Robert Downey Jr. was confident about getting a part in Nancy Meyers’ 2006 romcom The Holiday – but his attempt at a British accent said otherwise.
“We both got called in just as seat fillers… [Director Nancy Meyers] needed someone to read with the gals and we’re sitting there going, ‘It’s about to happen for us,'” Downey explained on The Howard Stern Show, which he crashed alongside Jimmy Fallon. During the audition, Downey read for Jude Law’s part, while Fallon read for Jack Black’s.
“And I was like, ‘I’ve got to have a better English accent than Jude Law at this point.’ And Winslet said, ‘That was the worst British accent I’ve ever heard.’ And I was like, ‘I’ll check out now, but I’m taking the gummy bears from the minibar.'”
It wasn’t all bad, though. “Nancy said to me, said to both of us at the same time, ‘It’s great, it’s just not a perfect fit,'” Downey added.
The Holiday, starring Winslet, Law, Black, and Cameron Diaz, was a surprise box office success, earning $205 million globally against a budget of $85 million.
It’s alright that RDJ missed out on The Holiday, given that he would go on to star in David Fincher’s Zodiac just one year later. The year after that, he’d make his first appearance as Iron Man and go on to play the billionaire playboy philanthropist for over a decade. No British accent required.
Downey can be seen next in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which hits theaters