Sean Penn Says His 'Entitlement' Attitude Almost Cost Him Jeff Spicoli Role
One of the great stoner characters in the cinema was almost played by someone other than Sean Penn because the actor showed a “sense of justification” during his audition.
While it's hard to imagine anyone other than Penn playing Jeff Spicoli's role in 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, two-time Oscar winner Jimmy Fallon said on Wednesday how he almost screwed it up. (Watch the video above.)
Penn said he had no cent in his pocket when he was called in to try out the role for director Amy Heckerling, writer Cameron Crowe, and others. But he had an attitude.
"I had a sense of sophistication as an actor, not because I thought I was so good, but because I thought the rest was not so good and that gave me a lot of confidence," said Penn on The Tonight Show. "" I was annoyed at every audition and was therefore terrible and confident. "
Penn tried to convince the filmmakers to trust him and give him the role because he knew the pot-smoking surfer character. For free.
So he reluctantly auditioned "terrible and flat". He was released and went dejected into the parking lot, where a battered, borrowed Mazda was waiting for him.
But then a casting director who was in the room ran into the parking lot and said to him, "Come back in and listen to your ass."
Penned with belief in him, Penn did what he was told. "I gave it a little bit, and they gambled on it, and then we had a great time making the film," he said.
And the character who called his teacher "a dick" and said, "I just need a few tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine," Penn became forever.
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