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Robert Downey Jr. Humiliated by Kate Winslet During His Audition For ‘The Holiday’: “That Was the Worst British Accent I’ve Ever Heard”

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It’s difficult to believe Robert Downey Jr. could ever flop at an audition. However, it turns out that he lacked one particular skill deemed essential for the role of Graham in the 2006 rom-com The Holiday: a solid British accent.

He recalled the incident with Jimmy Fallon on on Sunday’s (July 16) “surprise show” of “The Howard Stern Show,” that featured an array of celebs including Drew Barrymore and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

Downey Jr. explained that both him and Fallon got “called in just as seat fillers” to the audition for The Holiday by director Nancy Meyers, saying she “needed someone to read with the gals” auditioning.

“We’re sitting there going, ‘It’s about to happen for us,’” Downey shared, who deemed himself a “shoo-in” for the role that ultimately went to British actor Jude Law.

“And I was like, ‘I’ve got to have a better English accent than Jude Law at this point,’” he continued. “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.’”

Jude Law and Cameron Diaz in 'The Holiday'
Photo: Everett Collection

The hilarious anecdote may have left Downey Jr. humiliated, but Fallon hyped him up and remembered thinking, “Without a doubt, this is the best actor I’ve ever sat across from and did a scene with in my entire life.”

Fallon described the story as “mind-blowing” to him, saying that following that audition, he “quit the business [and] never went back.”

“That was the last time I auditioned for a role,” he added.

Downey Jr. explained that Meyers told him and Fallon, “‘It’s great, it’s just not a perfect fit.’”

The Holiday follows Winslet’s Iris and Cameron Diaz’s Amanda, who decide to switch places amid their misfortunes with love around Christmastime. While Amanda is across the pond, she meets Iris’s brother Graham, a book editor and single father raising his two daughter. Meanwhile Iris meets Miles (played by Jack Black), a film composer who works with Amanda. While rumors circulated last winter that there would be a sequel, Meyers shut them down, taking to Instagram and writing, “So many DM’s about this – sorry but it’s not true. ❤️”

The Holiday is available to stream on Starz via Hulu and Prime Video. For those still salty that RDJ didn’t make it into The Holiday, you can catch him in Oppenheimer, in theaters this Friday, July 21.



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