Jake Gyllenhaal Read For "The Lord of the Rings" & You Won't Believe Peter Jackson's Reaction

March 22, 2016

From 2001's "Donnie Darko" to 2015's "Southpaw" and everything in between, Jake Gyllenhaal has proved time and time again that he is one of the most talented actors working in Hollywood. As a result, he's had the chance to audition for some really huge blockbusters during the course of his career. Yet just having a well-known name and a gorgeous smile won't always get you the role, and while he has landed some amazing parts, he apparently has bombed a number of equally amazing opportunities.


Gyllenhaal appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" last night when the topic of bad auditions came up. The "Nightcrawler" actor immediately cackled and admitted that there were quite a few, yet it was the time he auditioned for Frodo Baggins in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that reigns supreme as his worst audition ever. During this experience, Gyllenhaal said he wasn't aware he needed an accent (as all characters in the iconic franchise have one), and read the lines straight — which director Peter Jackson didn't agree to.


"He [Peter Jackson] turned to me and he's like 'You are the worst actor that I have ever, ever seen. Did anyone ever tell you that you're suppose to have an accent?' And I was like 'no." And he was like "Well, fire your agents."


That's a pretty harsh reaction to just reading lines without an accent, but it appears Gyllenhaal was completely lost during the whole audition. He also explained that there was a part with no lines where he was simply instructed to open a box and pull a ring out. Apparently, he stumbled just as much with his miming abilities, as he claimed Jackson simply covered his face with his hands and shook his head. Ouch. 



We can't completely blame Gyllenhaal, though, as it appears he was hopped up on adrenaline from the excitement of his agents. Before "The Lord of the Rings" director even got a chance to lament over his acting skills, Gyllenhaal explained he was on a conference call with his agents who were practically screaming with excitement over just getting him the audition. They knew the film had huge potential to be a hit, in addition to ideally being a multi-film deal if he got the part. At the time, Gyllenhall was still early in his career and nabbing such a big role could have really boosted his viability in Hollywood. 


However, this isn't the only movie Gyllenhaal mentioned when chuckling at the memories of bad casting calls. He also talked about the time he went in to read for the "classic" film "Dude, Where's My Car?" This time, he was a bit more prepared with what he considered the perfect angle for the dimwitted characters, and he thought he had the part in the bag. It seems there were some creative differences though, as that audition also didn't go quite as plan.


Check out the full interview above. Could you imagine Jake Gyllenhaal as Frodo Baggins? Are you upset or glad he bombed this audition?


See Also: These Actors All Got The Part (But Not The One They Wanted!)