Actor Eddie Redmayne attends 'Meet the Actor' at Apple Store Soho on November 4, 2014 in New York City.
Noam Galai—WireImage
By Nolan Feeney
January 5, 2015

Eddie Redmayne has garnered plenty of Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, but that road to film stardom wasn’t without a few bumps along the way.

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Redmayne opened up about his failed bid to win the role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies, which ultimately went to Martin Freeman. Redmayne, who went to great lengths to prepare for his role as Hawking, applied a similar rigor to his Bilbo audition, studying the character’s previous screen incarnations and practicing his voices.

But when he showed up to his audition, he was quickly told to lose the voice (but not the kooky hand gestures)—and never got a call back. But as fellow guest Anna Kendrick explains, it’s refreshing to hear stories about actors who go out on a limb and don’t get the part.

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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