Looking at the incredible success of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, it can be hard, if not impossible, to imagine them before they were famous and had casting directors falling at their perfectly pedicured feet. Of course, there are some celebrities who were simply born into fame, but there are plenty more who weren’t fortunate enough to have a last name guaranteed to get their foot in the door (I’m looking at you, Jaden Smith). When nepotism isn’t an option, other aspiring actors have to resort to doing it the old fashioned way: taking expensive acting lessons, going to as many auditions as possible and holding your head high through hundreds of “nos” as you hold out for that one “yes.” Oh, and also by telling a pack of lies to weasel your way into a coveted role. Fortunately for these Hollywood liars, the only thing that caught on fire were their careers.
Luckily for all his admires, People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” didn’t experience excessive nose growth when he was caught in this embarrassing lie. Early in his career, Clooney was desperate to get a Screen Actors Guild card, which was required to pursue his Hollywood dreams. During one fateful audition, Clooney tried to beef up his resume by telling a lie about having a role in a film called Cat People. Unfortunately, Clooney hadn’t done his homework and didn’t realize the casting director he was auditioning for was the same director who had cast for Cat People. Oopsies! Needless to say, she immediately caught Clooney in the lie and ended up passing him for the role. But take heart, there’s a happy ending! Who knows why, but something the casting director saw in Clooney made her decide to help the future Academy-Award winning actor get into the union through a different movie, and the rest is history!
There’s a reason why Morgan Freeman has one of the most recognized voices in Hollywood. Over the years, Freeman has become a celebrity in the voiceover industry by narrating dozens of feature films, short films, documentaries, commercials and more. Earlier this year, the star even delighted fans of Jimmy Kimmel Live! by narrating pedestrians on a street in an improv segment that has racked up millions of views on YouTube. Though the Academy-Award winner has also proven his worth as an actor, that hasn’t stopped countless castings for his voiceover work alone. Such was the case for the 2013 Action/Mystery flick, Oblivion. Casting directors hired Freeman to narrate their film only, but this time he wasn’t content with just being behind a microphone. In order to get some screen time, the sneaky actor told director Joseph Kosinski that he was experiencing throat issues and would be restricted in his narrative capabilities. Rather than replace Freeman, Kosinski gave him an onscreen role instead, which went on to become a major part of the hit film.
When it comes to the Hemsworth brothers, it isn’t hard to imagine them excelling in any and every sport they touch. I mean c’mon, have you seen them? Both have undeniably strong and athletic builds, but apparently there is at least one sport that Liam Hemsworth never quite mastered. I may not be an A-list celeb, but one thing he and I do have in common is that we both suck at volleyball. Unfortunately for Hemsworth, the producers of The Last Song made it clear that they were looking to cast someone who knew how to play the sport well. In order to get the role, Hemsworth told a lie about having been a volleyball superstar. Although he won the part, the fibber couldn’t hide his lie for much longer once the day came around to film the volleyball scene. In an interview, Hemsworth said everyone on set figured out pretty quickly that he hadn’t been “totally honest” about his skill with a volleyball. I guess even the Hemsworth brothers can’t be perfect at everything!
In researching for this list, the most common Hollywood lie I came across was knowing how to ride a horse. From Anne Hathaway to Daniel Craig, dozens of celebrities have told this bold-faced lie in the audition room. In fact, Daniel Craig has lied about his horseback riding skills so often—and landed so many of those roles—that he eventually became very good at it! Unfortunately for British actor Eddie Redmayne, telling this lie blew up in his face in a very dangerous way. While auditioning for a lead role in the miniseries, Elizabeth I, Redmayne intentionally misled director Tom Hooper into thinking he could ride a horse. Several weeks later, his lie came to light on set during a major scene that nearly became his last! Seated on top of a horse and too embarrassed to admit he couldn’t ride, Redmayne gave a gentle nudge with his spurs and nearly killed himself and the crew when the horse took off running. Needless to say, Redmayne was immediately sent off to pick up some real riding skills before shooting resumed. Surprisingly, Hooper decided to work with Redmayne again on the hit movie Les Misérables and even put his character on a horse, reportedly in a bid to get back at the actor for his prior horse-riding dishonesty.
Much like the other stars on our list, Robert Pattinson is now a household name, but that wasn’t always the case. When he was just starting out in the industry, Pattinson would tell royally big lies to help him land some roles. In order to give himself an edge over the competition, the charlatan claimed time and time again that he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, one of the most prestigious performance institutions. Pattinson opened up about his lies in an interview saying, “If you’ve got an English accent you can get away with it. I’d say I went to Oxford (University), too. I did it for years.” Apparently it worked and eventually the lie helped him land the role of Cedric Diggory in 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Not only would Pattinson also lie about his age during this time, he would even lie about being American when convenient! Of course, there was no longer a need for the tall tales after Pattinson was catapulted to Twilight fame, but something tells me he (and his bank account) have no regrets.