"You can learn anything in two weeks if you're motivated enough."
It’s no secret that Hollywood is an extremely competitive place and landing a role takes a lot of time and talent. So when an important audition comes around, there can be a lot of pressure to get the part. For some stars, the pressure is so great, they end up stretching the truth in order to guarantee their spot in the cast.
Actors including Phoebe Dynevor, Paul Mescal, and Anne Hathaway have all admitted to fibbing in an audition in the hopes of convincing the casting director they were perfect for the part — and it totally worked! And while a little white lie every once in a while can be pretty harmless, for some celebs, it came pretty close to backfiring.
Here’s what these stars did to get the part…
1. Idris Elba
During the audition process for “The Wire,” Idris Elba was advised by the casting director to pretend he was American as the creator wasn’t looking to cast any non-Americans in the series. Idris kept up with the lie until the fourth audition when he knew he had to come clean about his British background. Despite not being an American, he still ended up with the role.
“My parents told me not to lie. You gotta look someone in the eye and be honest. I have lied. It’s never worked out for me,” Idris said during a “Hot Ones“ interview.
2. Sadie Sink
“Stranger Things” star Sadie Sink had to tell a small lie while auditioning for the Netflix show in order to make up for a skill she didn’t have. She explained that the director was looking for a girl who could skateboard and while she did admit she didn’t know how, she noted that she was confident at rollerblading.
“They wanted a girl that had skateboard experience, and I didn’t have skateboarding experience at all. They asked me, ‘Oh, do you have any rollerblading experience?’ I was like, ‘Uh sure I do,’ which was technically not a lie because I have rollerbladed before. In reality, I probably haven’t skated for a year,” Sadie told Coveteur.
3. Phoebe Dynevor
When Phoebe Dynevor was auditioning for her lead role in “Bridgerton,” she says she might have exaggerated her experience with horses. While she’d always been scared of horses, she told casting agents that she actually rode horses all the time. Thankfully, she landed the role and was given the chance to learn — and ended up loving it!
“I’ve always said — I don’t know why — that I didn’t like horses and was scared of them. But in the audition when they asked me, ‘Have you ridden a horse before?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m amazing. I’ve ridden so many horses. I’d be perfect for this role!’ I actually loved horseback riding by the end of it and would love to get back on a horse as soon as possible, so that was fun,” Phoebe told Glamour.
4. Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis may not have gotten her role in “That 70’s Show” if she hadn’t lied about her age! The actress was just 14 at the time of her audition and because she knew the producers were looking for someone slightly older, she figured out a loophole so she didn’t have to tell them her exact age.
“Legally, I was 14. I mean — I told them that I was a little bit older…I was in ninth grade, so I was pretty 14. I told them I was gonna be 18, which…is not technically a lie, ’cause at one point, given all things went right, I was gonna be 18,” Mila said on “The Tonight Show.”
5. Chloë Grace Moretz
Back in 2011, Chloë Grace Moretz ended up having to lie about her nationality while auditioning for “Hugo.” Chloë explained that the casting director knew she wasn’t British like the character in the film and recommended lying to Martin Scorsese.
“The casting director knew I wasn’t British, but she knew I was willing to lie, and she liked me. And she was like, ‘Lie to Marty. It’ll work!'” Chloë said on “The Late Show.”
Things slightly backfired when she started making up her British backstory, which included parents who bred horses — despite knowing nothing about horses. It all worked out in the end though and Martin didn’t realize until well into filming.
6. Robert Pattinson
After Robert Pattinson wrapped filming “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” he had a hard time finding work. After a few years of failed auditions, Robert headed to Los Angeles — where he told casting agents he had been studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to explain the gap in his resume.
“I’d been unemployed for ages, and when I came to Los Angeles all the casting directors would ask what I’d been doing for the past few years. I’d say, ‘Oh, I was at [acting school] RADA.’ If you’ve got an English accent you can get away with it. But it didn’t work when loads of English people started moving to Los Angeles,” Robert told Mirror.
7. Anne Hathaway
Like Phoebe Dynevor, Anne Hathaway lied about her ability to ride a horse! When she auditioned for “Brokeback Mountain,” Anne says she told director Ang Lee that she had experience with horses even though she had never ridden. Anne ended up getting the part and took extensive horseback riding lessons that prepared her for filming. Things only slightly backfired when she wasn’t told that the horse she was riding was a “verbal command horse” and she had no idea why it wouldn’t follow her commands!
“My parents have given me a lot of gifts in my life, and one of them is: If you’re ever asked if you can do anything, say yes. You can learn anything in two weeks if you’re motivated enough. So I’d never been on a horse, and I replied, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a really good rider.’ So I knew I had to learn to ride, and I got really, really, really good,” Anne told Out.
8. Paul Mescal
Paul Mescal’s agent told a small lie on his behalf during the audition process for “Normal People.” When asked if Paul could drive, his agent said he could, despite the fact that Paul didn’t even have a driver’s license.
“My agent was like, ‘We are not losing this job over you not being able to drive so I’ll tell production that you can and in the meantime, you go off and rattle through as many lessons as you can,'” Paul told Entertainment Weekly.
9. Jameela Jamil
Jameela Jamil says that while auditioning for “The Good Place” she ended up lying about her experience with acting. Not only that, but she also told the casting director that she had done tons of improv while in England — which she never had.
“I also told the casting director that I had acting experience, which was a lie. I told her I’d been on stage, but I was talking about my school days,” she told CNBC.
10. Laura Fraser
When Laura Fraser was auditioning for “Breaking Bad,” she may have exaggerated her German language skills. The role ended up requiring extensive knowledge of business phases in the language when in reality, Laura had only learned the basics as a middle school student.
“I was like, ‘Absolutely, yeah…I speak some German.’ I’ve done it in school, when I was 12, like I learned ‘Ich heise Laura.’ Basic German. So I thought, ‘Oh no, what’s coming?’ It was corporate-speak in German. It was a nightmare. It took me days to learn that little paragraph. Now I bore my family with it. It’s my party trick,” Laura told Rolling Stone.