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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

June 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

John Slattery’s audition nightmare

OK, this is a pretty good story. It’s part of the Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Roundtable: in honor of the upcoming Emmys, the magazine invited six great TV actors to sit around and chat. The group included John Slattery (“Mad Men”), Dennis Quaid (“Vegas”), Kevin Bacon (“The Following”), Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”), Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”) and Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”) – and the best story, about a very bad audition experience, was Slattery’s:

I once got a call to play Sylvester Stallone‘s brother in a movie. The audition was in an hour, but they wanted me to dye my hair black. I was at my sister’s house — I didn’t have an apartment or any money — and I went into her drawer, got the laundry quarters and went to the drugstore to buy some hair dye. I remember, as I was leaving the house, there were some guys digging a trench in the street. And I got this black Clairol hair dye and went back, put it in my hair, and it was like tar. And I go to turn the water on, and it goes, “Gug-gug-gug-gug-gug-gug-gug-gug,” and I realize that the guys digging the trench had shut the water off to the building! And I was like, “Holy shit.” I could stick my head in the toilet, but I wasn’t that desperate. So I went into the fridge and got a couple of bottles of water, took off all my clothes and poured it all over me. It’s also about 111 degrees in Manhattan, and I have this shit dripping down my face. I look like an anemic vampire. So I go to read for the coke-addled brother of Stallone. And I had to get on my knees, and I’m wiping the hair dye off my face. I saw myself on my knees, wiping my hair dye off my face with this casting director yelling at me, and I had a complete out-of-body experience. “What the f— are you doing?” I was probably the reason the movie never got made.

He had me at “Sylvester Stallone’s brother.” But just the idea of John Slattery — Roger Sterling! — with black hair is pretty great. The entire conversation’s very enjoyable; you can read the whole thing here.

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