Jessica Alba auditioning for the role of Agent 99 in Get Smart, which went to Anne Hathaway? Julia Roberts doing an unknown audition before she became Pretty Woman? A very young Natalie Portman auditioning for her breakthrough role as Mathilde in Leon: The Professional? Robert DeNiro auditioning for the role of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather?

I’ve always wanted to see the audition tapes of famous actors, for many reasons. First, it’s really refreshing to see that the stars too, had (and have!) to stand in front of a four headed committee, unflattering light and everything, and act with a monotoning casting director. And second, it’s really educative! You see pure self-generated acting from the greats without props and sets and costars. You might also get an idea of what your audition tapes look like, and what does and doesn’t work.

So I present to you here: 15 great (and not so great) audition tapes of famous actors…