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It's hard to believe that once upon a time Jamie Dornan was a young actor who was working under the radar. One moment Dornan was on ABC's still growing hit, Once Upon A Time, and the next he's not only playing a serial killer against Gillian Anderson's detective in the hit series The Fall, but he's also setting cinemas ablaze with his portrayal of Christian Grey – in all of his fifty shades. Of course, the actor's rise to the top wasn't actually that fast, and a few years ago there was another high profile role that Dornan tried out for, only to strike out. But boy, does he have a hell of a story for how he blew it.
Variety recently ran a profile about the Irish actor, covering everything from his friendship with Eddie Redmayne and Andrew Garfield as they were all coming up together, going to the gym with Fabio, and, of course, the epic audition fail that happened during tryouts for Rock of Ages. And all it took was a mere sip of whiskey. Dornan explained just how one simple act meant to inspire courage turned into a most ill advised action. Said the actor,
I had to sing ‘Waiting for a Girl Like You.’ It’s nearly impossible to sing, and I’ve got quite a deep voice when I sing... I convinced myself it would be a good idea to have a bit of whiskey to relax my vocal cords and maybe as a bit of a confidence booster. Suddenly, I took a swig of Jameson and I instantly f–ing puked.
Going on an audition is nerve wracking enough, but to be on an audition and to stink of vomit and whiskey – as well as having to sing an 80's classic that's clearly out of your vocal range? That's pretty much the hat trick of forces working against you. Needless to say, Jamie Dornan wasn't cast in Rock Of Ages, as the role of Drew eventually went to Pretty Little Liars star Diego Boneta. While Dornan must have been pretty sore about not landing the role at the time, in hindsight he must have been relieved as all hell.
The big reason missing out on Rock Of Ages was a blessing in disguise for Jamie Dornan's career is that the film was, quite frankly, box office poison. Despite the Broadway show's longevity and prestige, the film version couldn't even muster a gross anywhere near the $75 million it took to make it. Critics panned the film, giving it an overall 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it's an affair that's so forgettable that you can't even find it in the bargain bin at your local Best Buy. While Fifty Shades Of Grey probably isn't going to exactly make any sort of lasting impression on historians either, outside of the sociological and financial field day the film's creating on both sides of the spectrum, at least it's a huge enough hit that Dornan could try and redeem himself with some edgy post franchise performances, a la Robert Pattinson.
Fifty Shades Of Grey is in theaters now. Be sure to check with your local theater if they're cool with you bringing in a flask of your own, should the need arise.