+the news

Articles

Haley Bennett had nervous breakdown at first major audition

Actress Haley Bennett wasn't convinced she was cut out for her job until almost a decade after she landed her first movie role.

The 28-year-old star broke down crying at the end of her audition for 2007 romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, and the nervous breakdown had her questioning why she was even pursuing a career in Hollywood.


"I was like, 'I'm sorry, I've never acted professionally before in my life. I hope I haven't wasted your time'," she recalls to Rolling Stone of the dramatic tryout. "I left and went back to my hotel room, which was the nicest hotel I had ever stayed in in my life, and I was a wreck. I was like, 'If I can't audition without crying or having some kind of meltdown, then I probably am not cut out for this.'"


But casting agents thought she was great and she landed a part opposite stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore in Music and Lyrics, her first role ever.


Despite the huge initial professional victory and subsequently landing steady film work, Haley still didn't think acting was right for her, confessing, "For a long time, I was like, 'Maybe I shouldn't have done this.'"


Part of the reason why she questioned her good fortune in Hollywood was due to her unorthodox entry into the film industry.


Haley participated in a few high school plays before making the move to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams, but other than that, she had no professional training, referring to herself as a "social outcast".


"I wanted to play a lead role so badly, but I'd never done anything but stand in the background," she recalls, noting her move to Hollywood with her mother when she was 18 was somewhat of a fluke decision. "We just got a three-month lease. It wasn't a well-devised dream. In hindsight is was a ridiculous plan."


But taking a risk paid off for The Equalizer star, with Bennett admitting she scored an agent to represent her after telling a little white lie: "Totally off the cuff, I told the agent that this highly regarded agency wanted to represent me. Where did I get that? I don't know! But all of a sudden she became competitive and was like, 'No! You can't sign with them!'"