Nothing makes a good story like a bad audition.
At The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen Class of 2012 party in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 7, Hollywood’s best and brightest gathered to celebrate THR’s annual list of the 35 rising industry stars 35 and under.
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Among the talent attendees was the cast of Happy Endings, who came to support their showrunner David Caspe, who made the cut for this year's list.
At the private event held at 7213 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, THR spoke to the Happy Endings cast and some of this year’s honorees – including Ben and Kate star Dakota Johnson and Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney – about their journey through Hollywood, including their memories of their worst auditions.
Johnson talked about an audition where she literally gave the shirt off her back for the part.
“I got really into it, got really into the scene and it was really dramatic and I took my shirt off, and then you didn’t have to do that,” she said.
“It’s still embarrassing, and I’m more embarrassed that I just told that story,” she added.
Damon Wayans Jr. talked about going to an audition the morning after heavy drinking.
“I was still hungover,” he said. “In the middle of the audition, I fell into the blue curtain. I said, ‘Guys this room is crazy. What is this, a moving room?’ I tried to play it off like it was their fault.”
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Kinney, who will appear in the hotly anticipated film Zero Dark Thirty, spoke to THR about his very first audition, which was for a Target commercial.
“I had no idea what I was walking into,” he said. “They had a jukebox and they started playing music."
Kinney was then directed to “start dancing.”
“And I start moving and flailing my arms and start cracking up and laughing,” he said, adding that he is in no way a dancer. “And I think I just walked out.”
To hear more horror audition stories, watch the video above.
View THR’s complete Next Gen 2012 list here.