Tragic Details About Glen Powell

With the build of an action figure, a steely stare to rival Clint Eastwood's famous squint, and charisma oozing out of every invisible pore, Glen Powell seems like the type of movie star who had plum roles handed to him on a silver platter before he could legally drink. But the "Hit Man" star had to take a lot of hard knocks before Hollywood finally realized that he was leading man material.

Powell told Vanity Fair that some of his roughest career experiences have resulted in payoffs that were worth the pain. Case in point: his casting in the Discovery Kids reality series "Endurance 2" when he was a young teen. The show's underage competitors had to perform physical feats to advance to the next week, and it was a real confidence killer when Powell was the first contestant to get sent home. "I mean, it's the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a freshman in high school," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Not only are you the runt of the grade, but you just failed on a strength performance thing in front of the world, and the amount of s**t that I got was extraordinary." But the failure made him resolve to prove to everyone that he could be an extraordinary athlete. "It made me just ferocious,'" he recalled. That drive and determination served him well as he pursued an acting career, and he needed it when he was dealt some brutal blows by the entertainment biz.

His agent's death was devastating for him

The future was looking bright for Glen Powell in 2006 when he got cast alongside Denzel Washington in "The Great Debaters." He did such an amazing job that Washington's renowned agent, Ed Limato, decided to take the teen on as a client. It was Limato who later convinced him to give up his life in Austin — where he was attending the University of Texas — and move to Hollywood. However, Powell struggled to find work because he didn't have the Edward Cullen look that was desired at the time. "I could just feel I was letting Ed down," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Sadly, Limato didn't live to witness the rest of the world discovering what he saw in his client. When the agent died in 2010, Powell's most recent role was a guest spot in a 2009 "CSI: Miami" episode. Of the loss, Powell recalled to Interview, "It went from really feeling like I had the town wired to, 'Oh shoot, I'm all alone out here,' Sandra Bullock in 'Gravity'-style." Powell felt like opportunities started slipping away from him after Limato's death, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "It was almost like once he passed away, the jig was up."

Powell's career soon took another hard hit when his talent agency cut him loose, per The New York Times. It left him with a soul-crushing note about his acting ability: "Lucky to be cast as a dead body in a crime show."

The roles that got away

Like most stars, Glen Powell has some sad tales about roles that seemed like they were within his grasp that he didn't ultimately win. On the "It's Not Only Football: Friday Night Lights and Beyond" podcast, Powell revealed that he desperately wanted to join the cast of "Friday Night Lights" because he was a massive fan of the show. He auditioned for the roles of Tim Riggins and J.D. McCoy, which went to Taylor Kitsch and Jeremy Sumpter, respectively. While Riggins was a main character, it was McCoy who Powell really wanted to play. "I just wanted that one so bad. I was so bummed out when that did not work out," he said.

Powell admitted that he really thought he had that "FNL" role in the bag, which made the loss sting even more. He told The Hollywood Reporter that it even had him questioning whether he had what it took to be an actor. Another part he got tantalizingly close to nabbing was the title role in "Solo: A Star Wars Story." He told British GQ, "I blew that final audition."

Powell also doggedly pursued the role of Rooster in "Top Gun: Maverick," which was snatched from him by Miles Teller. Recalling his reaction to learning that he didn't get the part, Powell told Men's Health, "I was absolutely heartbroken. ... I was basically in the fetal position the entire day."

He almost went broke despite being cast in a blockbuster

While Glen Powell didn't get the part he wanted in "Top Gun: Maverick," Tom Cruise offered him a smaller role as the character Hangman. Cruise decided to delay the film's release during the pandemic, which was bad news for Powell's bank account. It certainly didn't help matters that Hollywood was at a standstill because of COVID-19, making new work hard to come by. "I'd never made any significant amount of money on a movie, including 'Top Gun,' and I was depleting a bank account to a point where my accountant was like, 'This pandemic cannot last much longer,'" Powell recalled to The Hollywood Reporter.

This wasn't the first time the actor found himself in a financial pickle. When he first moved to Hollywood, he was invited to crash at the guest house of a friend's family. Unfortunately, he made the boneheaded decision to throw an unauthorized party at the main house, which resulted in his eviction. When sending him packing, one of the angry occupants told him that his acting career was doomed. "I've probably been told, 'You'll never make it in this town' more than any individual alive," Powell told Vanity Fair. His new home became a Van Nuys garage. "It was all those clichéd things where, like, they'd find a body a block away and then you'd come home to your tires slashed," he told The Hollywood Reporter of the neighborhood he lived in.

One of his close friends was murdered

In a since-deleted 2020 Instagram post, Glen Powell shared that he was grieving the loss of Justin Putnam, a friend he had known since childhood. "Justin was a spark of joy. He was goofy, enthusiastic, fearless, and loyal. Justin loved everyone and everyone loved him; he had an ability to make everyone feel like his best friend," Powell wrote (via E! News). The actor also shared that his approach to how he lives his life has been greatly influenced by Putnam.

Putnam was an officer with the San Marcos Police Department who was gunned down by a domestic violence suspect. Powell remembered his friend as someone who loved his job, making it even more tragic that he died while on duty. "He was always a protector, of his family, his friends and to anyone who needed help," the actor continued. "He always said that being an officer gave him such happiness because everyday he could come to the rescue of someone in need." According to KENS5, Putnam was engaged to be married at the time of his death.

A year after losing his friend, Powell shared another sad Instagram update: His beloved grandmother had died. Powell had affectionately referred to her as "America's Grandma" in a previous post, and he remembered her as someone who didn't let her advanced age stop her from living life to the fullest. "What a great gift to leave this world still in love with it," he wrote.

His breakup made promoting a movie difficult

Glen Powell once dated Nina Dobrev, so he was no stranger to his love life garnering attention when it came time to promote the rom-com "Anyone but You." However, he wasn't prepared for just how obsessed the internet became with rumors that he and co-star Sydney Sweeney were romantically involved. Both actors were in relationships with other people when they shot the movie, but Powell and model Gigi Paris split up amid his push to sell himself to the masses as a romantic lead.

Sweeney and Powell would later admit to acting flirty and playing into the romance rumors as a means to get some free press, but Powell didn't have as much fun with the act as his co-star. "The only reason it made things harder for me to lean into that stuff was that I was going through a very real breakup ... I was with someone that I really loved and cared about and was trying to kind of make sense of a lot of stuff," he told Business Insider. He added that the play-acting was not a struggle for Sweeney because she had a loving partner and was in a good place in her relationship.

Now, Powell is so busy and booked that dating has become difficult. However, perpetual bachelorhood doesn't appeal to him. He told Vanity Fair, "I don't want to be that guy that wakes up 50 years old and didn't let anybody along for the ride."