Giovanni Ribisi's audition refusal

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Mark Wahlberg leads the cast of a white-knuckle action thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked hard to leave behind and the family he'll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling, which is dominated by desperate criminals, corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs. Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) abandoned his life of crime a long time ago, but after his brother-in-law (Caleb Landry Jones) botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), he's forced back into doing what he does best-running contraband-to settle Andy's debt.
January 4th, 2012

Giovanni Ribisi refused to audition for 'Contraband'.

The 37-year-old actor thought it would affect his performance if he had to "do an accent and yell" and is grateful the movie's director entrusted him with the role of a blackmailing smuggler without trying out.

Discussing his involvement in the project, he said: "I would say it definitely starts with the character and something that was like, 'I can't do this, this is not me. I'm miscast. Are they serious?' So then I went in and I spoke to the director and they wanted me to audition, and I went in there and I said 'No, I'm not going to audition for this. It's impossible. For somebody to do a good job. I mean, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to come in there and do an accent and yell and stuff like that and see what it's like? No. You have to trust me as I'm entrusting you and to really dive in and know that it's a process and there are several months away and I'm going to be working on it.'

"And he did, and I'm grateful for that, because I think we had a really good working relationship together."

Giovanni always likes to immerse himself in a role as much as possible because he thinks it is important to "engage" an audience.

He told Comingsoon: "I think in anything, you have to keep asking yourself, "What is possible?" and I hope that doesn't sound pretentious or anything, but you have to dive in, and I think why not? It's an expression, and it's not like showing off or anything, but part of trying to engage an audience, and in this day of internet and YouTube and social networking and all that stuff, which I think in a way is becoming the new artistic movement, oddly enough, I still think for me it's still something that's engaging. A performance, something that captures people. No matter what. The Greeks were around doing it thousands of years ago."