Patricia Arquette Recalls Bad Auditions, Some Of Which Were Opposite Tom Cruise

Patricia Arquette and Tramell Tillman in “Severance,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Auditions can be brutal, because even when they’re done right, there’s always a chance that another candidate winds up with the upper hand. Oscar winner Patricia Arquette recently shared some experiences about how even she has had some bad audition experiences. In her case, one of those failed auditions was for a Tom Cruise classic. 

Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

The Tom Cruise Movie That Patricia Arquette “Blew It” During The Auditions

Speaking with Variety during the SAG red carpet this past weekend, Arquette revealed that she sounded like a shoo-in for the role of Dorothy Boyd in Cameron Crowe’s rom-com hit Jerry Maguire. At least, that’s what she was told heading into the auditions, which Patricia Arquette revealed in her tale of a woefully horrific tryout. The Severance star felt it all shook out as best as it could have, as she revealed in this anecdote:

Everyone was saying, ‘Oh, this is just a formality, you’re gonna read with Tom Cruise for ‘Jerry Maguire,’ but this is your part, you got it,’ and I blew it. … I actually think [Renée Zellweger] was better for it, and she was great.

For Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire was a breakout role that propelled her into stardom that would see her later nab roles like the leads of Bridget Jones’ Diary and the Judy Garland biopic Judy. The latter role would win Zellweger her second Academy Award as 2020’s Best Actress pick, just five years after Patricia Arquette picked up her statue for Boyhood as one of 2015’s Oscar winners

Things may have turned out way differently if either of these golden titans had swapped places to romantically complete Tom Cruise back in 1996. However, that’s not the only audition story that Arquette shared that would have put her into another rather interesting case of recasting.

Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer in The Doors

(Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures)

Another Patricia Arquette Audition That Actually Went Well, But Still Didn’t Land Her The Part

Picture this: legendary filmmaker/ReelBlend guest Oliver Stone is casting his biopic The Doors, which tells the story of that eponymous rock  band’s heyday in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The history we know cast Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan in the roles of Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson, respectively. 

However, Patricia Arquette recently learned that her audition with Brad Pitt for those very roles could have landed the two of them those prime positions. Here’s how Arquette learned about how this situation played out, a little over 30 years after the fact:

I just heard on this podcast the other day our friend sent us that the casting director, that Brad Pitt and I were her choice, we were the first ones who came in to read for The Doors, and she was like, ‘Why are we having any more auditions? They were perfect.

While she may not have landed roles in Jerry Maguire or The Doors, Patricia Arquette’s resume still saw her land some incredible credits. Coincidentally, she, Val Kilmer and Brad Pitt would all be a part of Tony Scott’s True Romance just a couple of years removed from that Oliver Stone film, but it would be Arquette who landed one of the leads in that Quentin Tarantino-penned project. 

Like it or not, every gig comes down to the power of the audition. In cases like her roles on TV series like Hulu’s true-crime drama The Act, or even Arquette’s recurring Boardwalk Empire gig, those tryouts worked in her favor. Rounding out her discussion on this time honored traditional of testing the waters for any new job, Patricia Arquette theorized that she’s not too good at auditioning because of the following factors: 

I’m a terrible auditioner cause I don’t feel like that’s finished work…I wanna build layers with the character and with that other person and pivot and change according to how my character feels about them from take to take.

'Take to take' is exactly what’s built Patricia Arquette’s storied career, and what will continue to make it exciting to follow. Though she’s not on the books for any film projects this year, Arquette could make an appearance on the 2023 TV schedule, provided that Season 2 of Severance debuts this year. Those of you who haven’t seen that series yet can catch up on Season 1, if you have an Apple TV+ subscription

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.