Top 10 Movies About Auditions Every Actor Should Watch

Top 10 Movies About Auditions Every Actor Should Watch

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Auditions are a key part of any actor’s journey, serving as the gateway to exciting opportunities in the world of the performing arts and entertainment industry. The process of auditioning easily can be both exciting and stressful, as upcoming and even established performers strive to showcase their talent and leave a lasting impression on casting directors.

There is a fine chance you initially fell in love with the idea of becoming an actor through movies. Sometimes they portray the actual process of the profession, especially focusing on the auditions. 

To shed light on this pivotal aspect of the acting profession, exploring it through the lens of cinema can offer potentially valuable insights and inspiration. No worries - no spoilers for the audition movie plot ahead.

Black Swan

  • Year: 2010
  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Starring:  Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

The psychological thriller is set in New York City and follows a talented ballet dancer Nina Sayers, portrayed by Portman, on an intense journey to perfection and the pressures of auditioning for the lead role in “Swan Lake.”

Sayers struggles with her insecurities and the pressure to embody both the innocent White Swan and the seductive Black Swan. The bleak plot of the movie shows how the intense competition in the auditions makes Nina lose her grip on reality, as she competes with another dancer, Lily, portrayed by Kunis, who embodies the qualities of the main role more naturally.


  • Year: 2014
  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

This drama explores the relationship between the jazz drummer Andrew Neiman, played by Teller, and his instructor Terence Fletcher, portrayed by Simmons, at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York City.

The movie highlights the competitive nature of auditions in an extra dramatic way, as the main character competes for the core drummer position within the band. Fletcher's dedication towards success continuously strains the relationships in his personal life, as he practices more and more excessively.


  • Year: 2014
  • Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Starring: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone

This comedy-drama follows a washed-up actor Riggan Thomson, played by Keaton, who is attempting to revive his faded career through writing, directing and starring in a Broadway play adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”, which actually is an real work of literature.

The movie sheds light on the challenges of auditions in the stage arts world, like the struggles of working together with fellow actors, seeking validation in the industry and balancing professional careers with private life obligations.

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All That Jazz

  • Year: 1979
  • Director: Bob Fosse
  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking

This semi-autobiographical musical drama portrays the life of director-choreographer Joe Gideon, played by Scheider, as he tries to balance staging his Broadway musical with editing a Hollywood film he directed at the same time.

The movie shows the main character, who is inspired by director Fosse’s own experience, navigating auditions, rehearsals, and personal life struggles in the entertainment industry.

A Chorus Line

  • Year: 1985
  • Director: Richard Attenborough
  • Starring: Sabrina Bryan, Robert Fairchild, Spencer Liff, Ross Lynch

Based on the book of the Broadway production of the same name. This musical follows the audition process for a group of dancers trying to get spots in a prestigious chorus line by trying to impress the choreographer Zach, played by Michael Douglas.

The movie’s audition plot highlights and explores themes such as rejection, complicated personal relationships, especially between Zach and former lead dancer Cassie, played by Alyson Reed, and the demanding nature of the industry.

Singin’ in the Rain

  • Year: 1952
  • Director: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
  • Starring: Gene Kelly,  Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell

The musical comedy offers a take on Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies, which changed the industry forever, also showing the auditioning and casting challenges during that era.

Particularly the classic movie focuses on the love triangle between actors Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, played by Kelly and ?, and chorus girl Kathy Selden, with them ultimately coming together to overcome struggles of the aforementioned changes in the film industry.


  • Year: 1980
  • Director: Alan Parker
  • Starring: Eddie Barth, Irene Cara, Lee Curreri, Laura Dean

The musical drama follows students at the New York City’s High School of Performing Arts as they navigate auditions, competitions, and the pursuit of fame in the entertainment industry.

The movie is set in four time periods - Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, Junior Year, and Senior year - with each of those focusing on the same group of students, who are enrolled in three different departments: Drama, Music, and Dance.

The Artist

  • Year: 2011
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius
  • Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell 

Despite being released well into the 21st Century, this French comedy-drama is a silent black-and-white film, which follows silent movie star  George Valentin, portrayed by Dujardin, and the upcomer Peppy Miller, played by Bejo.

Set in 1927, it shows the changing era of Hollywood, as Valentin’s once bright career gradually declines, all while Miller’s suddenly rises to bigger and bigger success.

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Mulholland Drive

  • Year: 2001
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Starring:  Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller

This surrealist neo-noir mystery unravels the dark side of Hollywood through intertwined stories involving aspiring actresses and their auditions for roles that blur reality and illusion.

Often regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time, it tells the story of an aspiring actress Betty Elms, portrayed by Watts, who has just arrived in Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams and befriends an amnesiac woman Rita, played by Harring. The two women then embark on a journey to uncover Rita’s true identity.

La La Land

  • Year: 2016
  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, J.K. Simmons

Receiving 14 Academy Awards nominations and winning six of those, this musical romance showcased the highs and lows of auditioning in showbiz well.

The story follows an aspiring actress Amelia “Mia” Dolan and jazz musician Sebastian "Seb" Wilder, played by Stone and Gosling respectively, as they pursue their artistic career dreams and fall in love, with the City of Stars serving as the backdrop.

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