Ever lied on your résumé? Hollywood is built on the backs of talented performers pretending to be someone they are not. However, reality can be stranger than fiction as the habit of lying to get a prominent role is quite common in the film industry as well. Here are the 15 actors who lied to get a role:
15. Sandra Bullock (Love Potion No. 9)
Back when Sandra Bullock barely had any acting credentials to her name, she was forced to lie about her age while auditioning for the 1992 romantic comedy movie Love Potion No. 9. When the casting directors told her that they wanted “an older scientist”, she informed them that she was 29.
Bullock was actually 26 at the time of the shooting and her lie bagged her first ever leading role and first ever major picture.
“I always said I would never lie, but one time, when I didn’t, it worked against me,”
recalls the actress.
14. Eddie Redmayne (Elizabeth I)
Before offering Eddie Redmayne a role in British historical drama miniseries Elizabeth I, director Tom Hooper had asked if he had any horse-riding experience. The actor lied that he did and it almost backfired terribly.
Redmayne admits that once shooting began, his inexperience in horse-riding almost killed himself and half of the crew that was near him. Amidst the ruckus, director Hooper took a huge speaker and exclaimed,
“You’re a fucking liar, Redmayne!”
Fortunately, he did not fire the actor and sent him for a horse-riding lesson instead.
13. Anne Hathaway (Brokeback Mountain)
Speaking of horse-riding, Anne Hathaway faced a similar circumstance while being cast in Brokeback Mountain. Upon her parents’ advice, she lied to director Ang Lee about her horse-riding experience and planned to learn it at all cost before production began.
Though the actress “got really, really, really good” in horse-riding, she was shocked to know that the horse provided to her in the movie only responded to verbal commands. The truth about her horse-riding abilities was ultimately exposed during rehearsals.
12. Chloë Grace Moretz (Hugo)
14-year-old American actress Chloë Grace Moretz was able to flawlessly convince critically acclaimed director Martin Scorsese that she was British while finalizing roles for his 2011 historical drama movie Hugo.
The actress had lived in London for five months while shooting Kick-Ass and she eventually learned the rhythm of the British accent. It all paid off when Scorsese awarded her the role but as soon as she thanked him, the directed said,
“Hold on, did I hear an American accent?”
Chloë innocently responded by saying “maybe” and Scorsese realized that he had been tricked. Instead of firing her, the director realized what a terrific actress she is and kept her in the movie.
11. Laurence Fishburne (Apocalypse Now)
With only two movies to his name, Laurence Fishburne would do anything to get signed on a major motion picture to kickstart his career in favorable directions. While auditioning for the role of 17-year-old Tyrone “Mr. Clean” Miller in epic war movie Apocalypse Now, the actor lied to director Francis Ford Coppola by saying that he was the same age as the character.
Fishburne got the part and he attributes his experience in the movie as means of improving as a performer since he shared screens with some of the most talented actors at the time such as Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Harrison Ford. On an interesting note, the troublesome shooting for Apocalypse Now kept delaying so long that Fishburne had become 17 years old by the time the movie had completed its production.
10. Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song)
“Yeah, no problem.”
The actor had not realized what he had gotten himself into as he recalls the volleyball scenes as the “hardest thing” he ever had to do.
“I turned up for the first day of volleyball practice and I was honestly really scared to shoot the volleyball part because it takes a lot of skills to play that game and I didn’t have them, at all,”
recalls Hemsworth who had bitten off more than he could chew.
9. Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad)
As soon as the casting calls for the Breaking Bad character Lydia Rodarte-Quayle began, every major television actress was desperate to grab the role. The show was at the peak of its popularity and the casting was crucial. However, the options were limited as the criteria for the character demanded fluency in German.
That did not stop actress Laura Fraser from having her eyes turned away from the opportunity as she eagerly stepped forward despite never spoken the language before. True to her dedication, she spent hours learning her German dialogues and became one of the vital aspects of the show’s fifth and final season.
8. Robert Pattinson (Pre-Harry Potter Roles)
Even Hollywood heartthrobs lie their way to success every now and then. Before his Harry Potter and Twilight roles, English actor Robert Pattinson was a struggling actor with a string of bad luck. His initial roles were either deleted or only made it to the DVD versions and was even fired from his very first stage acting gig days before the premiere.
His woes also included unemployment and debt so when casting directors in Los Angeles asked him what he had been doing in the past few years, Pattinson would falsely claim that he attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Oxford University. Since he was British, he could easily get away with the lie but stopped doing it once he achieved massive fame as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga.