Harry Hamlin claims he once auditioned for Raiders of the Lost Ark

By Alexia Fernandez
January 03, 2020 08:28 PM
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Harry Hamlin claims he once had a brush with one of the biggest franchises in movie history in an interview with the New York Post.

The 68-year-old actor recalled some of his most bizarre auditions for the outlet in which he claims he was once called in to audition for the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

“The year is 1978, I believe, and Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are casting about for a new movie they were gonna make called Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was on the shortlist of actors to come in and audition for Indiana Jones,” Hamlin claims of the role that eventually went to Harrison Ford.

Hamlin recalls meeting actress Stephanie Zimbalist at Spielberg’s offices where the two allegedly met the filmmaker.

“[Spielberg] said, ‘Harry, Stephanie, I’m so sorry, but George’s plane is going to be late. He’s coming flying down from San Francisco and is gonna be at least 45 minutes until he gets here,'” Hamlin claims of the moment. “But here’s the thing, Steven said. George loves chocolate cake. Steven said, ‘Come into the kitchen.’ He said, ‘Listen, guys, I want you to bake a cake for George. Everything here it’s all the ingredients are here but please, if you get it in the oven by the time he gets here, he will be delighted.'”

Harry Hamlin; Steven Spielberg
Charles Sykes/Getty Images; JB Lacroix/WireImage

Hamlin says he and Zimbalist were then tasked with baking a cake without a recipe. In the time they were attempting to bake the dessert, Hamlin says he began speaking to Zimbalist of a close friend of his, actress Amy Irving. Irving would marry Spielberg in 1985, and the two would divorce in 1989.

“I was talking about how Amy was calling her friend group in LA,” Hamlin said. “She was kind of getting annoyed because this guy, Steven Spielberg, was showing up at the stage door every night with flowers.”

Hamlin continued speaking of Irving and Spielberg.

“This was before VHS, this was before you could go to the video store to buy a camera, it’s before any of that. It never occurred to me that we were actually in the audition while we were making the cake. The place was bugged with cameras and microphones and they, George and Steven, were upstairs watching us make the cake,” Hamlin claims. “That was the audition to see what our chemistry was like.”

He continued, “I’d been riffing on how annoying Steven Spielberg was to my friend Amy, so hey, guess what? I didn’t get the part, OK, and I’ve never worked with Steven Spielberg. And I grant you that I never will work with Steven Spielberg and I never learned how to make a cake.”

The role of Indiana Jones went to Ford, who starred in the film opposite Karen Allen. While the movie may not have worked out for Hamlin, he did go on to have his own success in 1981’s Clash of Titans and the series L.A. Law from 1986 to 1994.

Hamlin has also appeared in a slew of other projects including Mad Men and Veronica Mars.