A casting director has one of the most important jobs in both film and television. Casting directors need to be absolutely sure that they find the best actors for whatever role they are casting, no matter what it takes. This process results in actors having to do some pretty crazy things for their auditions sometimes. It can be so much more than simply walking into a room, reading a monologue, and then landing the role.
Actors have to prove themselves in order to get the part. They have to show that they are the best option for that particular role. Depending on what they audition for, proving themselves can entail a multitude of ridiculous things. Throughout the years, many famous actors have come out and discussed their most insane audition stories. Here are 15 Of The Craziest Auditions That Famous Actors Had To Go Through.
15 Mel Gibson – Mad Max
When audition day came for the original Mad Max, not the sequel, Mel Gibson was there. Well, he wasn’t actually there for an audition. He was only there to support his friend who was auditioning instead. In fact, Gibson had just gotten into a horrible fight the night before that involved him going against a bunch of guys from a rugby team. This worked in his favor. Due to the type of characters casting wanted for the film, they found interest in how beat up Gibson looked. They told him to come back on a later date to audition.
Gibson showed up for his audition looking more like his normal self. After having only half memorized the monologue they had given him for the audition, director and screenwriter George Miller gave him the part right on the spot. Gibson has his coincidental brutal fight to thank for getting him his first starring role in a major film.
14 Riz Ahmed – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In order to become part of the beloved Star Wars franchise, Riz Ahmed refused to take no for an answer when it came to securing a role. Even after being told he had gotten the role of Bodhi Rook in Rogue One, Ahmed still acted as though it wasn’t a guaranteed deal yet. He continued to make audition tapes, sending each one in to the producers for evaluation.
Ahmed went all out with these audition tapes. He created a unique costume for each one. Making a double-digit amount of tapes, the director and producers couldn’t figure out what Ahmed was doing. Ahmed has admitted that making the audition tapes became an obscure obsession of his. He had already secured a role in a film from a franchise any other actor would kill to be part of. It seems that Ahmed just couldn’t contain himself to his original audition. He had to make sure he had proven himself.
13 Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
It’s difficult to imagine Game of Thrones without Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. However, that was the reality in the beginning as she was in fact not the original choice. Producers had picked another actress, but it just didn’t work out with her. When Clarke came in for her audition, it was do or die because the clock was ticking and the show was about to start production.
Clarke knew the audition was a big deal. She wanted the role so badly that after her audition, she essentially told the producers that she would do anything for the part. She claimed that she would even make the show creators tea if that would help her chances in obtaining the role. Instead, they told her she could do a dance if she wanted to stand out to them. Clarke ended up doing a hybrid dance that consisted of half funky chicken and half robot. Obviously, it worked out tremendously for her in the end.
12 Gerard Butler – Dracula 2000
Back in 2000, the film coincidentally titled Dracula 2000 premiered in theaters with the almost-unknown Gerard Butler as its star. An up and comer from Scotland, Butler thought that he needed to stand out during his audition for the forgettable lead role of Dracula. It wasn’t just enough to read a monologue. Butler decided he was going to go all-out.
Butler decided that he was going to dress up for his audition. This isn’t something that is generally advised when it comes to auditions. Nevertheless, Butler put on a wig and fake teeth for his read-through. In actuality, he didn’t appear to look like Dracula at all. He looked more like someone who hadn’t showered in three months. Butler also did his audition incredibly dramatically. Combining that with what he was wearing, it makes the whole scenario even more ridiculous. Butler did get what he wanted and stood out from the pack, ultimately winning the role of Dracula.
11 Auli’i Cravalho – Moana
Disney went with someone for Moana who actually represented the movie itself. Auli’I Cravalho was just a young teenager living in Hawaii when she obtained the role of Moana. Producers liked her because she was just like Moana herself. The interesting thing is that Auli’i Cravalho never sought out the audition for the voiceover role that has now made her famous.
Cravalho and her friends had sent in an audition tape for a charity competition on their island. She didn’t even win the competition, but she sure was noticed. A Disney casting agent reached out to her personally telling Cravalho that she would be perfect for the role. Cravalho became a last-minute add-on to a list of hundreds of girls and women auditioning for the role of Moana. She certainly made an impact. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she was going to be a Disney princess until one day, she became one.
10 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – The Other Woman
Having found his footing portraying Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has branched out and appeared in a wide variety of films. When auditioning for The Other Woman, Coster-Waldau had to portray his character, a cheating womanizer who is getting taught a lesson by the women he’s done wrong to, through a Skype audition.
There is one scene in the film where a character slips a laxative to Coster-Waldau’s character. His character ends up getting a bad case of the runs in a public restroom. This is the scene that Coster-Waldau was told he had to recreate in order to get the part. Casting needed to know he could pull it off realistically. Doing it over Skype just made the entire situation that much more ridiculous. Though, it did help him get the role in the film. He just had to embarrass himself in order to get it.
9 Lea Michele – Glee
Lea Michele was the face of Glee. Even if you didn’t watch the show, there’s a good chance you would recognize that she was from it. It could have been a completely different television show though because Michele almost didn’t even make her audition. Everything was going fine as she was driving over to her audition. When she was close to approaching the studio, things took a wrong turn. She got into a major car accident. It was so bad that she even totaled her car.
All Michele cared about was that she made the audition. Not even taking a breath, she raced to her audition with pieces of glass still in her hair. She was lucky because the accident happened within walking distance of Fox where the audition was happening. The producers noticed something had happened, but Michele told them she was fine and the audition went on as though nothing had happened.
8 Matthew McConoughey – Dazed and Confused
The slimiest character in the cult classic Dazed and Confused was portrayed by Matthew McConoughey. He played that one guy that never wanted to leave high school and spends his days creeping on all the young girls. McConoughey did it perfectly, but it wouldn’t have been possible if the University of Texas hadn’t had their graduation weekend the same weekend the casting director was in town. Casting director Don Phillips had to stay at the Hyatt because all the parents of the graduates were staying at his first choice, The Four Seasons.
McConoughey didn’t want to go out that weekend, but his girlfriend made him. They chose to go to the Hyatt because he had a friend who would give him a discount on drinks at the bar. Phillips and McConoughey met there coincidentally. They spent the night drinking and talking about golf. They got so intoxicated that they even got thrown out of the bar. McConoughey was offered a real audition by the end of the whole ordeal.
7 Jason Momoa – Game of Thrones
There were simple rules for the Khal Drogo auditions. The Game of Thrones actor had to be big and tall, able to speak the made-up language of Dothraki well, and be convincing as a war leader. The actor also had to show passion and emotion due to his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen. No one was standing out to the casting directors during the audition process, unfortunately. That was until Jason Momoa walked into the room.
Momoa was going through the regular routine of an audition when he decided to ask if he could do a warrior type of dance for them. Of course, the casting directors couldn’t say no to that. It was either going to tell them that he was perfect for the part or that he was completely wrong. Thankfully, Momoa’s out-there risk payed off because his warrior dance is what sealed the deal for him. It’s how Momoa eventually got the role of Khal Drogo.
6 Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method
When sweetheart Keira Knightley auditioned for A Dangerous Method, she did what a lot of actors do in the modern day: auditioned over a Skype video call. Unfortunately, her part in the film required her to attempt a lot of interesting things. There was one particular part of the audition that required her to show director David Cronenberg her version of “horrible sex faces”. It was awkward enough having to do this type of an audition, but this was an audition through Skype. It ended up making things entirely worse.
As Knightley got the ball rolling, she showed Cronenberg what her sexual faces looked like. She tried to act as the character would, so she was being over dramatic and trying to make it as horrible as possible. Then, without any warning, the screen froze in the middle of a moment where Knightley was making one of the worst type of sexual gestures, but with her face. It was an uncomfortable moment for everyone involved.
5 Eddie Redmayne – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Adam Driver snagged the roll of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but many other actors tried out for the part. One of those actors is Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne who went on to star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Redmayne speaks of the Star Wars audition as a top-secret event. The actors auditioning were not allowed to know much about the role they were auditioning for. They just knew the minimal basics.
When Redmayne went to his audition, the casting directors told him that he had to read from Pride and Prejudice, but to know that he was auditioning to be a villain. Redmayne didn’t know what to make of it and ended up doing a bad version of a Darth Vader voice while reciting lines from the classic film. When the casting director asked if he had anything else to offer, Redmayne said no. That was that and he went on his way.
4 Kit Harrington – Game of Thrones
Jon Snow is a character that developed in ways that no one outside of the HBO world could have ever imagined. When Game of Thrones casting directors were looking to find their Jon Snow, they wandered upon Kit Harrington. Having shown up with a black eye to his initial audition, his unfortunate circumstances actually benefited him.
Harrington had gotten into a fight the day before by defending the honor of a girl he was somewhat dating. Better yet, he had gotten into this fight at McDonalds of all places. A man was calling Harrington’s girlfriend names and saying rude things. Harrington challenged the man to a fight. Since Harrington doesn’t actually get into fights, he of course got the worst of it. He showed up to his audition the next day with a fresh black and blue bruise around his eye. It worked out in his favor though and Harrington has since given credit to that guy who hit Harrington for helping him obtain part of Jon Snow.
3 Jim Carrey – SNL
Jim Carrey wanted to be on Saturday Night Live badly. He auditioned for the gig on more than one occasion. There was one time when he auditioned during the early eighties that stuck with him. Carrey showed up for his audition completely ready to go. Unfortunately, there was a major distraction that day as a NBC Page was standing on top of the 30 Rock marquee threatening to jump off of it.
The event became a complete distraction to Carrey who later said he saw it as more of a bad omen than anything else. Having been somewhat scarred by the moment, Carrey needed and asked for a moment before going into his audition. That’s the thing about live television though: it’s live. Being thrown off by something before going on, even for just the audition, probably wasn’t the best thing to have happened. Producers weren’t pleased with Carrey and he didn’t get the gig.
2 Harrison Ford – Star Wars
Being a famous actor had Harrison Ford's goal from the beginning. Once he reached Hollywood, it wasn’t as easy as he thought it was going to be. Ford worked as a carpenter. He had done some acting, but was picky because he wanted to be a movie star, not just a guest actor on television shows from time to time. Having known the casting director for Star Wars, Ford was brought in for the audition due to a disproportion issue.
George Lucas wanted to audition the parts of Han, Luke, and Leia in groups. There were five of each auditioning when it came to Luke and Leia, but only four when it came to the role of Han Solo. A casting director told Lucas to bring in Ford to complete the group. Ford wasn’t ever supposed to get the part; he was there only to help those auditioning for Luke and Leia read their lines. Ford didn’t see it as an audition whatsoever, so he was completely surprised when Lucas offered him the role.
1 Chris Hemsworth – Thor
Chris Hemsworth obviously got the role of Thor. It wasn’t the initial plan however as his brother, Liam, was the one who had originally landed the final audition. Chris hadn’t done well when he first met up with casting directors, but Liam had nailed it. Casting directors said goodbye to Chris and gave Liam a callback along with three other actors.
The unfortunate part is that the final four actors chosen for the final callback still weren’t hitting the mark. Having worked with Joss Whedon before, Chris had the upper hand this time. Whedon made a call on behalf of Chris. Worried it wasn’t enough, Chris decided he wasn’t going to lose this time. He had his and Liam’s mother help him record an audition video. In a hotel room, Chris recorded himself reading lines while his mother read the lines of other characters back to him. It worked and the older Hemsworth brother officially became Thor.
Heard of a crazy audition that wasn’t mentioned? Give us a shout in the comments!