Audition Horror Story: Celebrity Edition
Bad auditions — we all have them. Even celebrities aren’t immune from the occasional audition flub.
So why write a post about embarrassing celebrity auditions? To remind you that a less than stellar audition doesn’t define your self-worth. There’s nothing embarrassing about taking a risk and giving it your all.
Read on and you’ll see that auditions are sometimes awkward — whether you’re a seasoned professional or an amateur.
The “Ugly” Audition
Meryl Streep has never had an embarrassing audition in her life, right? Wrong. On the Graham Norton Show, Meryl spilled the tea about her King Kong audition. The young actress walked into her audition and the director said to his son in Italian,
“Why did you bring me this ugly thing?”
Little did they know that Meryl understood Italian, ouch. But being the classy lady she is, Meryl responded in Italian,
“I understand what you’re saying, and I’m sorry I’m not beautiful enough to be in King Kong.”
The “Why so serious?” Audition
What about this year’s Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson? In a Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show special, Brie shared an adorably awkward story about her first audition. As a confident 7-year-old with a memorized monologue in her back pocket, she attended a group audition for a fishstick commercial.
Hoping to hear some genuine “kids say the darndest things” realness, the Casting Team asked the children what they like to do for fun. Brie simply said,
“I like to act.”
They asked her again, and her answer was the same. Maybe a little too serious for a fishstick commercial. Brie remembers being extremely upset that they didn’t ask to hear her monologue.
The “Why am I here?” Audition
What about those uncomfortable auditions that make you question your life choices? Drew Barrymore has been there. Drew remembers auditioning for a movie (she won’t say which one) with a casting assistant in a basement. In this particular scene, she had to lick a guy’s hand, but there was nobody in the room so she had to improvise. She recounts,
“It was by far the most humiliating experience. I thought, ‘They think I’m such s**t that I’m here on a Sunday with the assistant, giving myself a finger in the mouth. This is a low point.’”
The “Wrong Choice” Audition
Ever been confident in your audition material…only to be shut down by the Casting Team? Funnyman Will Ferrell had a similar experience at his SNL callback. Will talked to the NY Times about his one-on-one with Lorne Michaels before his callback;
“I started to go through what I was going to do, and Lorne basically said, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do that. We’ve already seen this.’ By the end of it, I said, ‘Are you saying, basically, come up with a whole new audition?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah.’”
Talk about pressure! But clearly Will rose to the challenge, as he was an SNL cast member for six years.
The “Casting Couch” Audition
In an interview with OK! several years ago, Charlize Theron told the magazine about an uncomfortable audition from her early days. She remembers,
“I thought it was a little odd that the audition was on a Saturday night at his house in Los Angeles, but I thought maybe that was normal. He was in his Hugh Hefner pajamas — I go inside and he’s offering me a drink, and I’m thinking, ‘My God this acting stuff is very relaxed.’ But it soon becomes very clear what the situation was. I was like, ‘Not going to happen! Got the wrong girl, buddy!’”
The “Pre-Audition Flub”
We all gossip, but nobody likes to get caught in the act. Daniel Radcliffe’s embarrassing audition story started before his audition even began. He was gossiping about someone before the audition, unaware that a close friend of that “someone” was right behind him. In a horrible twist of fate, Ratcliffe had to read with the close friend of the person he was just gossiping about. Certainly there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
The “I just can’t” Audition
In an episode of “Happy Sad Confused,” 2015 Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne called his Star Wars: The Force Awakens audition “pretty catastrophically bad.” He recalls,
“I went in and did this scene, and after seven times of trying to play [the role, the casting director] was like, ‘Got anything else, Eddie?’ I was like, ‘No, I want out. I think we’re going to have to agree to part on this one.’ I said, ’Ok, that’s a childhood dream crushed.’”
Well you can’t win them all, Eddie.
The “Wrong Song Choice” Audition
Ever left an audition thinking “Why did I choose that song?” Believe it or not, so has Kristin Chenoweth. In Robert Peterpaul Productions “Hone Your Craft,” Kristin hilariously describes an audition flop.
“I was new to New York and I auditioned for Smokey Joe’s Café. We had to sing a Leiber and Stoller song. I chose ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ I still question this decision. I got nervous and it flipped into an opera sound so I sang ‘Great Balls of Fire’ with an opera take. What can I say?”
Nothing to say, Kristin. You didn’t let this one get you down and that’s what’s most important.
Hope you enjoyed these celebrity audition stories. Have you ever had an audition that fell into one of these categories? Let us know — tweet @AuditionAnswer.