Despite acting credits ranging from “Severance” to “True Romance” to “Boyhood” and “Medium,” actor Patricia Arquette said she’s “a notoriously bad auditioner,” which led her to lose out on the 1996 comedy “Jerry Maguire.”
“Everyone was saying, ‘Oh, this is just a formality, you’re gonna read with Tom Cruise for ‘Jerry Maguire,’ but this is your part, you got it,’ and I blew it,” the actor told Variety‘s senior culture and events editor Marc Malkin at the SAG Awards red carpet on Sunday.
Renée Zellweger ended up booking the role of Dorothy Boyd in the film, to which Arquette added, “I actually think she was better for it, and she was great.”
The film depicts a sports agent getting fired for expressing his moral epiphany and subsequently using his new philosophy with his one remaining client as an independent agent. The film received several awards and was Oscar-nominated for best picture, with Zellweger receiving a SAG nod for female actor in a supporting role.
“Jerry Maguire” is not the only major film Arquette missed out on. “I just heard on this podcast the other day our friend sent us that the casting director, that Brad Pitt and I were her choice, we were the first ones who came in to read for ‘The Doors,’ and she was like, ‘Why are we having any more auditions? They were perfect,’” Arquette said. Neither Arquette nor Pitt ended up booking “The Doors,” which starred Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan in 1991. Arquette said she didn’t know the impression she made on the casting director until hearing the podcast.
Arquette said the audition process is different from actually acting on screen. “I’m a terrible auditioner cause I don’t feel like that’s finished work…I wanna build layers with the character and with that other person and pivot and change according to how my character feels about them from take to take.”
The casting process has also changed, as actors film themselves at home instead of meeting face-to-face with the casting director, she said. “Actors don’t even get to go in the room with the casting director, they don’t get any direction. They’re filming themselves at home, editing it, doing it 40 times, picking their favorite and sending it in.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know,” Arquette said. “As an actor, you gotta go in and do your best, take a chance, have fun and you gotta let it go, because it’s really out of your hands.”
See the full interview with Arquette above.
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