Every actor starts from humble beginnings. Well, except for the ones who have rich and famous families to begin with. But most of them had to actually audition for the roles that made them famous. And those auditions are usually awkward. How could they not be? You’re standing in under fluorescent lighting while delivering lines — sometimes really emotional ones — to somebody off-camera who usually has zero acting ability.
While watching these audition tapes is probably a nightmare for the actors in them — so thanks for doing that to Rachel McAdams, Matt Lauer — they can be super fun for us to watch as normal people. Everyone’s so young and fresh-faced with such unfortunate hairstyles. I know you want to see the hairstyles, so without further ado, I give you twelve awkward audition tapes from early in your favorite (debatable) actors’ careers, for the roles they ended up getting that made them famous.
1. Megan Fox for Transformers
If you thought Megan Fox was dead-behind-the-eyes in the actual movie, wait until you watch her audition. I think at one point she comes this close to falling asleep. Also, was “I have a weakness for hot guys” a real line from the movie? Thank goodness I never saw it.
2. Rachel McAdams for The Notebook
Ah yes, the audition Matt Lauer made Rachel watch on live television. I don’t know which is more awkward, the fact that Rachel still has her handbag over one shoulder, or how much she’s touching her hair. Nah, it’s neither of those things. It’s the fact that her ex Ryan Gosling is reading lines off screen.
3. Emma Stone for Easy A
Is there anything Emma Stone does that doesn’t charm my pants off? Seriously, I’m sitting here pantsless right now. Even though this audition seems a little rushed and rehearsed, I can’t help but smile at her. Be my best friend, please.
4. Gerard Butler for Dracula 2000
Guys. GUYS. This may be the greatest video I’ve ever watched in my life. First of all, we have to talk about the hair. Is that a wig? Is that actually growing out of his head? Did he lose his brush? Did he grow it out like that for the specific purpose of auditioning for a vampire? And then of course there’s the acting. Oh, the ACTING. I won’t spoil it for you. Go forth and enjoy.
5. Lindsay Lohan for The Parent Trap