That ‘70’s Show’s Topher Grace Reveals Hilarious Story Behind How He Landed Eric Foreman Role

Screenshot of Topher Grace as Eric Foreman.

It’s tough to stand out in the entertainment industry. Many actors go on countless auditions, waiting years for their big break. Sometimes, if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might hit gold. This is exactly what happened to Topher Grace, who recalled the funny story behind how he ended up on That '70s show in a recent interview.

Topher Grace is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Eric Foreman on the beloved sitcom That ‘70’s Show. The half-hour comedy told the story of a group of Wisconsin teenagers living during the - you guessed it - 1970s. Grace’s co-stars included the likes of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher (now married), as well as Orange Is The New Black star Laura Prepon. Topher Grace recently appeared on the PeopleTV web series Couch Surfing where he made the following admission:

I had a weird origin story where I was in a high school play, and I was really only in that because I sprained my ankle, so I couldn't be on the tennis team. This was at a boarding school in New Hampshire. The girl who did the sets, her parents were big-time Hollywood producers and produced That '70s Show and 3rd Rock From the Sun, and they wrote Wayne’s World and Tommy Boy; stuff that I was really into at the time, and I still am. And they called me in my freshman year at USC – I was already out at USC in L.A. And they said, ‘Do you wanna come audition for the show?’ I’d never auditioned for anything in my life. This is how green I was, they said, 'Bring a headshot and a resume.' Ok, I can do a resume because I worked at Dunkin' Donuts, I worked at Suncoast Video. I know what that looks like.’ I said, ‘What is a headshot?’ And they said, ‘It’s a picture of you that goes with the resume.’ So I brought it, and it was like this terrible resume of jobs I did at the mall, and then the picture was me and my friends at Six Flags.

Bad luck for the tennis team, good luck for television. Despite his initial lack of acting experience and less-than-professional headshot, Topher Grace obviously had the chops and After so many years and so many rewatches, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing the nerdy yet endearing Eric Foreman. In the 15 years after Grace’s last season on That 70's Show, he’s worked on a multitude of projects. He’s been in films such as Sam Raimi’s Spider Man 3 and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Most recently, he played David Duke in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, with critics praising his performance. But all that may not have happened if Topher Grace had never gotten the chance to audition through a series of hilarious accidents.

Next up, Topher Grace is set to star in the new ABC comedy Home Economics. The series, which also stars Karla Souza, Caitlin McGee, and Jimmy Tatro, premiered on April 7. New episodes will air on Wednesdays at 8:30pm EST.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.