This is really intriguing. As part of its next “Hollywood Legends” event April 5-6, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills will be for the first time selling some slices of videotaped Hollywood casting history. With all sorts of big names in the mix:
Tapes include Leonardo DiCaprio’s audition for the role of Ponyboy in The Outsiders; Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves and Dermot Mulroney for Backdraft; Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt and others for roles in Jurassic Park; David Arquette, Adrien Brody, Noah Wylie, Ben Affleck and Lisa Kudrow auditioning with Ellen DeGeneres for Mr. Wrong; Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Dempsey and others for A Beautiful Mind; and more.
No offense to daytime talk titan DeGeneres, but any one of those audition tapes is probably going to be more entertaining than the entire flick.
We touched base via email this morning with auction house CEO Darren Julien, who answered our queries from a plane. He is traveling from LA to New York to appear on Friday’s edition of The Today Show.
Julien told FishbowlLA winning bidders will receive original VHS tapes of the auditions (no DVD transfers here). He said the materials were obtained directly from casting directors, which we quite frankly didn’t even know was possible from a rights-holder point of view.
As usual, Julien’s is presenting a conservative advance bid-range estimate of between $2,000 and $4,000. But there’s no doubt the purchase price for most if not all of these one-of-a-kind items will be higher. DiCaprio was 15 at the time he auditioned for The Outsiders role; in the end, the part of Ponyboy went to Jay R. Ferguson.
[Image of the DiCaprio treasure courtesy Julien’s Auctions]
PLEASE NOTE (per reader comment below): The audition tape in DiCaprio’s case relates to the 1990 20th Century Fox TV series, not the original 1983 feature film adaptation.
Update – 04/01/13: There has been some angry fallout in Hollywood over the idea of casting directors selling old audition tapes for profit. Per an item by Backstage executive editor Daniel Holloway, all signs point to Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson as the sellers. The Casting Society of America has officially condemned the sale, while other casting directors have vented their anger on Twitter. There is the very real possibility that Julien’s will be forced to withdraw the items.