Leaked audition video of director criticising actor’s ‘tiny’ apartment sparks debate about classism in Hollywood

Leaked audition video of director criticising actor’s ‘tiny’ apartment sparks debate about classism in Hollywood

Over the weekend, a video posted to social media by Euphoria actor Lukas Gage has drawn attention.

The 30-second clip shows Gage auditioning via Zoom, sitting in what appears to be a living room with a TV mounted in the background.

As Gage is setting up, an unidentified director can be heard speaking, presumably under the impression that he couldn’t be heard.

He says: “These poor people living in these tiny apartments, like, I’m looking at his background and he’s got his TV…”

At this point Gage interrupts to tell him he’s unmuted, and adds: “I know it’s a s***y apartment but that’s why give me this job and I’ll get a better one.”

The director proceeds to apologise profusely, saying he’s “mortified”, while Gage adds with a smile: “I’m living in a 4x4 box, just give me the job and we’ll be fine."

For starters, lots of people also suggested that the apartment – what can be seen of it at least – really doesn’t look that bad for a 25-year-old.

Writer Laura Dockrill tweeted: “When I was his age I was living in my mums sitting room with a pull out sofabed, haunted by a taxidermy buffalos head (don’t ask) my clothes hanging on a broken curtain rail, writing on a desk held up with house bricks. This is a palace, boy, and this director? MEAN!”

Comedy writer Jack Rooke said: “Literally it’s SUCH a nice apartment, there’s a two-tone wall thing going on, that door has a thick regal border, he has a mirror AND a flat screen TV and most importantly a chain on the door. At 24 I had none of these things. I had a property guardianship with some crack dealers.”

The video was posted on Twitter and Instagram, and while it’s an entertaining, if cringeworthy, moment, lots of people responded to highlight the fact that it’s not uncommon for actors to be treated with disrespect, even when they’re relatively successful.

David Alan Basche, who has appeared in films such as Sex and the City 2, War of the Worlds and Wedding Weekend, said: "During auditions I’ve had directors answer their phones, look at their watch, cut me off after three words."

EastEnders actor Nitin Ganatra tweeted wearily: “Just another day in ‘f***ing hell day’ for an actor. Lukas you’re a gentleman!”

Theatre actor Caroline Sheen said: “This has really depressed me today. To actually hear the utter disrespect from this man who has power in our industry towards a lad who is just doing his job and trying to make a living. What an absolute sh**. And you just know he’s not the only one who does it...”

Lamorne Morris, who played Winston in New Girl added: “I used to walk down the street looking for change so I could eat. I wonder what he would’ve said about me.  This sh** pisses me off on another level. I hope this dude wins an Oscar next year and refuses to work with that director for his next project. Keep crushing it dude.”

Comedian and actor Billie Eichner, who appeared on Parks and Recreation and American Horror Story summed it up in a tweet which has been liked more than 9,000 times, saying: “Actors are often (not always but often) treated like garbage and taken advantage of because ‘we’re just lucky to have a job’ and ‘we’re gonna take the job anyway’ etc etc. It’s very f***ed up.”

Actor Chad Lowe referred to the director as “a d***ish snob” and actor and writer Katy Brand said there are “way too many posh snooty men in film”.

It’s not the first time our perceptions around successful actors have been challenged.

Earlier this month, Jason Mamoa revealed he was ‘starving’ and ‘in debt’ after appearing on Game of Thrones.

As good a time as any for a reminder that not all that glitters is gold…

MORE: How you can help women in film

The Conversation (0)