The fame and popularity surrounding Sam Worthington originated from his Avatar debut in 2009. His career then blossomed marked by spectacular success and incredible recognition following the actor’s leading part in the epic James Cameron narrative. However, all of it would have been for naught had Worthington been debonair or suave enough to manage to charm a woman at a Bond audition a handful of years before the casting call for Cameron’s film was set to begin.
Chance and a lack of quantifiable charm during a screen test then awarded the world with masterpieces in two of the greatest franchises of modern cinema – 007 and Avatar.
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Sam Worthington Recollects Tanking a James Bond Audition
It’s rarely ever the case that any actor would be thankful for losing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. But that is exactly what the protagonist of Cameron’s franchise served to remind his fans about with his inimitable role as Jake Sully. But long before that opportunity presented itself, Sam Worthington had tried out for the role of 007 when the franchise was looking for a replacement to take over the mantle from Pierce Brosnan and usher in a new era of spycraft and action-thriller.
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The audition was set to be presented as a re-enactment of a Sean Connery scene from the 1963 classic, From Russia With Love, and what followed has to be a blunder of the highest standards:
“So you [have to] walk in, and there’s the girl in the bed. You charm her… And I couldn’t catch the Bond killer. I just couldn’t get the charm out of her, I couldn’t charm her. The suit didn’t fit the man.”
Calling the audition simply “horrible” did not do it enough justice, it had also become “laughable” due to the actor’s heavy Australian accent which he just couldn’t get rid of properly enough, no matter how many takes it took.
The Lesson on Missed Opportunities For Sam Worthington
Long before it became clear that Daniel Craig would be the embodiment and genre-defining James Bond ever to grace the literary character, he was in the running with a mass of actors of the likes of Sam Worthington, Henry Cavill, Christian Bale, and Hugh Jackman – all of them now A-listed leading men in Hollywood. Of his experience at the 007 audition, Worthington recollected how he approached and what he took home from the entire process:
“Back then I used to do a lot of reflecting and research into careers. I thought that’s how you did it. But I was just putting my head up my own butt. It wasn’t healthy. The job isn’t about trying to crack a formula. It isn’t an algorithm. You can’t create a character if there’s nothing there.”
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At the same time, James Cameron was already halfway through realizing and manifesting his vision coming true and went out in search of a lead, who he would find in the Oscar-winner, Matt Damon. Damon, in turn, turned down the role – another missed opportunity that would go on to play in the favor of Sam Worthington as a career-saving role in the highest-grossing film of all time, Avatar.
Source: Fitzy & Whipper Podcast