7 successful actors talk about their awful auditions

Screengrabs from YouTube

MANILA, Philippines – Even the best fall down sometimes, goes the song. 

If you're looking for your first job or feeling just a little bit down about your career or where you are in your professional life, here are a few horror stories from successful celebrities about their awful auditions. 

They're flourishing now, but they had to be turned down for parts, suffer crushing setbacks, and go through a lot of heartache to mature and get further along in their careers. 

Let’s take a look at some of their stories:

1. Kat Dennings

In this web interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, actress Kat Dennings talked about auditioning for the role of a daughter having a meltdown with an on-screen dad (an unnamed famous actor). 


Where is she now: Aside from currently playing the snarky, hilarious Max Black on Two Broke Girls, she's also starred in films such as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Raise Your Voice.

2. Lucy Hale

In an interview with Cosmopolitan in September 2014, actress Lucy Hale opened up about her experience auditioning for the role of Anastasia Steele in the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey:

“That audition was so uncomfortable! It’s exactly what you thought it would be: a big monologue but very, very sexual. There were some things that I was so embarrassed to be reading out loud, but it’s one of those things where you have to commit wholeheartedly or you’re going to make a fool of yourself.”

Where is she now: While Dakota Johnson eventually won the Fifty Shades role, Lucy Hale is currently enjoying her starring role as Aria Montgomery on teen thriller-drama series Pretty Little Liars.

3. Jake Gyllenhaal

Apparently, Jake auditioned for the role of Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, and for his audition, he had to sport a British accent.

“I remember auditioning for The Lord of the Rings [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent. I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, 'You know that you have to do this in a British accent?' We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Where is he now: Well, he's been in critically acclaimed roles like Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko, and Nightcrawler, and earned tons of awards and nominations in the process.

4. Eddie Redmayne
Here’s another botched Lord of the Rings audition story, this time from Oscar-winning actor Eddie!


Where is he now: He’s currently enjoying his success in many of his films, from playing photographer Colin Clark in My Week with Marilyn to Marius in Les Miserables. His most recent achievement to date would be winning a Best Actor Oscar for his role as a young Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. (READ: Stephen Hawking to Eddie Redmayne on Oscar win: 'I'm very proud of you')

5. Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart may be bringing the laughs today, but apparently, he didn’t make it to Saturday Night Live.

Where is he now: Luckily, not getting into SNL did not stop him from his dream, with the successful Think Like A Man and its sequel, plus bro-medies Get Hard and Ride Along. He may not have become a cast member, but he's hosted SNL twice.

6. January Jones

Before Mad Men, there was that Coyote Ugly audition, emphasis on the ugly.

"It was an audition for Coyote Ugly, my second audition ever. I'd done the reading for the acting part and then Jerry Bruckheimer wanted me to come in and dance … on top of the table. ... They said, "You're going to dance to Prince's 'Kiss.' You're going to pole dance, but there is no pole," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Where is she now: While her show Mad Men may be on its last season, she has enjoyed a successful 6 years on it playing Don Draper's ex-wife Betty Francis. She's also had her share of film roles, including one in X-Men: First Class as Emma Frost.

7. Meryl Streep

How could Meryl Streep have a terrible audition? Apparently, even she wasn't immune early on in her career. She spilled out about her “terrible audition” on the Graham Norton Show, where a director told her she was too ugly to be in King Kong (1976).

Luckily, she had a great response to it.


Where is she now: Meryl Streep has 19 Oscar nominations under her belt and is enjoying the fruits of a storied career that is the stuff of legends. Meryl will next appear in Suffragette, due out October 2015 and co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan. 

So the next time you're recovering from a setback at work, remember – it happens to everyone. You just have to keep going. – Rappler.com

Jake Gyllenhaal, January Jones, and Lucy Hale stock photos from Shutterstock