05.02.10

14 Best and Worst Audition Videos

Long before she was Woody Allen’s muse and one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading ladies, Scarlett Johansson was auditioning for Kirsten Dunst’s part in the 1995 film Jumanji. From Chris Klein’s horrendous Mamma Mia audition to Rachel McAdam’s winning efforts for The Notebook, see the stars’ trying to land roles.

Last week, there was a row over a Chelsea Handler sex tape. RadarOnline.com broke the story, and challenged the comedienne’s assertion that the 10-year-old tape was a deliberate stunt inserted into her audition reel to get attention. The tape in question features a new-to-Hollywood Chandler performing a stand-up routine in her apartment, then cuts to her having sex on the floor, before cutting back to the comedy routine. According to Radar, it’s extremely graphic—she certainly looks naked in the screengrab they chose.

Handler insisted on her E! chat show Chelsea Lately that the sex scene, in which she cavorts on all-fours with an unidentified English male, was inserted purely for comic effect. Radar insists, “It’s definitely not a ‘stand up’ comedy bit, and if it’s a routine, it’s the most X-rated routine ever performed!”

Staged or not, Handler can take heart that she’s not alone in having an embarrassing audition tape. Here are our picks of the best and worst of performers’ video try-outs.

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Sean Macaulay is a screenwriter, humorist and journalist, specializing in symptoms of the post-macho midlife crisis. He was the L.A. movie critic for The London Times from 1999 to 2007, and has written for The Daily Telegraph, Radio Times, Punch, and British GQ. He was most recently creative consultant on Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which was voted Best Documentary at the Independent Sprit Awards. You can follow him on Twitter here.