7 Amazing TV Audition Tapes That'll Blow You Away

Career-making tapes from Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and more

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Auditions aren't easy. Actors are expected to go into rooms full of strangers, read lines with little prep time, and cycle through a wide range of emotions over a relatively short period of time.

The process can be excruciating, embarrassing and painful.

But sometimes it's worth the effort - the following actors (well, except one) all got career-defining roles by being brave enough to step into the audition room.

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Here's a handful of our favourite successful (and one not so successful) TV audition tapes...

1. Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad

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While this Aaron Paul audition doesn't have the manic energy of his Breaking Bad character - that's clearly something that developed while working with his directors - it definitely does have Jesse Pinkman's unlikely charm.

Even watching this brief, fuzzy YouTube clip, you can feel the energy of the room, as Paul's charisma overpowers everyone present.

2. Hugh Laurie - House

We still can't quite believe that Hugh Laurie has to audition for anything, but we guess, at this stage in his career, he wasn't quite as big a name in the States as he is in the UK.

He was relatively obscure that a popular rumour claimed House showrunner Bryan Singer didn't even know Laurie was English when he got the role, because his accent was so good.

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That rumour, though, is debunked by this footage - which opens with Laurie apologising for his dishevelled state using his real voice.

3. Seth Rogen - Freaks & Geeks

It seems Seth Rogen's always been an accomplished comedian, if this early audition is any evidence. That is, unless the people in the room really do find the material they've written and probably heard a million times that day super hilarious.

Because if there's one thing that stands-out from Rogen's confident try-out for one-season wonder Freaks & Geeks, it's the near-constant laughter in the room. It's not exactly Robert De Niro level of performance, but it clearly did the job.

4. Jim Carrey - SNL

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The only audition on this list where the performer didn't get the job, but we couldn't not include it because a) It's nuts and b) as it turned out, Jim Carrey did carry on to have a bit of a career in comedy. (You might have heard of him.)

And it's a lesson to anyone reading this for tips on how to achieve a successful audition. It feels like Carrey went too out there for the first half (post-nuclear Elvis is impressive, but potentially offensive) and too obscure for the second half (of all the impressions Carrey can do, he went for those?).

So, keep it simple folks - even if you are auditioning for one of the most edgy live-comedy shows in America.

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5 & 6. Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams - Game Of Thrones

It's hard to find decent child stars for one-off cameo roles, let alone to play central characters in a long-running fantasy franchise. But, against the odds, Game Of Thrones managed it. How did they do it? Picking the right people for the job.

Some clever soul has edited together Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams' separate auditions into a conversation worthy of the show itself - their talent, charisma and even their chemistry (incredible considering they're not in the same room) is evident from these earliest contributions.

We'll never get to see the auditionees that didn't make the grade, but it's impossible to imagine anyone being better than these two.

7. Evangeline Lilly - Lost

You get two for the price of one with this tape, not only do you get your first look at Evangeline Lilly as Lost's Kate, but you get a rare glimpse at JJ Abrams directing her.

What's especially impressive about this one is that Kate was Lilly's first speaking role, and, really, her first proper audition.

She went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actress for her work on Lost, and you can see the seeds of her success here, with Abrams teasing out a naturalism none of the other 75 actresses who went up for the role could match.

From: Digital Spy