Robert Downey Jr. Auditioned For The Holiday With The Worst British Accent Kate Winslet Had Ever Heard

According to the actors, Downey was supposed to take on the role of Graham, which eventually went to Jude Law. Fallon, meanwhile, was in the running for Miles. They knew that they weren’t Meyers’ first choices, but both actors were confident that they would be able to snipe their competition. Downey was coming off a long series of striking indie films like “A Scanner Darkly” and “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” while Fallon was the rising star of “Fever Pitch” and, uh, “Taxi.” 

Downey recalls that he was called in to read opposite Iris and Amanda auditioners, since those roles also had yet to be cast. He knew that he had it in the bag. He even felt he had the accent down pat. His reading partner had a different opinion. In his words: 

“We both got called in just as seat fillers. [Meyers] needed someone to read with the gals and we’re sitting there going, ‘It’s about to happen for us. […] 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.'”

Downey, to his credit, didn’t insist on trying again or that his accent was good, actually. Winslet was born in Reading, Berkshire, and currently lives in Sussex. She certainly knows what she was talking about.

Downey’s firing, incidentally, shook Fallon more than anyone. How could someone as talented as Downey be turned down? “I quit the business,” Fallon said. “I never went back. That was the last time I auditioned for a role.”

Downey became Iron Man. Fallon hosts “The Tonight Show.”

Leave a Comment