Not I, Robot?

I just found out that the director for I, Robot “didn’t respond to any” of the tapes he saw, including mine.
In the mysterious Hollywood lexicon, this can mean a number of things, but it usually comes down to one of the following:

  • My interpretation of this character and his vision don’t match up.
  • I don’t physically look like what he has in his mind.

These are both very valid, and totally understandable reasons . . . but it doesn’t make me feel any less sad. It’s frustrating to hear “the director didn’t respond to you,” because it’s so nebulous. It’s like being told, “You’re not getting this job. Why? Because. Next!” It also has a sort of negative feeling to it, doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that I have heard “the director didn’t respond” without any real elaboration countless times in my career .
I was very happy with my audition. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I know that I could have done a great job with this character, and I would have been really good in this movie.
Whle I didn’t sit in my living room for days, not eating and agonizing over getting this part, I was genuinely excited about the opportunities it presented. Working with Will Smith and Alex Proyas, and getting to play a robot would have been awesome.
Thanks for all the support, everyone.
The journey continues . . .

189 thoughts on “Not I, Robot?”

  1. Due to a complete lack of any real accomplishment in my real life, I wish to attack you, Wil.
    EVERYONE! LOOK AT ME! I AM IMPORTANT BECAUSE I INSULT PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET!!!11!!!
    63.207.60.120

  2. hey, wil, don’t worry about it. it doesn’t really sound like such a great movie, anyway. (just my opinion!) if you had been in it, i would have seen it, but now there’s no chance they’ll get my money. i’m sure you will find something better worth your time soon enough. good luck! you rock!

  3. This would be my first time posting to the site, though I’ve been reading for several months. I just wanted to say that watching you on TNG is one of the best memories of my high school days, and that this director has shot himself in the foot. I would have gone to see the movie if you had been in it, and probably won’t now. I don’t get out to the movies very often, but I would have made the trip to see Uncle Willy in action again. I’m sure lots of folks feel the same way.

  4. That sucks the big one. But there are other auditions and roles out there. And there will be one that will a roll just like Gordy from Stand By Me. And it will be tailored made just for Uncle Willy

  5. Hey will,
    I see your Pax movie is premiering this Friday Book of Days. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. I enjoyed your daily logs from the st of the production, so to watch the final edit will be great
    Matt Jay

  6. Duane, that was an interesting “episode”: Insult him with some cheap shots (in caps, no less), then make a non-sequitur shift of topic to saying a part in a classic SF story is embarrassing.
    ‘Hope you take something for it.

  7. Well, I venture to say that the fact that he didn’t respond to any of the tapes, may not necessarily be a bad thing. I mean, I don’t know how the whole wheel spins in Hollywood, but I’m thinking, that perhaps this may not be something to read too deeply into. I’m betting that he is just a very focused person and doesn’t want to lean too much into who he likes or dislikes. That type of thing could, I think, get distracting to everyone. I mean if the casting director (whom obviously liked your audition quite a lot) were to call you and a few others and say “Yes he was excited over your tape, he seemed to like you very much” or something along those lines it could very well get hopes up, and the director probably doesn’t want that kind of distraction going into this whole thing.
    Other than that, I wouldn’t let it stop you from trying. You know that old cliche, about falling off the horse and getting back on it, etc. Don’t let a bump on the head put you down.
    I wish I could offer you more encouraging words than that. But since the closest I ever came to being an actor was when I was about 8 months old and a diaper company wanted to put me in a commercial (which my parents refused, still wondering why!) I really can’t come up with anything special that might make ya think. ;)
    (Right now I picture Wil reading this post and thinking “What the hell is this guy talking about?!”) LOL
    Don’t give up my friend! Good things are waiting just around the corner! :)

  8. Well, to quote a line from one of Proyas’s own flicks, “The Crow”
    “It can’t rain all the time. ”
    (Eric Draven)
    Now I dunno if that is ironic or what, but it happens to fit the situation. Uncanny!

  9. No worries, you’ll nail the part for “I, Robot, she Jane”… although I’m not sure on your take with nude scense.

  10. sigh. Ok. I tried counting to ten,but its not working. That guy’s getting an effing horse’s head in his bed tonight!…ever see Mulholland Drive? ;)
    Better luck next time,
    Wil.
    yipee kiyay mofo?(from the die hard WWweblog fan)

  11. Wil, truly sorry that you didn’t get the part, but I am very proud of you for keeping your head held high and moving on to the next possible opportunity!
    Wishing you all the best!

  12. Hey Wil,
    I think you would have made a great robot. I, Robot was a great book. Would have rocked to see you in it.
    But hey… at least you’re doin’ X3dGaming commercials :P
    (Hey, we all gotta pay the bills) ;)
    Most likely, you didn’t get that job, because it would conflict with the better one, which is right around the corner.
    You’ll see Wil. You, if any one, deserves it.
    RevXaos
    (Beau)

  13. The director must have seen Andy Sirkis (in the Two Towers) once too often.
    And forgotten to realize that that’s mostly CGI.
    He should try a few episodes of Captain Proton, to watch Satan’s Robot at work, and then reconsider.
    Anyway, stick with the good parts: you made the first cut, and nobody was judged better for the part than you.

  14. Wil,
    I’m sorry the part didn’t go as you and so many of
    your fans had wished for…but…
    I look forward to your MOVIE, THIS FRIDAY
    JANUARY 31st ! on PAX
    “BOOK OF DAYS” STARRING WIL WHEATON & others…
    then… there is always the next gig…
    later Wil !

  15. Wil:
    Well, the unfortunate thing is that the final decision is all the director’s. And there are an awful lot of directors that are egocentric, mean, arrogant and just downright strange! But those things are part of the reason why they’re directors and why they are or aren’t good. We all know that you’re good, Wil. If not this film, then another one will fall into your lap!
    Scott :)

  16. Wil:
    Well, the unfortunate thing is that the final decision is all the director’s. And there are an awful lot of directors that are egocentric, mean, arrogant and just downright strange! But those things are part of the reason why they’re directors and why they are or aren’t good. We all know that you’re good, Wil. If not this film, then another one will fall into your lap!
    Scott :)

  17. Wil:
    Well, the unfortunate thing is that the final decision is all the director’s. And there are an awful lot of directors that are egocentric, mean, arrogant and just downright strange! But those things are part of the reason why they’re directors and why they are or aren’t good. We all know that you’re good, Wil. If not this film, then another one will fall into your lap!
    Scott :)

  18. Maybe he saw the X 3D infomercial, and couldn’t help picturing you saying “But it’s not!!! It’s scientific fact!” :D

  19. Prediction . . .
    I, Robot will win the 2004 the coveted “B-M-W-N-S-B-W-W-W-I-I” award!
    (For those who need a refresher, that’s the “Best Movie We’ll Never See Because Wil Wheaton Wasn’t in It” award, given by Morgan and Megan at The Screen Savers.)

  20. I got booted out of my last gig because I wasn’t latino – I know, an easy accusation for a white guy to make, but we were shipping out of Puerto Rico at the time; and believe me, it’s really NOT a standard accusation made by Canadians….
    I played up a storm – just not right for the gig.
    Then 9/11 hit, and thank god I wasble to get work ashore when the travel industry tanked.
    Relax, Will – something will come along that will help & totally amaze you. Best of luck. PM

  21. Hey Wil,
    That really sucks!
    Any other interesting auditions on the horizon?
    Any thoughts on the MPAA and DRM these days? I really enjoyed chatting with you about DRM at the SF con in Pasadena over last Thanksgiving weekend…

  22. Will,
    Well the next audition will come and go but be happy that you have friends and family near you. I am sure we will see your face up on the big screen again soon…some one out there has got to realize what a huge following you have and will cast you as an evil arch enemy in some great comic book movie or something. Good luck in what is to come!

  23. Awwwww, this makes me sad =( I’m sorry you didn’t get the part. I love you and I love Robots, so quite frankly, this movie would have seriously kicked some ass…

  24. Sorry you didn’t get the part you would have made a cool robot. I can still watch you oon TNG though it was the warp bubble episode last night with the Traveler and tonight it is on again (not the same episode of course) Hard luck hope you get a cool part soon anyway. :[:[

  25. Perhaps the director would respond to my shoe in his arse, or my finger in his eye. Sorry Wil…their loss.
    And really…
    “I was very happy with my audition. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I know that I could have done a great job with this character, and I would have been really good in this movie.”
    That is all that really matters.
    Let this director swim at the bottom of the ocean with his vision.

  26. Wil,
    Bummer about the job, but it brings to mind another question -
    We all know what a terriffic writer you are and are anxiously awaiting the completion of your novel. Why not write some screenplays next? You probably have been already. But I’d love to see you do something like that.
    Just a thought.
    Chin up.
    Brock

  27. You don’t want to work on this job anyway…
    I mean, Will smith…what a hack. He spells his name with 2 “L’s”…
    sheesh. Honestly though, that’s too bad. You’d have made a good robot. All that time studying Brent playing an android.

  28. Okay, admittedly, I’ve only acted in COMMUNITY THEATRE, it’s a volunteer thing (have never gotten paid for an acting gig), I’m not doing it for my career, so I don’t quite know what you are going through right now, but I want to say “I understand exactly what you are goin’ through”.
    It’s hard to judge what the director’s in our own area are looking for when choosing for particular shows. At our community theatre, we usually also have a “director’s advisory board” (usually composed of the stage manager, the production manager and members of the executive board of the theatre).
    I’ve gotten to sit in on a number of casting sessions this past two years, since I was serving as secretary for the organization. We ALL had our various opinions about who should play what, but it all came down to one person’s decision (the director’s). The advisory board is really only supposed to tell the director stuff like “he has trouble learning dialogue” or “she’s consistently late” or “these two actors don’t get along and may cause friction within the cast”. It inevitably, however, turns into the board routing for their friends to be in various roles (when you are in community theatre, almost every person who auditions in our friend/associate).
    I’m going to have that hard job in a month. I’m directing my first show (a one-act play in an evening of one-acts: “On Tidy Endings” by Harvey Fierstein). I’ve been envisioning various people in my head for these four roles for a while. I just hope that I see/hear them when it’s time for the auditions to role around.
    Hey, don’t sweat it. In the long run, it’s just one man’s opinion. It also doesn’t mean that Proyas doesn’t “like” you…he just wanted to go a different way for THAT character. It’s nothing against you (I know that’s harder to deal with when you depend on the acting gigs to feed your family…).
    Wil, I have a feeling that with Megan going away on maternity leave, you may just be getting a few more frequent calls from TechTV to fill in from time to time in the near future. Heck, maybe you could pair up with Chris Perillo (sp?) on “Call For Help” now that it looks like they are grooming Cat to join “Screensavers” as Megan’s replacement (as Morgan’s sidekick).

  29. ps. Whatever you do, don’t take a gig on “Surreal Life II” (if they make one). That would just be sad. Corey Feldman is making such a big fool of himself on that show. I thought it was even sadder that he had to use YOUR website to plug his (and the show).
    I realize that you may be friends and I’m not slagging on him. I hope the best for him and wish that he was still making movies. He’s a natural comedian. He’s just got to get his ass into gear and start hitting those auditions.

  30. Ouch… Sorry, Wil. You sounded really amped up about the possibility of getting that part. It’s really too bad they didn’t pick you. Think of it this way: You didn’t get to be in the movie, but on the other hand, they didn’t get to have an actor of your calibre in their movie. I think -they’re- the ones who lost out here… :)

  31. Maybe this is one of those “sometime things happen for a reason” deals.
    A few months ago, I applied to a start-up newspaper here in the Washington area called the Federal Paper. At the time, it had only been existence for about two months.
    Well, two months later I’m listening to the radio — and the news comes on that the dang thing has folded already!
    I’m not saying that I, Robot will fold, but you know how weird Hollywood can be.
    You’ll be fine – you have your family, your health and your writing.

  32. Keep at it Wil, I know how you feel. Good luck on the book and I shall buy a copy as soon as it comes out.
    Peace,
    Scott M

  33. Welcome to the world, Wil. Look at the plus side…you’re not getting turned down 7-10 times a week. I’m out of work and looking for a job. Someone says “Hey, we might have something for you.” If I’m not accepted, I’ll probably never even hear back from them. It is certainly discouraging and all you can do is keep plugging away.

  34. Wil, I’m really sorry to hear about this. Rejection always stings, especially when you know you did a bang-up job. I had a similar thing happen to me this past summer:
    I worked in radio for awhile, but I eventually left it because it’s such a bullshit industry. Anyhow, the high school in my wife’s hometown was looking for an assistant at their radio station. I’ve been wanting to escape my soul-sucking desk job for a long time, and this was a golden opportunity. I’d been thinking about a career in education, and the guy who runs the radio program is planning to retire in two years. It was perfect. I have a way, WAY more actual broadcast experience than this guy (he never worked in the field), and I could’ve used those two years to work towards my teaching certifcation.
    I interviewed with the guy and a couple of school officials, and I thought I *nailed* it. Turns out I didn’t get the gig, and I never really got a clear answer why. I think I may have scared the teacher off with my resume, along with my thoughts about challenging the kids to think critically about how we consume media (and how the media consumes us). It would’ve been a dream job for me, but instead I’m typing this while I should be doing some work here in the Seventh Circle of Hell.

  35. Whoa, I’m late in this one.
    Sorry to hear about the gig, Wil. I was rootin for ya. Oh, well, my movie budget is $0 a month in any case, so I’ll try to get someone to tape you on PAX. (Cable budget also $0/month.) :)
    Later.

  36. I’d suggest making sure your readers are aware that leaving harrassing notes to get you a gig on a directors forum is probably going to get the opposite end result.

  37. hey wil! sorry to hear about your audition. better luck next time (heard it a million times, i know) want us to beat up the director? (oh, wait, nevermind, violence is NOT the answer)

  38. Hey Wil…I’ve been reading for a long time but this is my first comment. You just ‘sounded’ kind of down in the last few posts, so I thought I would do my little part to cheer you up.
    I thought Wesley was really cute when I watched TNG in high school.
    Okay, so that was lame for comfort, but it was all I can think of (it is true, by the way). Go hug Ferris! Puppy hugging always makes me feel better.

  39. “The Hollywood Lexicon” would make good title for a book. Or web page. Or tabloid. No, never mind. It’s not all that interesting after all.
    Maybe he’ll respond in a day or two. Could be a performance got under his skin and he just doesn’t know it yet. But don’t hold yer breath.

  40. Jeez… If I’m thinking about teaching you’d think I’d do a better job editing my posts. Sorry about the two typos I noticed just now!

  41. You need to change the rules. Create your own fortune. Get a bunch of (arts/film/drama?) students, preferably a large way off from Hollywood and make your own movie. Post it to the net. Marketing like Blair Witch project. That will get you on all the TV shows. Should improve your profile.
    The first Open Source Movie!
    Just a stupid idea, I guess.
    Know Three Dead Trolls?
    Cheers,
    Oliver.

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