Blame it on Sam Jackson; if he hadn’t begged George Lucas during a TV interview for a part in The Phantom Menace, and then scoring one, maybe this weird modern phenomenon of actors openly campaigning for roles wouldn’t exist.
It’s only increased since then, though, with lots of actors now casually mentioning how much they’d love to play a certain comic book character or work on a hot director’s next movie. Some performers take a more aggressive approach too, where they’ll start campaigning on social media to rally their fans, releasing photoshopped images of themselves in character or even releasing audition footage online; the only issue with this approach is that it rarely works.
For every success story – like Paul Giamatti landing The Rhino or Zachary Quinto being picked for Spock – most of these campaigns tend to crash and burn. So not only do they have to face the disappointment of not landing the part, they also have the embarrassment of failing in the most public way imaginable.
8. Tyrese Gibson - Django Unchained
Tyrese has built a steady career for himself playing supporting roles in the Fast & Furious and Transformers movies, but he’s never been able to break out as a leading man in his own right. So when the opportunity came up to play the lead in Django Unchained he gave it his best shot, passionately filming an audition tape that would show people - and especially Quentin Tarantino - new sides to Tyrese.
That was the thinking behind it anyway, but sadly the tape clearly showed he wasn’t the right guy. His attempt at a period outfit makes it look like he’s heading out to a club, and his cowboy accent is just appalling. He tries his best to be intense and threatening, but he just comes across mildly annoyed; and the less side of the little montage of sadness at the end, the better.
The tape ends with a quote - from Tyrese - about why it’s important for an actor to test their limits and people's preconceptions, and while that’s absolutely true, the tape was proof that sometimes preconceptions can be kind of right too.