11 Totally Crazy Stories of How Actors Got Their Iconic Roles

3 years ago

Auditions are very important because the right choice of actors is key to a movie’s success. Sometimes this process can take up many months. In other cases, scriptwriters create characters that are tailor-made for specific film stars (who then receive the roles without any audition at all). But there are also instances where everything is decided by a lucky chance or some random thing not related to acting!

We at Bright Side came across some cool stories of how celebrities got their roles in cult films and TV series that were not due to their (undisputed) talent, but thanks to some very unusual skills and tricks!

Ben Affleck and his strained smile

David Fincher is usually very thorough when choosing actors for his movies. But sometimes everything is decided by chance. According to the director, Ben Affleck got his role in Gone Girl because of his smile! “In the movie, there’s a scene where journalists ask the husband to stand next to a photo of his missing wife, and he does so with a very strained smile. I flipped through Google Images and found about 50 shots of Affleck giving that kind of smile in public situations. So, that’s when I realized he’d be ideal for the part!” Fincher said.

Jennifer Lawrence and her unwashed hair

One might argue that Jennifer Lawrence got her first big movie role because she came to the audition with a runny nose and really dirty hair. She did this on purpose, in order to get into the character of a 17-year-old girl from a dysfunctional family. At first, the director of the drama, Winter’s Bone, dismissed Lawrence’s bid for the part, thinking she was too pretty. But the aspiring actress was not to be stopped!

Lawrence was so eager to star in the movie that she flew to New York, intentionally walked 13 blocks through sleet, and showed up for the audition not wearing any makeup and with a head of hair that she hadn’t washed for a week. As a result, she got the coveted role.

Kate Winslet’s remarkable persistence

To get her iconic role in Titanic, Kate Winslet (then a little-known actress) had to try very hard. With the help of her agent, she got James Cameron’s phone number and kept calling him, insisting that she was ideal for the part of Rose DeWitt Bukater. Kate even sent the famous film director a bouquet of roses with a note saying: “From your Rose.” Despite the fact that the actress went a bit too far, these gimmicks helped her achieve her goal!

Emma Watson’s excessive talkativeness

Auditions for the main roles in the Harry Potter franchise lasted for a long time — the director/producers could not find the right person to play Hermione. Finally, JK Rowling herself joined in the search. One day she happened to chat with Emma Watson over the phone, and was totally delighted by the results. At many points during the conversation, the 10-year-old girl talked incessantly, not letting the writer get a word in. This made Rowling think she’d be an ideal choice to portray Hermione in the movies.

James Michael Tyler and his barista skills

It wasn’t his master’s degree in fine arts that helped the actor get the role of Gunther on the cult TV series Friends. In fact, Tyler was the only one among the applicants who knew how to operate a coffee machine. However, the actor admits that, offscreen, he isn’t a big fan of coffee!

Wayne Knight’s abundant sweating

Spielberg himself called Wayne Knight’s agent to offer the actor the role of programmer Dennis Nedry. Later, Wayne revealed what exactly helped him land the part in Jurassic Park. The famous director first saw Knight in Basic Instinct and was impressed by his profound sweating in the Sharon Stone interrogation scene. When Spielberg started to film his epic, he thought that the actor’s sweaty face would look great in a sci-fi setting. As he put it to Wayne: “Instead of woman’s legs, you’ll be looking at a dinosaur!”

Matthew McConaughey’s mustache

At first, Richard Linklater didn’t intend to cast Matthew McConaughey in the movie Dazed and Confused, considering him too handsome for the role of David Wooderson. However, after the actor gave a convincing performance at the auditions, the director changed his mind. But Linklater’s condition was that McConaughey had to grow a sleazy mustache. Naturally, Matthew agreed.

Chloe Grace Moretz’s fake accent

Martin Scorsese wanted the whole cast of his movie, Hugo, to be made up of Britons. Moretz (an American) was so eager to land a part in a Scorsese film that she imitated a British accent at the audition and lied, saying that she was from England. However, the lie was later revealed when she thanked the director at the end of the audition, but Scorsese was impressed enough to cast her anyway.

Harvey Spencer’s convincing punch

The director of the classic horror movie, The Omen, spent a lot of time and effort on casting the main role — the son of the devil disguised as a little boy. At the auditions, Richard Donner asked each of the young applicants to attack him. 4-year-old Harvey Spencer proved to be the most convincing. When he punched Donner, the director realized he had found the perfect Damian!

Chris Hemsworth’s troubles with height

To get the role of Thor in The Avengers, the actor had to resort to a little trick. Hemsworth is 6’3’’ while the brief for the audition stated a height limit of 6’1’’ (the director didn’t want a big-screen Thor to “dwarf” the other characters). As a result, Hemsworth lied about his height.

Sophie Turner and her subscribers

We all know how much influence social networks have on people’s lives. But can you imagine a situation where actors are given or not given a coveted role based on their number of followers on Instagram? According to one of the stars of Game of Thrones, this already happens! Turner admits that she was recently cast in a movie because she had more online subscribers than another applicant (who, according to Sophie, performed better than her at the auditions!).

What do you think — should acting talent always decide the outcome of auditions? And, is it fair that some actors get roles in movies without any audition at all?


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The last one was unfair to me.
Anyways I believe that talent, determination, persistence and confidence are the keys to become an icon.


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