Awards Roundtable: 6 Top Actors Reveal Fears, When They've Said 'No' (Video)

9:00 AM PST 10/30/2013 by THR Staff

Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Josh Brolin and Michael B. Jordan sit down for a freewheeling discussion on audition anxiety, turning down a $15 million payday, and why Leto refuses to watch his own films.

Awards season is getting into gear, and six celebrated actors are cutting loose in the first of The Hollywood Reporter's roundtables.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners), Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Josh Brolin (Labor Day) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) gathered for a no-holds-barred conversation, where the awards hopefuls -- who grace the cover of THR's Nov. 8 issue -- discussed disastrous auditions, hard-learned lessons and turning down $15 million for a film.

PHOTOS: Oscar Roundtable: 6 Actors on Mistakes, Sacrifices, and Strange Auditions

The video above previews some of the key moments from the actors' conversation.

Brolin says fear is always part of his professional life. "There’s always fear. You re-create yourself in every movie, don’t you?" After Leto admits to having talked himself out of plenty of auditions, Brolin jokes, "Where you're sitting in the waiting room and you're going, 'I got to get the f--- out of here, man.' "

McConaughey addresses reports he turned down $15 million for a Magnum, P.I. film, saying: "I heard that number. I don't think I ever saw that in the offer."

Whitaker comments on some film observers calling 2013 "the year of the black actor" by reflecting on his own career choices.

"I've been fortunate, I guess: I've gotten to play a lot of very diverse roles for quite a long time. But in the beginning, I was thinking: 'I'm not gonna do certain characters. I will be willing to say no and live on a couch,' " Whitaker says. "And I was really happy. Maybe more happy sometimes than in the latter years when I had more, when I was thinking and considering more things for different reasons -- for family, for my home. But luckily I was able to at least maintain some sort of a line. Even if I would veer right or left, I would stay pretty close to center, and the roles were really interesting."

THR COVER: Uncensored Actor Roundtable Kicks Off Awards Season

When the group is asked whom they turn to for advice, Gyllenhaal turns to Jordan and jokes, "You can say McConaughey."

Later, McConaughey's Dallas Buyers Club co-star Leto admits he has hasn't seen many of his films.

"I don't watch [my] performances. I've seen a couple of my films only. When I make music videos, I'm watching all the time, but there's something that stops me from watching the films," he says.

Watch the highlights video above. See the entire, uncensored conversation here.

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