Hugh Jackman reveals he was 'humiliated' losing out on 'Miss Congeniality' role opposite Sandra Bullock

Hugh Jackman reveals he was 'humiliated' losing out on 'Miss Congeniality' role opposite Sandra Bullock
Hugh Jackman claims he couldn't keep up with Sandra Bullock (HughJackman/MissCongeniality/ Facebook)

Hugh Jackman has an impressive Hollywood journey, but he still chortles at his failure to get Sandra Bullock's love interest role in the 2000 romantic comedy 'Miss Congeniality.' Before Hugh Jackman became famous for playing Wolverine in the 2000 movie 'X-Men'. Jackman talked about his first audition for the romantic comedy in a recent cover story.

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During a cover story for Variety, Jackman recalled auditioning for the Miss America spoof spy story while admitting he didn't want the part. Still, his agent wanted him to use it as leverage in contract negotiations for 'Someone Like You', a different romantic comedy starring Ashley Judd.

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Indiewire reported that Jackman said, “No one knew ‘X-Men’ yet, I was a nobody.” However, the 'Miss Congeniality' audition did not go as planned, Jackman realized he couldn't keep up with lead star Bullock, recalling thinking, "Holy shit! She's incredible! And it was so quick. I'm not even close to being up to speed here, I was pedaling as fast as I could," Jackman joked, "but I didn't know the script well enough."

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Hugh Jackman attends the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City.
Hugh Jackman (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Ultimately, Benjamin Bratt was cast as an FBI agent opposite Bullock. "It's humiliating when your agent tells you, 'I don't want you to get this job, but go get it.'" Then you don't get it," Jackman explained.

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Jackman went on to star in the 2001 rom-com 'Someone Like You' with Judd and 'Kate & Leopold' with Meg Ryan, which was produced by Bullock. Indiewire reported that 'Miss Congeniality' earned Bullock a Golden Globe nomination and grossed over $212 million worldwide. 'Someone Like You' grossed $36.2 million at the box office, while 'Kate & Leopold' grossed $76 million worldwide.

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As reported by Indiewire, 'Miss Congeniality' is one of Bullock's best films, the Oscar winner for 'Blind Side' later reprised her role in the critically panned 2005 sequel 'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous'. Bullock has a "no sequels rule" because her subsequent franchise films, such as 'Speed 2', have been "stinkers", Bullock said.

Sandra Bullock attends a screening of
Sandra Bullock has a 'no sequels rule' because of her subsequent franchise films grossing less (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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As reported by Indiewire, Bullock said at SXSW 2022 about starring in sequels, "I feel like, in my old age, I'm learning to fight for the things that I think would be best onscreen — and I don't care who walks away angry," In 2022, Bullock will star in the romantic adventure comedy 'The Lost City' and the action film 'Bullet Train', while Jackman will star in Florian Zeller's Oscar contender 'The Son'. Jackman, a four-time Tony Award host, and two-time Tony winner, has even put his hat in the ring to host the Academy Awards again after serving as emcee in 2009.

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