Patricia Arquette Recalls Failed 'Jerry Maguire' Audition with Tom Cruise: 'I Blew It'

"I'm a notoriously bad auditioner," the Oscar winner admitted

Patricia Arquette, Tom Cruise
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

Patricia Arquette is the first to admit she's bad at nailing auditions.

The Oscar winner, 54, told Variety at the SAG Awards Sunday night about the time she tried out for 1996's Jerry Maguire alongside star Tom Cruise — and things didn't go too well.

"I'm a notoriously bad auditioner," said Arquette. "Everyone was saying, 'Oh, this is just a formality. You're gonna read with Tom Cruise for Jerry Maguire. But this is your part, you've got it.' And I blew it."

Directed by Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire starred Cruise, now 60, as a fired sports agent setting out on his own while representing a football player (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Renée Zellweger ultimately got the role of love interest Dorothy Boyd — and Arquette said that was the right choice.

"I actually think she was better for it, and she was great," she said.

Jerry Maguire
Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire. Everett Collection

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

There's another role that got away: The Doors, Oliver Stone's 1991 rock 'n' roll film starring Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan, apparently was close to Arquette's at one point.

"I just heard on this podcast the other day our friend sent us that the casting director, that Brad Pitt and I were her choice, we were the first ones who came in to read for The Doors, and she was like, 'Why are we having any more auditions? They were perfect.' I didn't even know," she told Variety. "There's a lot you don't know. As an actor, you gotta go in and do your best, take a chance, have fun, and you gotta let it go because it's really out of your hands."

Arquette added that she's a "terrible auditioner" and called the process "not easy."

Back in 2019, during a conversation for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series, Arquette told Julia Roberts that she auditioned for her part in 1990's Pretty Woman.

RELATED VIDEO: Jamie Lee Curtis Shares the Special Item She Plans to Bring in Her Purse on Oscar Night

"So many, many, many years ago, one of my early auditions was for a movie called '3,000.' Most people don't know that '3,000' was the original Pretty Woman script. And the ending was really heavy," Arquette recalled, as Roberts added of the original ending, "Threw her out of the car, threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away, leaving her in some dirty alley."

"Right. So it really read like a gritty art movie. When you first read it, it was that incarnation?" said Arquette.

Added Roberts, 55, "I got the part in '3,000.' I love that you're asking me this question, but I had no business being in a movie like that. This small movie company folded over the weekend, and by Monday, I didn't have a job. There was one producer that stayed with the script, and it went to Disney. I thought, 'Went to Disney? Are they going to animate it?' Garry Marshall came on, and because he's a great human being, he felt it would only be fair to meet me, since I had this job for three days and lost it. And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse."

Related Articles