The Reason Hugh Jackman Blew His Miss Congeniality Audition

Hugh Jackman may have made a name for himself as one of the finest actors of his generation, but that doesn't mean he hasn't experienced some setbacks and failure on his path to superstardom. You probably know Jackman best for his role as Wolverine in the widely popular "X-Men" film franchise, as well as his role as Jean Valjean in the 2012 period musical "Les Misérables." For "Les Mis," Jackman earned a number of accolades, including an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role (his first) and a Golden Globe for best actor in a musical, per IMDb. In addition, Jackman also lent his acting talents to several blockbuster films, including "Bad Education," "The Prestige," and "The Greatest Showman."

There's no doubt that Jackman can act, so fans of the Aussie actor may wonder how he could've possibly tanked an audition for a notable role in the now-classic romcom "Miss Congeniality." Yep! As it turns out, Jackman auditioned to play Sandra Bullock's love interest in the hit spy caper film, but ended up losing the gig to "Law & Order" star Benjamin Bratt. In his new cover story for Variety, Jackman spills exactly how he bombed his audition for "Miss Congeniality" and what his experience was like reading for the part opposite Bullock. 

Hugh Jackman couldn't keep up with Sandra Bullock

Hugh Jackman said he wasn't really interested in the role of Sandra Bullock's romantic interest in "Miss Congeniality." Speaking to Variety, the actor said he only auditioned for the part after his agent pushed him to go, as landing the role would allow them to negotiate against another romcom Jackman had been offered at the time, "Someone Like You" opposite Ashley Judd. "No one knew 'X-Men' yet," he recalled. "I was a nobody."

Unfortunately for Jackman and his agent, the actor blew his audition after coming ill-prepared and failing to keep up with Bullock. While reading lines with the Oscar-winner, Jackman remembers thinking, "'Holy s***! She's amazing! And so quick and fast. I'm not even vaguely up to speed here.' I was pedaling as fast as I could, but I didn't know the script well enough.'" He explained that it was his first time testing with another actor for a role, and with Bullock. no less. "I was impressed that she was in there. I didn't expect her to be in there," he said. "I'm guessing eight people she tested with."

When he lost the role to Benjamin Bratt, Jackman said he felt rather embarrassed. "That's humiliating, when your agent says, 'I don't want you to get this job, but just go get it,'" he said. "And then you don't get it." Interestingly, both "Miss Congeniality" and "X-Men" came out in 2000, with their respective roles subsequently sending him and Bullock to Hollywood superstardom. Jackman himself went on to play Wolverine in six more films of the "X-Men" franchise, and per People, he's set to reprise his iconic role in the upcoming "Deadpool 3" alongside Ryan Reynolds.