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These Actors Lied To Land Major TV And Movie Roles

Updated September 16, 2019 12.7k votes 3.1k voters 368.5k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most audacious lie told by an actor to get a part.

Who hasn't lied on a resume in order to get a job? Making it as an A-List actor or actress is a one-in-a-million chance, so this list of celebrities who lied to get parts shouldn't really surprise anyone. Leave your judgment at the door and check out these famous actors who lied to get movie roles.

Do you speak German? Ja. Are you a skilled horseback rider? Of course. How old are you? I’m exactly the age you need me to be to appear in this movie. Language skills can be learned, horseback riding can be taught, and age is just a number. Let’s face it, when young actors desperate for work arrive in Hollywood, lying about a skill set or their age is just a technicality. Unless, of course, that fib comes back to haunt them.

One famous actress on this list lied that she loved horses, when in fact she was not only terrified of them, but also allergic. Another actor said he had mad volleyball skills, but when it came time to serve and volley, he looked like a fool in front of the film’s cast and crew. Several actors have lied about being able to ride horses. Like, way more than you might expect. Read about those stories and other famous celebrities who lied to get ahead in Hollywood.

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  • Photo: MGM

    When thinking about all the actors who have played James Bond, most don't even recall George Lazenby as 007. The Australian model had no acting experience whatsoever when asked to audition for Bond by a casting agent he had dated. The first thing Lazenby did in his attempt to replace Sean Connery as Bond was get a complete makeover.

    "He went to Sean Connery’s barber, Kurt’s, then in the basement of the Dorchester. He asked for his hair to be cut like Bond. Kurt then told him who was Connery’s tailor, and Lazenby went to get a suit. At Anthony Sinclair, no bespoke suit could be readied in time, but there was one Connery had rejected. It fit Lazenby like a sartorial Excalibur."

    Then, Lazenby concocted some lies. When casting director Dyson Lovell took the actor to meet producer Harry Saltzman, Lazenby thought up a fake acting resume en route to the meeting. Later in the vetting process, Lazenby buckled under his lie, confessing to director Peter Hunt.

    "I’ve never acted a day in my life. I’ve modeled but never spoken in front of a camera.’ And he’s looking at me, ‘What? And you say you can’t act? You’ve fooled two of the most ruthless men I’ve ever met in my life. Stick to your story, and I’ll make you the next James Bond.’"

    Lazenby only played Bond in one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). He was offered a long term contract to appear in additional Bond movies but got some bad advice from a friend and refused the generous offer. Sean Connery came for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) before giving way to Roger Moore.

    • Films Acted In: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Gettysburg, The Kentucky Fried Movie, The Game of Death, Batman Beyond: The Movie
    • Age: 81
    • Birthplace: Goulburn, Australia
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  • Photo: Lionsgate

    Laurence Fishburne got his start acting at 11, when he played Josh Hall on daytime soap One Life to Live. He eventually left One Life to Live to play Tyrone Miller, AKA Mr. Clean, in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now when he was just 14. How could a 14-year-old boy be allowed to play a soldier in a notoriously grueling movie about the Vietnam War?

    He lied. Fishburne told Coppola he was 16. The actor was on set for the film from 1976-1978, living in the jungles of the Philippines, working alongside several of the most acclaimed actors in cinema, including Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper, Marlon Brando, and Robert Duvall. Fishburne credits Coppola for having a major influence on his craft: "As an actor, Coppola trained me. That was my training ground."

    • Films Acted In: The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel, The Matrix Reloaded, Boyz n the Hood
    • Age: 59
    • Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States of America
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  • Rachel McAdams really wanted to work with acclaimed director Terrence Malick. When considered for the part of Jane in To The Wonder (2012), she was asked whether she liked horses or had an issue working with them. McAdams lied, saying she loved horses. In truth, she's allergic to, and was terrified of, horses.

    McAdams controlled her allergies with antihistamines and overcome her fear of horses. She said during an interview with The Guardian, "My first day of the shoot I was in the middle of a corral with 50 horses who had never before been touched by humans. It's like when people ask if you can ride for a medieval film – you think you can just get away with it. And I did, somehow!"

    • Films Acted In: Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Crashers, Sherlock Holmes, Midnight in Paris
    • Age: 42
    • Birthplace: London, Canada
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  • Robert Pattinson is one of the most recognized movie stars in the world. Well before he was cast as Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies, the British actor had a difficult time finding work. After spending two years as a struggling actor in Los Angeles, he got desperate and lied about some important details.

    To boost his resume, Pattinson claimed to have attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Oxford University. He also pretended to be American when surrounded by too many other British actors, to make himself stand out from the crowd.

    Whether it was his fabricated back story or acting talent, Pattinson landed the role of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, and his career took off.

    He confessed his fib to the Daily Mirror after he was already famous:

    "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 RADA' if you've got an English accent you can get away with it. I'd say I went to Oxford, too. I did it for years. But it didn't work when loads of English people started moving to Los Angeles. So then I pretended to be American for a bit. When Twilight came out I still tried to pretend to be American but people thought I was insane, so I stopped."

    • Films Acted In: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Twilight, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    • Age: 35
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
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