7 Actors Who Got Their Iconic Roles Thanks to Some Weird Reasons
Casting directors play an important role in a film’s success. We used to think that they chose actors based on their acting abilities. But sometimes directors find the right people on the street or even on Google.
1. Ryan Gosling in The Notebook
Ryan Gosling has been everyone’s crush for a long time, and we used to think that he easily got roles because of his appearance. But that wasn’t always the case. The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes picked him for a specific reason, explaining, “I want you to play this role because you’re not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.”
2. Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
When the audition time for the Jules Winnfield role came, Quentin Tarantino was late. Samuel L. Jackson decided to get some lunch, and by the time he returned, Tarantino also had arrived. Jackson was so hungry and pissed off by the director’s tardiness that when he was called in, he brought his burger and his shake with him.
“Me and Quentin were sitting on the couch, and he walked in and just started sipping that shake and biting that burger and looking at all of us. I was scared to death. [...] His eyes were popping out of his head. And he just stole the part,” producer Richard Gladstein remembers.
3. Ben Affleck in Gone Girl
Ben Affleck gave one of his strongest performances as Nick Dunne, a loving husband who was looking for his missing wife while everyone around him suspected that he might have been involved in it. Director David Fincher has revealed that Affleck got the role because of his smile.
“You cast movies based on critical scenes. In Gone Girl, there’s a smile the guy has to give when the local press asks him to stand next to a poster of his missing wife. I flipped through Google Images and found about 50 shots of Affleck giving that kind of smile in public situations,” the director said.
4. Emma Watson in Harry Potter
It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the Gryffindor overachiever, Hermione Granger. But the author of the Harry Potter books, Joanne Rowling, thought Emma Watson was “too pretty” to play the character.
Rowling changed her mind, however, when Watson called her unexpectedly. “I fell absolutely in love with her, she spoke for like 60 seconds at least without drawing breath and I said, ’Emma, you’re perfect,’” Rowling remembers.
5. Mel Gibson in Mad Max
Some people find themselves in the right place at the right time. Mel Gibson was that lucky one and ended up getting the iconic role in the Mad Max franchise. Gibson inadvertently stole the role from his friend when he showed up to the audition bruised and battered.
The day before Gibson had to drive his friend to the audition, he ended up getting into a brutal bar fight. His beaten face caught the attention of casting directors who took pictures of him before saying, “Man, we need freaks in this film! When you heal up, come and see us.”
6. Jason Momoa in Game of Thrones
Jason Momoa gained great fame due to the role of Khal Drogo, the brutal leader of his people, in Game of Thrones. The actor was faced with the task of having to convey the character’s personality without saying a word. So he performed a Haka, a traditional Māori dance that he happened to know. The casting directors were left speechless by his powerful performance.
7. Wayne Knight in Jurassic Park
Wayne Knight’s sweaty face made him perfect for Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg cast him as villain Dennis Nedry after seeing him in a Basic Instinct scene, where the actor nervously witnesses Sharon Stone cross her legs. While watching, Spielberg thought to himself, “What if that were a dinosaur?”
What amazing turns has your career taken because of a weird reason? Please share your stories with us in the comments.