The Time Dane Cook Impressed Steven Spielberg With an Audition, But Never Got a Movie Role


Dane Cook is a kind of icon of the millennium. The stand-up comic gained prominence in the early 2000s thanks to extremely successful special comedy films such as Rough Around The Edges, Retaliation and Vicious Circle. During this time, he also had a fairly successful career in cinema, although perhaps film fans would not have written it in books on the history of cinema. But he almost had a big chance for a dramatic role, only to have the rug ripped out from under him when the project failed. It was Steven Spielberg’s now-defunct Trial Of The Chicago 7 project.

As you can see in the video above, I recently met with Dane Cook to discuss his new stand-up special, “Above All,” and when I asked if he would like to take on more dramatic roles, he said this gem of a story:

I have a great Spielberg story. I was engaged in the “Chicago Trial” [7] when he was its director. There was a moment when it was good for him to go. So I went to Zane, his casting director, and taped myself with her. And she just looked at me and said: “It was a really good audition, really good.”.. and my agent called me, he said, “Spielberg wants to meet you for dinner tonight.” in his house. He was watching the tape. He was shocked.” And it was one of the coolest phone calls and moments in my life. About 3 hours later, my agent called me again. On the same day I’m getting ready for dinner. He says, “Everything is ready.” Everything fell apart on the same day. And I was humiliated. I was so, I was so broken by it.

During this event, the project was big news, as Steven Spielberg was originally supposed to direct a script written by Aaron Sorkin. In the end, Spielberg had to give up due to budget problems after the Writers Guild of America strike in 2007. The film was finally realized in 2020, this time with Sorkin himself at the helm, and received a very positive overall reaction from both critics and fans, which later earned him six Oscar nominations.

While Dane Cook may have fallen victim to overexposure around 2010, immersion in dramatic acting has always been on the comic’s wish list. He starred in the 2007 film “Mr. Brooks” in a rather serious role alongside Kevin Costner and proved that he has dramatic abilities, thanks to the game, which caused positive reviews. He even auditioned for the role of Steve Rogers in the movie “The First Avenger: The First Avenger,” although the infamous prankster still managed to get into some trouble in the process. He still retains some hope for the future of such endeavors, especially given the fact that he has received proper support from Spielberg himself.:

I saw him three months later at some Hollywood party. And his assistant knocked on me and said, you know, “Mister. Spielberg would like to chat with you.” I needed to come over, and he put his hands on my shoulders. He says: “You gave a great performance,” and he gave me my flowers to audition for… but it was like it gave me the courage to go, “if I’m patient and just keep doing things when my time comes.” to do this, I hope other people will see it reflected in the work.” And then, who knows where we’re going from here.

So hope for Dan is not lost! The two have an understanding. Spielberg, obviously, still retains his status as a legend of cinema, as his latest film “Storytellers” receives rave reviews and received the coveted award “People’s Choice” during his first appearance at TIFF. As for Dane Cook, he has a new special called “First of All”, which was filmed in his own house in the Hollywood Hills. It is available right now on the Moments platform, but only for a limited period of time. The streamer focuses on live performances that can be tuned in using the live chat feature, but now offers a “replay” of the special edition. This is far from the path that most stand-up comedians of Dane Cook’s level follow. While Netflix is releasing massive specials this year, such as “Fluffy Stadium” by Gabriel Iglesias, Dane chose to go the other way, choosing a platform for live broadcasts, almost pay-per-view, where he gets all the available metrics and has personal legal ownership of the broadcast itself.

If you’re a fan, I can confidently tell you that “Above It All” is amazing. The comedy special is more personal than most others, and it’s available right now on Moment! If you don’t like stand-up, you can always check out our schedule for the release of films for 2022.


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