Dailies | ‘Today’ Airs Early Audition Tapes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman (Video)

Watch Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Nicole Kidman, Helen Hunt and more major stars read for early auditions

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman weren't always just offered roles — they had to audition, for better or worse, as proven by a few never-before-seen casting tapes that aired on Friday's "Today Show."

The segment started by showing DiCaprio, the star of blockbusters like "Titanic" and "Inception," auditioning for the role of Ponyboy Curtis in the 1990 television series "The Outsiders." His early reading is just one of many (54 to be exact) that have been provided by three anonymous casting directors who are auctioning them off to the highest bidder through Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.

Also read: Brad Pitt Abandons His Family to Save Humanity in 'World War Z' Trailer (Video)

In one of the less-refined auditions, a young Pitt reads for a part in Ron Howard's firefighter film "Backdraft." Keanu Reeves and "Iron Man 3" star Robert Downey Jr. were also after the role, which eventually went to William Baldwin.

Not all of the eventual A-list stars get rejected, though. Kidman cries on command in a passionate audition for the 1991 thriller "Shattered," and the water works got her the part, but she ended up turning it down. 

And although Laura Dern famously played Dr. Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster "Jurassic Park," 2013 Oscar-nominee Helen Hunt gives a very convincing performance as the paleobotanist who can't get enough of prehistoric dinosaur poop.

Watch the video:

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