It says something that, on an episode of The Graham Norton Show with Anna Kendrick, that Eddie “Ginger Satan” Redmayne was actually the highlight of the show (though, he did have an assist from Kendrick). In the clip, Redmayne explains that he somehow missed out on being in Harry Potter despite their being an entire family of gingers, and then describes his disastrous audition for Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, a role that subsequently went to Martin Freeman.
In fact, Redmayne offers a demonstration of his audition, and it is … cringeworthy. However, as Anna Kendrick notes, “You always hear these famous stories about the actors being brave and doing something kind of mad to get a part … but you never hear the stories about the actors who do something mad and they’re like, ‘What the fuck?’”
What the fuck, indeed.
On the same show, Liam Neeson also details his audition to be The Giant on The Princess Bride, a role that went to Andre the Giant. Rob Reiner, who directed the film, wasn’t very nice to Neeson.