When it comes to the audition process, some actors need preparation and complete focus to nail the roles they seek. Others just show up after a night of drinking and fall into a role, like Mel Gibson did for Mad Max. Aaron Paul is in the first category, but J.J. Abrams apparently didn’t get that memo.
During the Variety chat above with possible James Bond, Tom Hiddleston, Paul details how he shows Abrams and the cast of Mission Impossible 3 a very basic card trick on the set. The story impressed, and it even had a memorable Tom Cruise experience, but the whole thing came back to haunt him during his Cloverfield audition:
“I walk in and J.J.’s there. He brings up the magic-trick story and I lose my train of thought. I have three pages of a monologue that I memorized. That was my audition,” said Paul.
“He has me tell the story about the card trick and now I’m super awkward. He’s like, ‘now let’s get started,’ and I start doing this monologue and I completely lose my train of thought and I stop and I apologize to J.J. He’s like ‘that’s okay. Thanks for coming in.’ I’m like’ see ya’ and I walked out. It was awful.”
Paul had doomed himself before he even decided to do the audition. You don’t fool around with magic if you want to be respected in life. It only works with Neil Patrick Harris and Doug Henning, the latter flying too close to the sun and eventually crashing to Earth.