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Before stars became, well, stars, they had to prove themselves. To go from virtual unknowns to household names, these actors had to be convincing. Grab some popcorn, take a seat in our casting room and enjoy.

Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones)
Momoa landed the role of Khal Drogo by performing the haka, a traditional dance associated with New Zealand’s Maori people, during his audition. The haka has nothing to do with GoT but Momoa’s wild, intense take on it proved he was their only choice.

Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana)

Is there really any acting going on here? This just seems like Miley being Miley.

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Paul may have needed a line during his audition for the AMC hit but he still nailed it, snagging one of the most coveted television roles in recent years, the impulsive, hedonistic, extremely troubled Jesse Pinkman.

Blake Lively (Gossip Girl)

Lively’s awkward albeit amused take on the character, reformed party girl Serena van der Woodsen, was enough to convince everyone she was their star.

Seth Rogen (Freaks and Geeks)

Rogen had the entire room howling as he auditioned for the part of Ken Miller in the beloved show. Obviously a shoo-in — and not bad for his very first role (and perhaps his very first audition).

Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

It was obvious from the laughter during her audition for the role of Dee Reynolds that she was the only gal for the part. We guess it worked out for her both professionally and personally; Philadelphia is also where she met her husband, series creator and star Rob McElhenney.

Chris Colfer (Glee)

Colfer oiginally tried out for the part of Artie Abrams (a role that eventually went to Kevin McHale) but creator Ryan Murphy was so impressed by Chris that he created the role of Kurt Hummel specifically for him. Now that’s how you ace an audition.

Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place)

It’s a little jarring that nearly eight years later, she still looks the same. But, honestly, how adorable is Gomez? Nobody else could’ve played Alex Russo.

Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live)

Fallon may have been nervous during his audition but with hilarious characters and impressions this bang-on, he needn’t have worried. And who would’ve thought the guy in this video would go on to host The Tonight Show? Amazing.