Actors Who Landed Iconic Roles In Weird, Unique, And Interesting Ways

Interestingly enough, some actors get famous roles for unique reasons other than walking into an audition room and getting noticed by the director. Harrison Ford was actually working as a carpenter when he was spotted by George Lucas, landing himself the iconic role of Han Solo in Star Wars.

And that’s not even the strangest instance!

Ryan Gosling Wasn’t “Good Looking” So He Was Cast In The Notebook

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

It might sound silly, but the reason Ryan Gosling was cast as Noah in The Notebook was because the casting director thought he looked like the most ordinary person ever!

According to Gosling, director Nick Cassavetes told him, “You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.”

Tim Roth Drank His Way Through His Reservoir Dogs Audition

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Miramax Films
Miramax Films

Actor Tim Roth has gone on record saying he is horrible at auditions. Even so, Quentin Tarantino wanted him to read for the role of Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs. Roth refused.

That’s when Tarantino brought the actor to a local pub, got him drunk, read the script about ten times through, and Roth wound up getting the part!

John Roberts Was Found On YouTube For Bob’s Burgers

Vulture Festival - Milk Studios
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Vulture Festival
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

The animated series Bob’s Burgers has been on the air since 2011. The thing that some fans might not know is how John Roberts wound up voicing Linda Belcher.

He was actually found by series creator Loren Bouchard on YouTube. On his YouTube channel, Roberts would dress up as his mom and speak in her accent. It caught Bouchard’s eye, and he got that part.

Tom Hardy Showed Up At The Warrior Director’s House

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Lionsgate
Lionsgate

To get the role of Tom Conlon in Warrior, Tom Hardy did something not many people could get away with. Arriving in the United States from Britain, Hardy decided to go straight to the director Gavin O’Connor’s house even though his audition wasn’t until the following day.

It was midnight, O’Connor let him in, and not only did Hardy wind up staying at the house for five days, but he also got the part.

Friends’ James Michael Tyler knew Who To Work An Espresso Machine

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NBC
NBC

Considering he is such a fan-favorite character, it might be hard to imagine James Michael Tyler’s Gunther being nothing more than an extra. In fact, he wasn’t supposed to have so much screen time.

The only reason Typer wound up in the role of the barista was because he was the only extra who knew their way around an espresso machine.

Harrison Ford Was Spotted During A Carpentry Gig

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Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

While he was casting for Star Wars, George Lucas was hesitant to hire an actor who was in any of his previous projects, including Harrison Ford. To support his family, Ford went on to work as a carpenter.

It was at his job, working on a door for Francis Ford Coppola, that he re-met George Lucas. The rest, as they say, is history, and Harrison became Han Solo.

Rosario Dawson Was Found For Kids While On Her Front Step

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Shining Excalibur Films
Shining Excalibur Films

At the time, a 150year-old Rosario Dawson had no intention of starting an acting career. All she was going was sitting on the front steps of her house when the screenwriter for the 1995 film Kids.

The screenwriter thought Dawson would be perfect for the role of Ruby. So, Dawson auditioned, landed the role, and went on to have a successful career in Hollywood.

Rory McCann’s Sister Messed Up And He Was Cast In Game Of Thrones

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HBO
HBO

The Hound wouldn’t be as amazing as a character as he is without Rory McCann’s amazing skills. The thing is, when standing in line for the audition, he noticed his lines were wrong!

His sister accidentally printed out the wrong lines for her brother. According to McCann, he was so mad and used that rage during the audition. Clearly, it worked out.

Sylvester Stallone Cast Himself As The Title Character In Rocky

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

In one of the bigger power moves in Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone not only wrote Rocky, but he wouldn’t dare sell the script unless the studio agreed to star him as the title character.

While many studios were interested in the script that took Stallone only three and a half days to write, no one wanted to cast the no-name actor. So, Stallone waited and eventually became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, thanks to the film.

Jason Momoa Danced For His Game Of Thrones Audition

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HBO
HBO

In Game of Thrones, Jason Momoa portrayed the intense Dothraki chief, Khal Drogo. Knowing the part had minimal speaking, Momoa opted to do something a bit different for his audition.

He went in and performed the Haka, a type of ceremonial Māori dance. Momoa’s intensity impressed the production team, and he landed the role!

David Boreanaz Was Walking a Dog When He Was Called To Audition For Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

When Marti Noxon was writing the role of Angel for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she knew she needed someone ridiculously good-looking to play the part. It just so happened that one day, David Boreanaz walked his dog past her.

Boreanaz was called in for an audition and wound up getting the role.

Johnny Depp Was Cast In Nightmare On Elm Street Because He “Looked Beautiful”

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New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Johnny Depp is a good-looking actor, and it was his younger self’s beauty that landed him a role in Nightmare on Elm Street. Ironically, director Wes Craven wasn’t overly impressed with Depp’s audition. The actor was overly nervous.

When the director’s daughter saw Depp’s headshot, though, she convinced her father to cast him. The movie marked his film debut.

Wayne Knight Didn’t Have To Audition For Jurassic Park

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Universal Studios
Universal Studios

When he was casting for Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg knew who he wanted to play, Dennis Nedry. After seeing Wayne Knight look overly nervous watching Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, Spielberg knew he’d be able to recreate the look, only swapping the actress for a dinosaur.

Knight didn’t even have to audition.

Mel Gibson Went In As An Extra And Landed The Lead In Mad Max

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Roadshow Film
Roadshow Film

When Mel Gibson showed up at the Mad Max audition, it was actually for a friend. In fact, he was bruised and not in too great of shape, having been in a bar fight the night before.

Apparently his appearance was what director George Miller was looking for. He told Gibson to come back and audition for minor roles. He wound up landing the lead.

Daniel Radcliffe Ran Into The Producer Of Harry Potter

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

After appearing in David Copperfield, Daniel Radcliffe wanted to stop acting. That was sad news for director Chris Columbus, who wanted Radcliffe to star in the title role of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

Luckily, one evening, Columbus ran into Radcliffe and his father and persuaded the young actor to audition. He wound up playing the role of Harry Potter for ten years.

Sigourney Weaver Became Ripley Due To A Random Idea

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Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

When the movie Alien was first proposed, the role of Ripley was actually a man. The gender changed when 20th Century Fox president Alan Ladd came up with an idea, making Ripley a female.

Ridley Scott loved the idea, and a random person in the room mentioned Sigourney Weaver. She auditioned and got the role that jumpstarted her career.

Harvey Stephens Kicked The Omen Director

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20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

When Harvey Stephens auditioned for the role of Damien in The Omen, he was very young. Wanting to switch up the auditioning process, director Richard Donner decided to ask the child actors to attack him, as the character does in the movie.

Well, Stephens took this literally. He went at the director, scratching his face and kicking him. He got the part!

Charlize Theron’s Very Public Outburst Caught The Attention Of A Talent Manager

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Beeld/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Beeld/Gallo Images/Getty Images

When Charlize Theron was 19-years-old, she got into a pretty public spat with a bank teller who wouldn’t cash her check. Luckily for Theron, talent manager John Crosby happened to be in the bank.

Impressed by her rage-fueled enthusiasm, Crosby invited Theron to audition for Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. She wound up getting the role of Eli’s follower. Even though she’s uncredited, it led her to have a working relationship with Crosby.

A Black Eye Landed Kit Harington His Game Of Thrones Role

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HBO
HBO

The night before his Game of Thrones audition, Kit Harington apparently got into a bit of a fight at McDonald’s. Defending his date, Harrington wound up getting punched in the eye, resulting in a nice bit of bruising.

According to Harington, he believes the black eye helped him land the role of Jon Snow because it made him look tougher.

Samuel L. Jackson Used A Lot Of Rage For Pulp Fiction

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Miramax Films
Miramax Films

When auditioning for the role of Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson was in close running with another actor for the part. Jackson wound up getting it because of one instance that left him fuming.

While auditioning, he was mistaken for Lawrence Fishburne! Jackson was so mad that he used his rage during the Pulp Fiction audition, eating a burger while doing so. It worked!

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