Hugh Jackman Had A Humiliating Audition With Sandra Bullock For Her Best Movie

Hugh Jackman completely bombed an audition with Sandra Bullock for Miss Congeniality.

By Mark McKee | Published

Auditioning has been said by many people in Hollywood to be the worst part of the job. Of course, if you are a huge star like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, or Charlize Theron, you probably don’t have to audition; you just have to have your agent call and tell them you’re interested. Unfortunately for the young and unknown actors, they have to go through the humiliating process of going into a room of people ready to judge and criticize you and put on a show in hopes of landing a role in a movie that may or may not flop. Hugh Jackman may be a big star now that he brought Wolverine to life, but in 2000 he was an unknown and recently told Variety that he had a humiliating moment when he lost a role in Miss Congeniality in front of Sandra Bullock, no less. 

It may be hard to imagine a different actor putting on the claws when you look back at the last two decades of Hugh Jackman, but if this story had gone another way, he might have been too busy to star in X-Men. According to the Australian legend, he was one of about eight people who went to an audition for the role of FBI Agent Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt) in the film Miss Congeniality.

Because it was produced by Sandra Bullock and her company, she was involved with the casting and began riffing with Hugh Jackman, who, according to him, was utterly unprepared and blew it. 

It’s funny how things work out in Hollywood sometimes; while this may have seemed like a good deal for both Benjamin Bratt (who had a massive year in 2000 with six projects including Traffic and Red Planet along with the Bullock film) and Hugh Jackman (who went on to land his career-defining role and contribute a large part to the reimagining of superhero films).

The person who didn’t come out on top of this deal, though, was Dougray Scott, who passed on the role of Wolverine to be the primary antagonist of the Tom Cruise vehicle Mission Impossible 2. Of course, it wasn’t a terrible idea; choosing a proven superstar over an unproven genre is a smart career move on paper, but he passed up a two-decade career-defining role to be the forgettable villain in the worst installment of a nearly ten-movie franchise. Ouch. 

Scott did ok after the film, he has had a long career that doesn’t seem to have hurt too much, but just as Matt Damon looks back on a great career and still imagines what might have been with Avatar, Scott, Hugh Jackman, and many others look back at the year 2000 and wonder what could have been as well.

Fans of Jackman are getting what they have clamored for since Ryan Reynolds donned the red suit and katanas as he has signed on to play Wolverine once again in Deadpool 3. We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure he didn’t have to audition for that one; Reynolds has only been egging him on to do it for about two-thirds of a decade.