The media is awash with news that Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas lied about his tongue cancer, and claimed he had throat cancer, in order not to undermine his 2010 movie ‘Wall Street Never Sleeps’ which became a box office hit.
But Mr. Douglas is not the only actor in Hollywood who has lied to further their career. Here’s a short list of others who have found the need to take a similar route.
After playing Cedric Diggory in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and being named ‘British Star of Tomorrow’ by The Times, Robert Pattinson struggled to get jobs. So he finally left the United Kingdom.
“I’d been unemployed for ages, and when I came to Los Angeles all the casting directors would ask what I’d been doing for the past few years. I’d say, ‘Oh, I was at RADA’ – if you’ve got an English accent you can get away with it. I’d say I went to Oxford, too. I did it for years.” Then he started faking it as an American but finally stopped when the first ‘Twilight’ movie turned him into a star.
Throughout Hollywood history, women who lie about their age do so by slashing a few years off the real figure but Sandra Bullock did the opposite and claimed to be 29 in order to get the role of an older scientist. The tactic worked and the lie succeeded in getting her a major role in the 1992 movie Love Potion # 9.
“After a while, you have no idea how old you are because you’ve lied so many times. I always said I would never lie, but one time, when I didn’t it worked against me. So I figure you just keep them guessing,” Sandra revealed in a 1992 Barbara Walters interview.
While making an appearance on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ in June 2012, actress Mila Kunis said she lied about her age to the producers of That 70s Show.
“Legally I was 14, but I told them I was a little bit older…I told them I was gonna be 18, which is not technically a lie, cause at one point…I was gonna be 18,” Mila said. She went on to win two consecutive Young Star Awards as Best Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series in 1999 and 2000 for her performances.
In a desperate attempt to get the almighty Screen Actors’ Guild card, George Clooney lied to a casting director, contactmusic.com reported in February 2008.
“You couldn’t get a job without getting into the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), so everybody would make up these credits just to get in. They didn’t have internet then so you go away with anything,” said Clooney.
“I remember lying to a casting director about this movie Cat People. She was like, ‘You were in that?’ I was, like, yep, and she goes, ‘Because I cast that.’ I finally just said, ‘I can’t get in the SAG. Help me!’
“She helped me get a job on a film called The Predator. The movie never came out, that’s how bad a film it was. But I got my SAG card.”
Lying obviously worked for these stars but would you risk telling a lie in order to make it in Hollywood?