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25 Rare Celebrity Audition Tapes for Famous Roles

Updated December 1, 2020 932.9k views25 items

This is a list of rare celebrity audition tapes for famous roles. Of the stars featured on this list, most launched their Hollywood careers by trying out for a film or television show. Before these celebs became famous for playing such iconic characters of the silver screen, they each went through a lengthy audition process, sometimes more than once, before landing their breakthrough roles. The videos included in the list have rarely been seen until now, and all of them will definitely show you how far these celebrities have come.

The unseen auditions featured on this completely votable list have helped the following actors and actresses fulfill their dreams of big screen stardom. Included in the list are the auditions and screen tests for some of the most well-known celebs who have played blockbuster movie superheroes such as Hugh Jackman in X-Men and Wolverine, and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. There are also clips of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino from when they were young actors starting out their legendary film careers. Just like these veteran stars, A-list comedians like Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, and Russell Brand all got their start from auditioning for famous roles.

You might also recognize some of the most popular Young Hollywood celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, who broke out as the title character on Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana," or Selena Gomez and her onscreen tryouts for a starring role on "Wizards of Waverly Place." Also included are the auditions for the casts of top-rated TV series "Glee" and "Gossip Girl." Not everyone in the list landed the part they auditioned for in the videos below, such as Jessica Alba losing out to Anne Hathaway as Agent 99 in Get Smart or Scarlett Johansson getting passed over Kirsten Dunst in Jumanji. Make sure to vote up for your favorite unseen audition videos below and see how others voted on this list. Also, be sure to check out Ranker's other lists of the stars before they were famous, such as celebrity yearbook photos and prom photos of the stars.
  • Video: YouTube
    Jason Momoa landed the role of Khal Drogo, one of Game of Thrones's most memorable characters by performing the haka, a traditional dance associated with New Zealand’s Maori people, during his audition.
    • Age: 36
    • Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
    • Gender: Male

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  • Video: YouTube
    Before he was winning Oscars and Golden Globes for Dallas Buyers' Club, McConaughey was a 23-year-old up and comer vying for the role of again stoner David Wooderson in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused. He landed the part after nailing Wooderson's signature line about high school girls ("I get older, they stay the same age") in his audition tape.
    • Age: 50
    • Birthplace: Uvalde, Texas, United States of America
    • Gender: Male

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  • Video: YouTube
    • Age: 23
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
    • Gender: Female

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  • Video: YouTube
    • Age: 41
    • Birthplace: London, Canada
    • Gender: Female

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