All of the actors on this list may be Hollywood superstars now but they all had to start somewhere. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…or one of these audition tapes. Here in this post you will view many audition tapes that either launched the career of a famous actor or helped them reach another milestone in a career which was already established. All of these roles are parts that you couldn’t picture anyone else playing and the audition tapes are a look at how they came to be.
#11 – Steve Carell – Anchorman
At this point you definitely couldn’t picture anyone else on the planet playing Brick Tamland from Anchorman. More than any other role he’s ever played Steve Carell has made this one his own and he’s also made Brick an icon in the comedy genre. It’s tough pulling off the persona of a character named Brick but this audition tape pretty much proves that Steve Carell was born to do it.
#10 – Christopher Mintz – Superbad
You may be thinking to yourself, who in the blue hell is Christopher Mintz? Don’t worry it’s ok if you don’t know because Chris is best know around the world as McGlovin. The film Superbad is credited with kicking off the careers of comedy heavyweights such as Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera but it was Christopher Mintz that stole the show as McGlovin. The people filming this audition tape can’t even keep it together as they break into laughter while Christopher Mintz nails the role. This film came out in 2007 but I can guarantee this dude still bumps into someone who calls him McGlovin at least once a day.
#9 – Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield may currently be Spider-Man on film but it was Tobey Maguire who brought the beloved comic book hero to the big screen. He may not have been the perfect Peter Parker/Spider-Man but when all is said and done he will be to Spider-Man what Christopher Reeves is to Superman.
#8 – Hugh Jackman – X-Men
It’s pretty much a solid fact that Hugh Jackman isn’t Hugh Jackman anymore, he’s Wolverine. Hugh has played Wolverine in 7 X-Men films now and his name has become synonymous with the role. He’s been teasing recently that the sun is setting on his time as the iconic character but I don’t think there’s anyone on planet Earth that wants to see someone else step up to it.
#7 – Robert DeNiro – The Godfather Part II
Robert DeNiro is now one of the most legendary actors of all time and this audition tape was one of the steps on his path to greatness. DeNiro set the world on fire as Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II. Since landing the role DeNiro has managed to land many similar roles which he also made iconic but this one truly helped put him on the map.
#6 – Matthew Fox – Lost
Matthew Fox carried the weight of Lost on his back for six seasons as Jack Shephard but he originally auditioned for the role of Sawyer. You only need to watch a few seconds of this audition tape before you realize that Matthew Fox would have made an absolutely terrible Sawyer. Still, it’s a good thing he tried out because he made a perfect Jack.
#5 – Hugh Laurie – House
The hit show House was one of the most popular shows to ever air on Fox. The show starred Hugh Laurie as a cynical doctor who was pretty much a dick but also a genius and his brain made him quite valuable in the medical field, which is why people put up with him. The character was quite unique and one has to imagine that after this audition tape the people in charge of casting the role stopped their search because he nails it.
#4 – Jim Carrey – Man On The Moon
Jim Carrey is one of the most iconic comedians of the past few generations so when he attempted to make the transition to more serious roles it’s no wonder why people thought he was a little insane. It was tough at first to picture Jim Carrey taking the lead in a drama film but playing comedy icon Andy Kaufman made it much easier for him to make the transition. Andy Kaufman is a pretty hard part to play but Jim Carrey pulls it off with ease.
#3 – Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
The creator of Breaking Bad Vince Gilligan originally planned to kill Jesse Pinkman in the first season and it’s a good thing he didn’t. The character of Jesse Pinkman made Breaking Bad one of the best shows of all time and no one could have brought the character to life the way Aaron Paul did. Here in this audition tape Aaron reads a pretty important scene from the first episode and his audition is pretty damn close to the final cut. All things considered, this is one of those audition tapes that’s just magical…bitch.
#2 – Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man
Let’s just start this one by saying Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man. The day when Robert Downey Jr. steps down from playing Tony Stark is coming and it’s coming sooner than later. Robert is 48 years old and he’s been saying that he can’t keep up with the demands of playing Iron Man for much longer and it will be a sad day when he’s replaced. Still, we can’t help but remember fondly when we all first saw him step into the iconic role on the big screen and this is the audition tape that started it all.
#1 – Harrison Ford/Mark Hamill – Star Wars
This is one of those iconic audition tapes that’s a two for one deal. Not only do you get Harrison Ford reading for Han Solo but you also get Mark Hamill reading for Luke Skywalker. Of course both of the actors went on to land these roles and help make Star Wars one of the most successful film franchises of all time. Even without the costumes and setting of a galaxy far far away these two manage to make these characters come to life.