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    16 Times Actors Lied To Get Roles They Desperately Wanted

    FYI: If an actor tells you they know how to ride a horse, they're lying.

    1. Phoebe Dynevor fibbed about how much horseback riding experience she had during her audition for Bridgerton, though by the time she'd done a few lessons, she was way more into it than she expected.

    The Duke and Daphne arm-in-arm at the ball

    Dynevor told Glamour, "And I've always said — I don't know why — that I didn't like horses and was scared of them. But in the audition when they asked me, 'Have you ridden a horse before?' I was like, 'Yeah, I'm amazing. I've ridden so many horses. I'd be perfect for this role!'"

    Daphne curtsies during her presentation to the queen

    She went on, "I actually loved horseback riding by the end of it and would love to get back on a horse as soon as possible, so that was fun. I felt very much ready to enter the marriage market by the time I finished with everything."

    Daphne and the Duke dancing at a ball

    2. When he had difficult finding work following his performances in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a BBC drama called The Haunted Airman, Robert Pattinson lied about his educational background.

    Pattinson on the red carpet

    In a 2011 interview with Mirror, Pattinson said, "I’d been unemployed for ages, and when I came to Los Angeles all the casting directors would ask what I’d been doing for the past few years. I’d say, ‘Oh, I was at RADA.' If you’ve got an English accent you can get away with it."

    Pattinson as Diggory, holding his wand up

    RADA is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which came in at #12 on the Hollywood Reporter's ranking of the world's best theater schools. Pattinson would also tell casting agents that he went to Oxford.

    Robert Pattinson posing on a rooftop

    Pattinson went on, "But it didn’t work when loads of English people started moving to Los Angeles. So then I pretended to be American for a bit. When Twilight came out, I still tried to pretend to be American but people thought I was insane, so I stopped."

    3. At her Brokeback Mountain audition, Anne Hathaway told director Ang Lee that she definitely knew how to ride a horse.

    Hathaway on the red carpet

    Except, uh, she didn't.

    Anne Hathaway in a rodeo scene

    Hathaway told Out, "My parents have given me a lot of gifts in my life, and one of them is: If you’re ever asked if you can do anything, say yes. You can learn anything in two weeks if you’re motivated enough. So I’d never been on a horse, and I replied, 'Oh yeah, I’m a really good rider.' So I knew I had to learn to ride, and I got really, really, really good."

    Hathaway at the Oscars

    Despite the fact that Hathaway was able to learn horseback riding for the shoot, she nevertheless had an embarrassing moment on set when she wasn't informed that her horse was a "verbal command horse." So the horse wouldn't follow her directions, and Hathaway had no idea why.

    Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain, in a flannel shirt

    Hathaway said, "And I went to a rehearsal in front of 300 extras, all of whom work in rodeos, and the horse wouldn’t do a damn thing I wanted it to. And at the end it threw me — in front of everyone."

    Hathaway at the rodeo

    4. In a 2016 interview with, Chris Hemsworth said he "normally" lies about his height to win roles for which he wouldn't otherwise be a natural physical fit.

    Chris Hemsworth on the Build red carpet

    (Hemsworth is 6'3", unless he's in the audition room, in which case he's...shorter than that.)

    Chris Hemsworth shirtless in the rain

    Hemsworth said, "There are certainly things I’ve wanted to go up for which I’ve been totally wrong for, physically."

    Chris Hemsworth in the men in black office

    However, the casting call for Thor gave a height minimum of 6'1", which Hemsworth said was a first.

    Hemsworth in his Thor outfit

    5. Lisanne Falk told casting directors that she was 19 when she auditioned for the role of Heather McNamara in Heathers. She was actually 23.

    Lisanne Falk in Heathers

    Falk told Fox News, "And when I read the script, I just knew I had to do this. I didn’t want to lose my opportunity. So I thought, 'I’m just going to go in and add a ‘teen’ at the end of my age so it’s not even an issue. So that they wouldn’t think twice about hiring me.' And basically it worked."

    Falk and Winona Ryder in a scene in a field, covered in muck

    The jig was up when Falk casually spoke about living with her boyfriend on set, and people asked her if her mother approved of the arrangement. But no one was that mad when they found out.

    Veronica and the Heathers

    6. Laurence Fishburne said he was 16 when he auditioned for the role of Tyrone Miller, AKA Mr. Clean, in Apocalypse Now. He was only 14 at the time.

    During a CBC interview, Fishburne said, "I think they knew. I don't think I was fooling anybody."

    Fishburne as Mr. Clean on a river in Apocalypse Now

    Fishburne recalled that during his interview with director Francis Ford Coppola, Coppola abruptly asked a secretary if she believed Fishburne could pass for 18.

    Fishburne in Apocalypse Now

    Luckily for Fishburne, she said she did.

    Laurence Fishburne wearing a flak helmet in Apocalypse Now

    7. In a 2015 Vanity Fair video, Eddie Redmayne (along with other actors) was asked about the hardest lesson he's ever had to learn in Hollywood. His response? "Not lying in auditions." A fib Redmayne told about his horse-riding abilities while trying out for the TV show Elizabeth I led to an onset moment he described as "slightly horrific."

    Eddie Redmayne on the red carpet

    By the time he was on a "giant stallion," Redmayne was wondering when it was time to come clean and tell everyone that the most experience he had on horseback was being "once led around a paddock."

    Eddie Redmayne on horseback next to Sean bean

    Apparently, this is what Redmayne looked like while riding that first day, on top of a horse that was going "100 miles an hour."

    Redmayne blocking his eyes

    He was subsequently sent to "horse camp" to shape up.

    Redmayne on the red carpet

    8. Laura Fraser talked up her German language skills while auditioning for the role of Lydia Rodarte Qualye on Breaking Bad, despite the fact that she'd only learned the basics as a middle school student.

    Lydia pouring Stevia into her coffee

    Fraser told Rolling Stone, "I was like, 'Absolutely, yeah...I speak some German.' I’ve done it in school, when I was 12, like I learned 'Ich heise Laura.' Basic German. So I thought, 'Oh no, what’s coming?'"

    Lydia in a basement

    ('Ich heise Laura' means "My name is Laura." I think. I took French in school, so this translation is courtesy of Google Translate.)

    Lydia in Breaking Bad, in businesswear

    Fraser went on, "It was corporate-speak in German. It was a nightmare. It took me days to learn that little paragraph. Now I bore my family with it. It’s my party trick."

    Laura on the red carpet for the show

    9. Ceyair Wright told the casting director of Space Jam: A New Legacy, Kim Coleman, that he had experience as a basketball player, when in fact, basketball was one of the few sports Wright didn't play.

    Ceyair Wright at the premiere for the movie

    Wright told People, "And I was like, 'Oh yeah, I played basketball. I played varsity in my high school,' which was not true, but that's what I said."

    Ceyair Wright between two mascots in Looney Toons costumes

    After he was cast as Darius James, LeBron James' eldest son, Wright got up to speed by training with a basketball coach.

    Wright on the red carpet

    10. Paul Mescal's agent told a white lie about the status of his driver's license (in reality, it was nonexistent) on Mescal's behalf while he was auditioning for Normal People.

    Connell and Marianne staring at one another

    Mescal told Entertainment Weekly, "My agent was like, 'We are not losing this job over you not being able to drive so I’ll tell production that you can and in the meantime, you go off and rattle through as many lessons as you can.'"

    Connell on the rugby pitch

    Connell (Mescal's character) spends plenty of time behind the wheel, so evidently the lessons went well.

    Connell driving a friend and laughing

    11. Mila Kunis was 14 when she auditioned for That '70s Show. A first-year in high school was a lil' younger than what the casting directors were looking for, so Kunis stretched the truth to make it seem like she was older.

    Mila Kunis in costume for that '70s show

    During an interview with Jay Leno, Kunis said, "I told them I was gonna be's not technically a lie, because at one point, given all things went right, I was gonna be 18."

    Mila Kunis in a roller skating rink, embracing a man

    The crew eventually figured out her real age, but Kunis said that it was fine. They were probably more impressed with the loophole she found than anything else.

    Mila Kunis with the cast of that '70s show at a dinner table

    12. Chloë Grace Moretz lied to Martin Scorsese (which is a bold move when you're in the entertainment industry, to say the least) about her nationality in order to win the role of Isabelle in 2011's Hugo.

    Hugo and Isabelle watching a movie together

    During a 2018 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Moretz revealed that she told Scorsese that she was British (like the character), not American (like Chloë Grace Moretz).

    Hugo and Isabelle examining the automaton

    Moretz said, "The casting director knew I wasn't British, but she knew I was willing to lie, and she liked me. And she was like, 'Lie to Marty. It'll work!'"

    Hugo and Isabelle in the train station together

    She tripped up a little when she started to make up a British backstory for herself, which involved two parents who bred horses, despite the fact that she knew nothing about horses. (Are there no horse girls in Hollywood?)

    Hugo and Isabelle in the train station

    But she got the part, and Scorsese didn't realize he'd been tricked until well into production. To his credit, he apparently took it pretty well.

    Martin Scorsese on set

    13. Jameela Jamil fibbed about her acting and comedy experience to both the casting director and the creator of The Good Place.

    She told CNBC, "I also told the casting director that I had acting experience, which was a lie. I told her I’d been onstage, but I was talking about my school days."

    Jamil in the good place

    And when Mike Schur, the creator of the show, asked if she'd ever tried improv comedy, Jamil responded, "I love improv! Did loads of that on the theater in England!" (She hadn't.)

    Jamil and Ted Danson laughing during a scene

    14. While she was auditioning for the role of Max in Stranger Things, Sadie Sink said she was confident rollerblading, to make up for the fact that she didn't know how to skateboard.

    Sadie Sink on the red carpet for Stranger Things 3

    Sink told Coveteur, "They wanted a girl that had skateboard experience, and I didn’t have skateboarding experience at all. They asked me, ‘Oh, do you have any rollerblading experience?’ I was like, ‘Uh sure I do,’ which was technically not a lie because I have rollerbladed before. In reality, I probably haven’t [roller]skated for a year.”

    Sadie Sink with the rest of party on the hill

    In one audition, Sink saw skates in the corner of the room and panicked, but she didn't end up having to use them.

    Max and El having ice cream on the bus together

    15. Idris Elba revealed in a 2019 Hot Ones interview that Alexa Fogel, the casting director for The Wire, told him to pretend he was American, rather than British, while auditioning for the show, since creator David Simon didn't want any non-American actors cast in the series.

    Idris Elba on the red carpet

    Elba kept up the ruse until his fourth audition, during which he was asked about his childhood and background.

    Idris Elba on the red carpet

    Elba said, "My parents told me not to lie. You gotta look someone in the eye and be honest. I have lied. It's never worked out for me." So he came clean and said, "Don't fire Alexa, she told me not to tell you guys." Despite the ruse, Elba still got a role; Simon cast him as Stringer Bell, rather than Avon Barksdale, the role for which he was originally trying out. Avon was ultimately played by Wood Harris.

    Elba hosting SNL

    16. And finally: Gillian Anderson lied about her age to win the role of Dana Scully on The X-Files.

    Anderson during an episode, trading an alien for her partner

    Anderson told NPR, "I lied about my age on the first audition. So I said that I was 27. So that's how you get that job."

    Agents Mulder and Scully in the woods

    She was actually 24 at the time.

    Mulder in a boat