Bright Side

10+ Actors That Lied to Get a Part

Is lying the same as keeping the truth to yourself? That’s a question for the ages. Fortunately, for many actors, the answer remains a sort of grey area. Thanks to this, they’ve managed to pull off a few teeny-tiny lies that got them important parts. Rebel Wilson, for example, hid her real age for a long time. But some other fellow actors simply went all the way, and lied about being able to ride horses or play the drums. Many directors have had to come up with creative solutions to such lies that actors told during casting.

Bright Side made a list of some of the actors that lied to get a part in a movie that they really wanted to be in. We also looked into what directors had to do to solve the issues that came with that lie.

1. Ben Hardy

Ben Hardy wanted to get the role of Roger Taylor in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody so badly, that he decided to follow the example of many of his fellow actors before him. He lied on his CV by adding that he was a talented drummer. The film’s director, Bryan Singer, was looking for a person who could play this instrument, since in the panoramic shots you could see if the drum was synchronized with the music or not. And after long hours of training, the actor learned to play the drums and managed to successfully play Queen’s drummer.

2. Chris Hemsworth

We now know that Chris Hemsworth did a great job playing Thor, the god of thunder, in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. So it might seem strange to hear that the Australian actor has had to lie about his physical appearance in the past — in order to get several gigs, Hemsworth had to lie about his height. He declared that he was shorter, when in fact he was 6’3″ tall. Much to his surprise, the role of Thor required an actor who was over 6′ tall, so he did not need to lie for this particular role.

3. Eddie Redmayne

The Oscar winner lied about him being able to ride horses when he auditioned for the part of Anthony Babington in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. But then, when it was time to shoot, everyone realized he was lying and production had to hire stuntmen for many of the scenes. Years later, he auditioned once again for a historical movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. After telling his story, he was sent to a camp for 2 months, and this time, he did learn to ride.

4. Sandra Bullock

This renowned actress had just started her acting career when the opportunity to star in the romantic comedy Love Potion No. 9 came along. Hard to let this one pass... So she tweaked things a little bit to make sure the director would hire her: Bullock admitted that to get the role of Diane she had to lie about her age by adding a few years to her resume.

5. Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal almost lost the lead role in the series Normal People. He managed to save face thanks to a tiny white lie told by his agent. For this particular role he auditioned for, production required an actor who could drive, and Mescal didn’t even have a license. So, the next few days, the actor took intensive driving lessons, and that’s the reason we were able to see his excellent performance as Connell.

6. Laurence Fishburne

Not sure if this one qualifies as lying, but it’s still worth mentioning. When Laurence Fishburne auditioned to get the role of Tyrone “Mr. Clean” Miller in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, he had to lie about his age. The character was supposed to be 17, but when production began, the actor was only 15. Shooting the film took so long that by the time everything was wrapped up and ready to be seen in theaters, Fishburne had turned 17. So technically, he didn’t lie, right?

7. George Lazenby

Out of all the actors who have played James Bond throughout the years, almost nobody remembers George Lazenby. That’s just a coincidence, since he only appeared in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Lazenby had no experience whatsoever in acting, not to mention acting in front of a camera. However, he managed to get the part thanks to the many lies he told the producers. And when he finally told the casting team the truth, they were so impressed by the potential they saw in the Australian model, that he was hired.

8. Nicolas Cage

It’s a known fact that this talented actor made his debut in the comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). But a lesser known fact is that Cage was originally considered for the role of Brad Hamilton. Everything was going great until the producers found out that he was 17, instead of 18 like he said during the audition. When they discovered the truth, he lost the role he was after because, according to the law at the time, he couldn’t work as many hours as an 18-year-old. He then ended up playing a supporting character.

9. Gabrielle Carteris

When Gabrielle Carteris auditioned for Fox’s series Beverly Hills, 90210, the actress didn’t hesitate to tweak things a little bit and say that she was younger than she actually was back then. In an interview she claimed she was worried that people might think she was too old to play a high school student. Carteris was 29, and yet she gave life to Andrea Zuckerman, who was supposed to be 16.

10. Al Lewis

CBS’s The Munsters quickly became a TV classic. And although it only aired for a couple of years, for many of us, it’s hard to not remember Grandpa Munster. And well, you might think that when auditioning for the part of a vampire grandpa you don’t have to lie about your date of birth, but that’s clearly not what this actor had in mind... Lewis was afraid producers might think he wasn’t old enough to play the part, so he said he was born in 1910. It was only after he passed away that his son announced that his real date of birth was April 30, 1923.

11. Anne Hathaway

Director Ang Lee was looking for an actress that could ride horses and Hathaway didn’t hesitate to lie about that when she auditioned for the role of Lureen. Of course, as a result, Hathaway had to take riding lessons for 2 months. In the end, the multi-award winning film Brokeback Mountain was released in 2005.

12. Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino also made it to the (rather long) list of actresses who lied about their age to get a role. In an interview, she stated that to get the part of Chica Barnfield in Troop Beverly Hills (1989) she had to say she was 14, when in fact she was 16. But then, from her date of birth (1971), we know she was 18... After shooting for 3 weeks, she confessed she lied to the director and, much to her surprise, he replied that if he had known what her real age was, he would never have hired her.

13. Rebel Wilson

Actress and comedian Rebel Wilson felt the need to pretty much hide how old she was to get several roles. In 2015, the Australian press started speculating about her real age and name. The tabloids said that Wilson had obtained several jobs by lying to film casting crews. The dispute ended in a legal battle against Bauer Media for defamation. Today we know that she is 40 years old and that her full name is Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson.

Do you know of another actor or actress that we could put on this list? Do you have any stories where a white lie had great repercussions? Have you ever lied on your resume? Tell us your stories in the comment section!

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