Pants On Fire: 20 Times Actors Fibbed To Get Iconic Roles In TV & Film

Unless a person is already a huge name in Hollywood, scoring acting gigs isn't as easy as one thinks. In fact, even if they are a seasoned pro, competition can be tough, so telling a little white lie doesn't hurt, right? Like every other industry, companies certainly aim high and list a bounty of qualifications in order to only get portfolios from the best applicants.

Nowadays, it may be harder for an actor to fib their way into a role, but before the time of IMDb, there wasn't really a way to trace someone's work history. Even a big Hollywood name such as George Clooney once had to lie about what movies he starred in in hopes to land more important roles! Other common fibs have included lying about certain talents such as horseback riding, which, if not properly taught, can result in dangerous consequences.

As fans' favorite actors and actresses come to find out, fibbing can come at a price, and as their fame rises, it's easier and easier to catch them in their white lie! With the time of social media and the internet, exposing someone is easy, so A-listers must be careful what they decide to say under pressure. Here are 20 examples of times celebrities have lied to land the roles they've wanted!

20 Mila Kunis, Who Slyly Fooled Producers To Land Her 1st Major Role


Mila Kunis probably told the boldest lie on this list—and still succeeded in landing the role of her lifetime. According to Ranker, during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the brunette beauty admitted she "sort of" lied about her age in order to get the part of Jackie Burkhart on That '70s Show.

She explained to Leno that all actors who auditioned had to be at least 18, and the actress was 14 at the time.

"Legally I was 14, but I told them I was a little bit older... I told them I was gonna be 18, which is not technically a lie, cause at one point... I was gonna be 18."

19 Robert Pattinson Pretended He Was From The US


Before his Twilight claim-to-fame, actor Robert Pattinson had a bit of a rough time finding work. According to Ranker, he was a struggling actor in Los Angeles for two years and finally got desperate, resorting to lying about some crucial details. To make his resume more attractive, Rob claimed to have attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Oxford University. He also pretended to be from the US whenever he found himself surrounded by too many actors from Britain in hopes to stand out from the crowd. As he explained to the Daily Mirror once, "It didn't work when loads of [people from England] started moving to Los Angeles. So then I pretended to be [from the US] for a bit."

18 Chloë Grace Moretz Fooled Martin Scorsese Into Thinking She Was From Britain


US actress Chloë Grace Moretz also lied about where she was from to land a role. As per Ranker, when she was 14, Chloë auditioned in front of the legendary Martin Scorsese for the part of Isabelle in 2011's Hugo.

She also tricked him into thinking she was from Britain.

As she explained in an interview once, "He flew [me] out to New York to audition in front of him and I spoke in a British accent the whole time. I'd lived in London for five months when I was filming [another movie] so I knew the rhythm of the accent, which is one of the main things you have to pick up. When I thanked him and walked out, he said, 'Hold on, did I hear an American accent?' I said, 'Maybe.'"

17 Eddie Redmayne, Who Almost Injured An Entire Cast And Crew Due To His White Lie


Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne found himself in quite the dangerous lie after he thought a small fib would simply land him a role in period piece Elizabeth I. As reported by Ranker, Eddie lied to his director Tom Hooper about being an experienced horseback rider, which proved to be alarming once he found himself on a stallion and surrounded by 40 stuntmen on horses. "They called action and I basically went ferociously down at 100 miles an hour. I almost [hurt] myself, almost [hurt] half of the crew." The actor explained on the Conan O'Brien's late night show. Thankfully, Eddie didn't get fired, simply sent back for some horseback riding lessons.

16 George Clooney, Who Got Awkwardly Called Out For Fibbing


Even big names such as George Clooney had to lie while starting out. As per Ranker, at the start of his professional life, George was desperate to land decent roles.

He knew that he needed to get into the Screen Actors Guild to further his trajectory, so during an audition, he flat out lied and said he was in a movie called Cat People.

"I remember lying to a casting director about Cat People. She was like, 'You were in that?' I was, like, yep, and she goes, 'Because I cast that.' I finally just said, 'I can't get in the SAG. Help me!'

15 Rachel McAdams Pretended She Was Very Fond Of Horses


A huge fan of Terrence Malick, Rachel McAdams really wanted to work with the acclaimed director and was willing to do whatever it took to land a role in To The Wonder. According to Ranker, When she was asked if she liked horses and if she had issues working with them, Rachel lied and said she loved them. In reality, the actress was allergic to horses and, in fact, really afraid of them.

In an interview with The Guardian, she revealed that she controlled her allergies with antihistamines and simply had to overcome her fear of horses, which she did somehow!

14 Anne Hathaway, Too, Pretended To Be A Talented Horseback Rider


To land a role in Brokeback Mountain, Anne Hathaway also had to lie about being a skilled horseback rider.

As per Ranker, the actress once revealed in an interview with Out magazine, "When I left the audition, the last thing Ang said was, ‘Oh, by the way, can you ride a horse?’"

"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."

13 Liam Hemsworth Thought Volleyball Was Easy, So He Lied About Being Good At It


Although he certainly looks like the type that would be a fantastic volleyball player, Liam Hemsworth actually isn't skilled at the sport at all. When Liam had to audition for The Last Song, he fibbed and said he could play volleyball, which proved to be one of the biggest difficulties while on set. As per Ranker, Liam revealed, "I turned up for the first day of volleyball practice and I was honestly really scared to shoot the volleyball part because it takes a lot of skills to play that game and I didn’t have them, at all. I said to Julie Ann, 'I think we’re going to need a double,' but it’s hard to find someone as big as me." He somehow managed to maneuver his way through this ordeal and make it look quite easy!

12 Sandra Bullock Lied About Her Age & Admits She's Done It Multiple Times


Not one to shy away from lying about her age when she was starting off her acting work, Sandra Bullock had to tell fibs multiple times in order to get roles she wanted.

In particular, Sandra fibbed to get the role of Diane Farrow in Love Potion No. 9.

As reported by Ranker, she admitted once, "They said, 'We want an older scientist.' I go there and I say I'm 29. After a while, you have no idea how old you are because you've lied so many times. I always said I would never lie, but one time, when I didn't it worked against me. So I figure you just keep them guessing."

11 Nicholas Cage Fibbed About How Old He Was & Got Caught, Yet Still Landed A Minor Role


Since Fast Times at Ridgemont High was a raunchy film for its time, all actors who auditioned had to be at least 18. As per Ranker, When Nicolas Cage showed up to audition as a 17-year-old, he lied about his age. Unfortunately for Nic, he was subsequently caught and didn't get the role he was initially after, landing a more minor one, instead.

To make matters worse, the actor, later on, admitted that his time on set was a negative experience. Nicolas' uncle is famed director, Francis Ford Coppola, so some actors weren't keen to have someone with that last name on set, believing he got the role through his uncle's connections. It turned out his time on set was instrumental in the actor's subsequent decision to change his last name to Cage.

10 For Years, Everyone Thought Rebel Wilson Was 7 Years Younger Than She Actually Was


Rebel Wilson is another actress who lied about her age to get several roles, including Pitch Perfect. According to j-14, it turns out that for years everyone thought that she was seven years younger than her actual age.

Unfortunately for Rebel, a magazine reported that she was actually in her 30s, which caused her to then have to reveal that she kept it on the down low because of ageism in Hollywood.

"For the press to do a story that I was deliberately, you know, lying or whatever… No, I was just being a lady and not telling my age when I moved to America. And that’s not really a crime."

9 Chris Hemsworth Lied About His Height To Land Several Different Roles


It's not just Liam Hemsworth that tells white lies in order to land roles, his older brother, Chris, has found himself fibbing, too. Coming from an extremely tall family, the actor has had to lie about his height to land several roles. As he explained in an interview with Radio Times, “There are certainly things I’ve wanted to go up for which I’ve been totally wrong for, physically. I normally lie about my height [6ft 3in] and say I’m shorter. But it can go two ways. The brief for the audition for Thor said: must be over 6ft 1in, which I’d never seen before!”

8 Jessica Chastain's Age Has Been Up In The Air For Years Now


An actress notorious for being ambiguous with her age is Jessica Chastain, who has managed to fool the world with differing reports all over the web.

The Independent once published an article about her titled, "Jessica Chastain: I will not admit my age because I'm an actress" where she then explains that it's due to the fact that she wants to be cast in roles of different ages, thus maintaining her ambiguity.

As per Stylecaster, in 2012, her “official” age was listed as 30, in 2013 it was widely believed she was 35, and now Google informs us she's 41.

7 Matthew Broderick Pretended He Was Good At Basketball Before Ultimately Giving Up


Lying clearly isn't always the best policy, and although most of the actors on this list did further their resumes with little white lies, some had to eventually throw in the towel and confess. Long before he became famous for telling lies as Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick auditioned for a basketball commercial even though he was bad at the sport. According to Her Moments, he was actually even miraculously called back multiple times but eventually had to come clean and admit that he may not be the best for the role. Matthew would clearly land his big break soon enough!

6 Morgan Freeman Was Sick Of Playing A Narrator, So He Fibbed That He Was Having Throat Issues


Even the man notorious for always playing a narrator wants to sometimes switch things up a bit. Morgan Freeman is known for having one of the most iconic and recognizable voices in all of Hollywood.

So much so in fact that he usually lends it for big-name projects, such as the time when he was cast as a narrator for Tom Cruise's sci-fi flick, Oblivion.

As per Her Moments, he clearly wanted a break from doing the same thing, so Morgan decided to fib a little bit and tell director Joseph Kosinski that he was having "throat issues." It worked out perfectly for him as he then went on to secure an even bigger role in the film!

5 Angelina Jolie's Mom Lied About Their Heritage To Make Her Daughter Seem More Exotic


It turns out that even someone who's always involved in acts of charity and goodness such as Angelina Jolie and get caught up in a web of lies. Fortunately for her, it wasn't her doing at all, but her parents, who actually started a false rumor that Angelina and her brother James Haven were part Iroquois through their mother's side of the family. As per Looper, the fib was started to boost the exoticism of her mom, Marcheline Bertrand, while she was married to Angelina's father, Jon Voight. Jon then later insisted that the supposed Iroquois heritage was all made up to increase his ex-wife's profile at the time.

4 Ben Hardy Said He Was A Skilled Drummer To Get The Role In 'Bohemian Rhapsody'


How Ben Hardy got away with this one is beyond us! Recently, to score the role of Queen drummer Roger Taylor in Bohemian Rhapsody, the actor told a massive lie about his drumming skills to get the job.

According to Looper, while on the phone with the director, Ben was asked to record himself playing a song on the drums and send it to the producers.

"I went away in a massive panic, there wasn't enough time — I bought the cheapest drum kit I could find and found a drum teacher locally and was like, 'Look, here's the deal I need to learn to play this song as soon as possible, what can you do?'"

3 Laura Fraser Wanted To Be On 'Breaking Bad' So Badly, She Said She Spoke German


Breaking Bad is certainly one of the most iconic TV dramas that has come out in recent years, so it's no wonder actors were vying for supporting roles in the series while they were still on the air. According to The Richest, producers were looking for actresses who could speak German for the role of Lydia, which definitely limited their options in the US. When Laura Fraser showed up for her audition, she boldly declared she could speak the language, even though she had no idea how to. As soon as she received the script, Laura dove into learning her German lines first.

2 Laurence Fishburne Landed A Grueling Role At The Age Of 14 Thanks To His Fibbing


Francis Ford Coppola's film Apocalypse Now is an intense, grueling movie about the Vietnam War. Of course, the actors had to be older than a certain age, so how did Laurence Fishburne, at 14, manage to play a soldier?

He lied, of course. According to Ranker, during his audition, he told Coppola he was 16 at the time.

Landing the role was crucial for his acting resume, and he filmed from 1976 to 1978 in the jungles of the Philippines, working alongside industry greats such as Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper, Marlon Brando, and Robert Duvall. "As an actor, Coppola trained me. That was my training ground."

1 Daniel Craig Pretended He Was An Accomplished Horseback Rider (Multiple Times)


Hilariously enough, Daniel Craig used to pretend multiple times he was an accomplished horse rider in order to land movie roles. According to Movie News, the actor didn't have such smooth sailing landing roles at the beginning, so he told everyone he was a skilled horseman to make sure he didn't miss out on any opportunities. It turned out, the initial horse movies he had to do were for so little money that he could just pretend to know what he was doing without practice and still land parts.

When he was set to star in Cowboys & Aliens, however, he definitely took lessons in order to prep. "I was on a horse every day for two weeks before we started shooting this movie so by the end, had I had the land, I would have bought a horse!” he quipped.

Sources: Ranker, The Independent, Stylecaster

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