15 Wild, Weird, And Gross Things Actors Were Asked To Do In Auditions

Have you ever been in a job interview where they asked you a question that was a little off-color? In auditions, actors are probably used to weird questions or requests, like "pretend you're in space." Sometimes, however, the casting directors and other members of production push the envelope too far and end up crossing the line.

Here are 15 wild, weird, and gross things actors were asked to do in auditions:

1.In 2024, Anne Hathaway told V Magazine, "Back in the 2000s — and this did happen to me — it was considered normal to ask an actor to make out with other actors to test for chemistry, which is actually the worst way to do it. I was told, 'We have ten guys coming today, and you're cast. Aren't you excited to make out with all of them?' And I thought, 'Is there something wrong with me?' because I wasn't excited. I thought it sounded gross."

Anne Hathaway in a sleeveless dress posing for the camera at an event
Rick Kern / WireImage / Via Getty

She continued, "And I was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled 'difficult,' so I just pretended I was excited and got on with it. It wasn't a power play; no one was trying to be awful or hurt me. It was just a very different time, and now we know better."

2.At Elle's Women in Hollywood event in 2017, Jennifer Lawrence said, "When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks. During this time, a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet."

Jennifer Lawrence wearing a floral dress on the red carpet
Leon Bennett / The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

She said that she told another producer she felt these comments about her weight were inappropriate, but he dismissed her.

She said, "He said he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was 'perfectly fuckable.'...I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt I had to for my career."

3.In 2016, Thandiwe Newton told W Magazine that, early in her career, "A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my tits and think about the guy making love to me in the scene. I thought, 'Ok, this is a little weird,' but there was a female casting director in the room, and I'd done weird stuff before, so I did it."

Thandiwe poses in a sheer dress with lace details at a celebrity event
Francois G. Durand / Getty Images

She said that, at a film festival several years down the road, a drunk producer told her, "Oh, Thandie, I've seen you recently!"

She said, "And he lurched away, looking really shocked that he'd said that."

Her husband, Ol Parker, spoke to the producer to find out what was going on.

"It turns out that the director was showing that audition tape to his friends after poker games at his house. And they would all get off on it," Thandiwe said.

4.In 2020, Kumail Nanjiani told Variety's "#REPRESENT: Success Stories," "I have a Pakistani accent, but [early in my career] they would be like, 'Could you make it funnier? Lean in a little bit.' And at some point, I decided I just wasn't going to do that. There are certain parts that require a thicker Pakistani or Indian accent, and that's totally fine, but I just didn't want the comedy to just be coming from someone exaggerating their accent. So there was a really, really big movie, actually, that I auditioned for, and I was a taxi driver, and the director was like, 'Hey, could you play up the accent a little bit?' And I was like, 'I'm sorry, I won't.'"

Kumail in tuxedo with bow tie at event
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

"And then the guy felt really bad. And I was like, 'No, it's fine. I'm just not going to do it. If that's what you want, I'm not your guy.' And then that movie was hugely successful. Still, I don't regret it," he said.

5.During the 2015 EW Fest, Aziz Ansari said, "I once was asked to audition for Transformers with Michael Bay. And it was a role for a call center guy who does an accent. And I was like, 'No, I'm not doing it.' Ravi [Patel] was like, 'I'll do it!' And Ravi did it, and he probably made decent money being the call center guy."

Aziz in a tuxedo with bow tie standing on a red carpet
Jc Olivera / FilmMagic / Via Getty

"I understand. You have to work, and some people don't think it's a problem. You do it," he said.

6.In 2023, Stephanie Hsu told the New York Times, "I remember in 2012, I went into a commercial audition, and they were like, 'OK, could you do it again, but with a more Asian accent?' And I said, 'I'm so sorry, but this role is not for me. I don't do that, and I'm not interested in this part.'"

Stephanie in an oversized blouse and trousers posing at an event with a promotional background
Gilbert Flores / Variety via Getty Images

She continued, "I walked out, and I was fuming. I sat next to this actor and asked him, 'Did they ask you to do an accent?' He was Asian and spoke perfect English, and he was like, 'Well, yeah.' And I'm like, 'Did you do it?' And he said, 'I have no other choice.' I understand that people want to make it and they only see one path and have to bend and fold to have a life in the arts, but I always thought if that's how it's going to go for me, then I'm going to work at a bar or in a wood shop. I have to make things that matter to me. Life is too short to completely dehumanize yourself."

7.During a 2015 roundtable for the Hollywood Reporter, Gina Rodriguez said, "I was up for a role and auditioned in character. They're like, 'We love her. But can she come back in with a tight black dress?'"

Gina Rodriguez in a dress with cut-out details at a Netflix event
Leon Bennett / WireImage / Via Getty

She continued, "I said, 'That doesn't make any sense for the character.' They were like, 'We need to know if you're pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine.'"

8.During the same roundtable, Tracee Ellis Ross told THR, "I tested once for a network show to play a lawyer. A Harvard-educated motherfuckin' lawyer, OK? I wore a skirt, suit, and heels. Seemed appropriate. Then, there were many discussions about my hair. They'd printed up all these pictures of me from 15 fuckin' years ago and had me in and out of the bathroom trying on clothes. They finally pick a skirt — the shortest I brought. Then got a T-shirt from one of the people in the office. The woman says, 'Hmmm, your boobs.' I was like, 'I didn't bring a bra for this T-shirt.' She screams down the hall, 'Who wears a 34B?' I put on someone else's bra, a size too small, and somehow auditioned."

Tracee in satin jacket posing against an emblem-decorated backdrop
Gilbert Flores / WWD via Getty Images

"I remember wondering, 'What did I just allow myself to do?' The other actress [who auditioned] was dressed like she was going to a club and got the role. It was one of those moments where you're so confused and humiliated. But that's part of the biz," she said.

9.During a 2017 Comedy Actress Roundtable, Emmy Rossum told the Hollywood Reporter, "Even as recently as a year ago, my agent called me and was like, 'I'm so embarrassed to make this call, but there's a big movie and they're going to offer it to you. They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There's no audition. That's all you have to do.'"

Emmy Rossum in a suit jacket over a v-neck dress with a pearl necklace, smiling
Cindy Ord / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She continued, "He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question. And I actually had this moment like, 'Well, how good is the part?' For a second, I was like, 'Would I do it? Send me the script. Maybe the character is in a bikini in the movie.' Not in a bikini in the movie. Not naked in the movie. 'We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is.' Are you fucking kidding me? Last time I checked, I'm not a fucking model."

10.In 2020, Lana Condor told Teen Vogue that someone who worked in casting once advised her to "be more like Hello Kitty." Lana said, "What the fuck does that mean? That's so insanely ignorant and racist."

Lana in elegant gown holding a clutch, posing solo at an event
Variety / Variety via Getty Images

She later told Variety, "I remember when she said that, I just was like, 'I don't know what you mean.' I straight up — you kind of have to call that out. Also, Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth. [So as] a woman, I'm like, 'One, you want me to be more like Hello Kitty, but she doesn't have a voice.' That's so insulting to me."

11.In 2021, Steven Yeun told Variety's Awards Circuit Podcast, "The first audition I had in Chicago was called Awesome '80s Prom, which was an immersive improvised show, where you have this John Hughes spectrum of characters like Ferris Bueller. Then you have your 'Long Duk Dongs,' and I auditioned with Ferris Bueller's opening monologue. And they said, 'That was good. Can you do that all again in an Asian accent?' And I'll be honest with you. I knew that I didn't want to do that. The system had no clue that's not what I wanted. We were just in a different time."

Steven in a light with collar posing at an event
Gregg Deguire / WWD via Getty Images

He continued, "And so I remember I did a shitty accent and phoned it, and they still wanted me anyway because that’s how far and few between Asian actors were. So they call, and they said, 'We’d like to hire you.' And I said, 'No.' And they got really mad. And I was like, 'Oh, that’s not a good first step in this business. I pissed somebody off.'"

12.During the 2017 ATX Television Festival, Alison Brie said, "Early in my career, I auditioned for three lines on an episode of Entourage that I had to go on in a bikini! Or like shorts and the tiniest shorts. And they were like, 'Okay, can you take your top off now?'"

Alison in a tweed jacket and dark pants posing for the camera
Robin L Marshall / Getty Images

On Twitter, she later clarified, "I had a bikini top on UNDER my top. They didn't ask me to get totally topless. Sorry to disappoint you!"

13.On a 2023 episode of High Low with EmRata, Bella Thorne said, "I had a director give me feedback once, and I was 10. The casting director calls my agent and the agent calls my mom, and they're like, 'So, she's not moving forward because the director felt like she was flirting with him, and it made him really uncomfortable.' ... What the fuck are you talking about, man? I don't give a fuck what the fuck [10-year-old Bella] said...She is 10 years old. Why would you ever think that?"

Bella in a turtleneck and coat with a Gucci belt, multiple rings, posing against a branded backdrop
Kelly Balch / Getty Images for ABA

She continued, "Also, you're in a director session. You can't really say or do anything. You do the scene, you say hello, and you walk out. There is no time to go sit on your lap or make you uncomfortable. What the fuck are you talking about?"

14.In a 2016 editorial for NBC News, Justin Chon said that he'd recently gone to an audition for a role he "felt was borderline racist." Outside he spoke to a few other auditionees he recognized. He wrote, "I asked them how the audition went, and one immediately told me disgustedly, 'They want an Asian accent.' I immediately said, 'What the fuck?'"

Justin in tie-dye sweatshirt and jeans sitting on a cube, posing with a serious expression
Corey Nickols / Getty Images for IMDb

He continued, "The accent wasn't in the email, and there wasn't a clear reason why the role needed one other than the fact that someone thought it would be funny. And it probably would get more laughs. But is that a good reason to make an actor put on an accent? Just because people would laugh?"

He decided to walk out of the audition.

15.And finally, for his 2000s James Bond screen test, Henry Cavill was required to walk out of a bathroom in a towel while doing a scene. In 2019, he told Men's Health, "I remember the director, Martin Campbell, saying, 'Looking a little chubby there, Henry.'"

Henry Cavill in a tailored suit poses with hand in pocket at premiere
Cindy Ord / WireImage / Via Getty

Henry took the criticism to heart, thinking the problem lay with him rather than the person commenting on his body.

He said, "I didn't know how to train or diet. And I'm glad Martin said something because I respond well to truth. It helps me get better."

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.