10 Actors Who Were Not Afraid to Lie to Get Their Dream Role
When applying for a job, we always want to put our best foot forward. Some candidates might even exaggerate their resumés to put themselves ahead of the competition. And Hollywood is no exception. There are several actors who wanted the role so bad, that they used little white lies to help them seal the deal.
1. Rachel McAdams lied about her allergy to horsehair to get her role in To the Wonder
Rachel McAdams was already a successful actress in 2012. When it came to auditioning for legendary director Terrence Malick’s movie To the Wonder, McAdams was ready to do almost anything to get the role. The actress knew that she had to play the horse-wrangler, so she decided not to tell Malick about her severe allergy to horsehair.
So rather than describe her full condition, Rachel just told the director that she loved horses. But when they got to set and she actually had to work with the horses, her eyes swelled up completely. Thankfully, some antihistamines helped McAdams work through it.
2. Chloë Grace Moretz tricked director Martin Scorsese into thinking that she was British, to get a role in Hugo.
It’s normal for actors to use accents when playing a part. But when Moretz auditioned for the British character Isabelle, she took it a step further by pretending that she was actually English. She mentioned on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that she told Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese that she was from “Cambridgeshire.” In reality, she was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
She also went so far down the rabbit hole of her made-up British life, saying that her parents were horse breeders (even though she didn’t know anything about horses). The farce came to an end when, one day, her American accent slipped as she said “Bye Marty!” Luckily, Scorsese just laughed it off and told her that she got him good.
3. Sadie Sink hoodwinked the Stranger Things production team and said she could skate.
Max Mayfield in Stranger Things may be a cool and tough skater girl, but the actress behind the role freaks out at the sight of rollerblades. In one article, Sink admitted that she was so eager for a part in the show’s second season, that when they asked her if she could skate, she just said yes even though she had zero experience.
During the audition, Sink also saw a pair of rollerblades in the corner of the room. She said she panicked, and thought that they were going to test her skills. But it turns out that the rollerblades were just there by coincidence.
4. Liam Hemsworth embellished the truth about his volleyball skills while filming The Last Song.
Hemsworth met his former flame Miley Cyrus on the set of The Last Song, where he played her character’s love interest — a skilled beach volleyball player named Will Blakelee. When the production team asked Hemsworth if he knew how to play volleyball, he lied and said, “Yeah, no problem.”
The hoax eventually caught up with him when they were shooting the volleyball scenes. He recalled being scared and asking for a double, but they couldn’t find someone with the same build as him. He said that after a few days, he was lucky because the extras didn’t have the skills either. But during one match, they had to face professional players and he ended up looking like a joke.
5. Phoebe Dynevor overstated her love for horses to secure a part in Bridgerton.
Dynevor seems to be a believer of the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.” In one write-up, she admitted to not liking horses and being scared of them. But when she tried out for the role of Daphne Bridgerton and was asked if she knew how to ride a horse, she tricked the team and said she’d be perfect because she had ridden them so many times.
On the upside, she did learn how to ride horses and developed a passion for it. She also shared that she couldn’t wait to get back on one as soon as possible.
6. Jameela Jamil exaggerated her acting experience when she auditioned for a role in The Good Place.
Jamil nailed her audition for Tahani Al-Jamil without any professional acting experience, thanks to a little fabrication she told the casting director. She claimed that she had acted on stage, but she didn’t clarify that the “stage” was back when she was still in school.
When Michael Schur, creator of The Good Place, asked if she had tried improv or improvised comedy, Jamil bent the facts again and said she did loads of it back in England. Maybe her improv and acting skills were not so bad after all, since she managed to convince them to give her the part.
7. Idris Elba fibbed about being American in his audition for The Wire.
The casting director for The Wire told Elba that the show’s creator, David Simon, prefers American actors since the plot is set in Baltimore. And he advised Elba to hide the truth about his East London roots for a better chance of winning in the auditions.
So Elba showed up and spoke using an American accent during the screenings. But in the fourth round of tryouts, the production team began interrogating Elba about his personal life. At this point, the actor remembered that his parents told him not to lie, so he came clean about his true identity, and luckily, he still got the part of Stringer Bell.
8. Laura Fraser played up her German speaking skills to land a part in Breaking Bad.
The actress was being considered for the role of Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, who supposedly works for a German company. So when they asked her in the audition if she spoke German, Fraser didn’t sell herself short — in fact, she sold herself too much.
She said she spoke some German, and by “some” she meant basic phrases like “Ich heise Laura” (My name is Laura), which she learned when she was 12. She soon found out that the German lines in the script were at a corporate level. But she powered through, even if it took her days to learn just one paragraph.
9. Anne Hathaway bluffed about her “good” horseback riding skills when she was called in for the movie Brokeback Mountain.
A movie about cowboys will no doubt involve horses in some scenes. So 3-time Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee had to ask Hathaway in her audition if she could ride one. The actress remembered her parents’ advice: “Say yes. You can learn anything in 2 weeks if you’re motivated enough.” Hence, she claimed she was a “good rider” and winged it from there.
Hathaway got the part of Lureen Twist and learned how to ride horses. But in one rehearsal, she was given a horse on set without being informed that it only followed verbal commands. She tried her best to control it, but it just threw her off and she embarrassed herself in front of 300 extras.
10. Robert Pattinson used “family emergency” as an excuse to secretly audition for The Batman.
Pattinson was filming Tenet with award-winning director Christopher Nolan when he auditioned for The Batman. The superhero movie producers asked Pattinson to keep things hush-hush, so for the screen test, Pattinson told Nolan that he had a “family emergency.” But the director picked up on his ruse and correctly guessed that he was escaping to go to an audition.
And it appears that Pattinson is quite the “con man.” When he came to Los Angeles to try his luck in Hollywood, casting directors asked him about his recent activities. Pattinson didn’t want to say he was unemployed, so he lied about going to Oxford and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He added that his English accent helped him get away with it.
Have you ever used a “white lie” to impress someone or nail a job interview? Do you think it’s okay to cover up the truth in certain cases?