last night on late night

That Time Peter Jackson Told Jake Gyllenhaal He Was the Worst Actor Ever During His Lord of the Rings Audition

Even better than “What if?” casting scenarios are the stories where actors just flat-out bomb. (Failure is so universal!) And a pre–Donnie Darko Jake Gyllenhaal had his share of bombs during auditions for two wildly different roles: as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings franchise and a part in Dude, Where’s My Car? Neither of these went particularly well. When he had to act out stage directions to look for the Ring, he just stumbled like some Brooklyn hipster searching for a cold brew, prompting Peter Jackson to tell him he was the worst actor he had ever seen. Better, though, was his take as one of the dudes in Dude, Where’s My Car? The world was simply not ready.

Jake Gyllenhaal Bombed His LOTR Audition