Movie” for his audition, but the first two times he went in, he had a head cold. They kept telling him to come back, and when the cold was finally gone, he went in again…but never heard from them again. He’d also only ever seen half of the musical.

    *Because he doesn’t specify which tour this was, we don’t know who ended up playing Danny — but it certainly wasn’t Hanks!

    21. Nicholas Hoult had a pretty bad audition for Prince Caspian. The role would go to Ben Barnes.

    Stefania D’Alessandro / Getty Images, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Calling the audition “one of my all-time worst,” Hoult said he was asked to do a Spanish accent and model it off of Puss in Boots from Shrek. “I was doing the scene, but in my head before saying each line, I was trying to do my Antonio Banderas impression, saying [in a Desperado voice], ‘I am Prince Caspian!’ It was horrendous. It sounded more like Borat.”

    22. And finally, Henry Cavill flubbed his audition for James Bond in Casino Royale. That role, obviously, went to Daniel Craig.

    Karwai Tang / WireImage via Getty Images, Sony Pictures Releasing

    Cavill admitted, “I probably could’ve prepared better,” describing reenacting a scene from a prior James Bond film where Bond wore only a towel. “I remember the director, Martin Campbell, saying, ‘Looking a little chubby there, Henry.’ I didn’t know how to train or diet. And I’m glad Martin said something, because I respond well to truth. It helps me get better.”

    Oh, well — you win some and you lose some! What other terrible audition stories from famous actors do you love? Let us know in the comments!

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