The 'Moonlight' star dishes on "one of the worst auditions" of his life for 'Game of Thrones'

By Nick Romano
January 12, 2017 at 05:41 AM EST

Even great actors like Mahershala Ali bomb auditions.

Speaking to Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday, the Moonlight star — an Oscar frontrunner for his work in Barry Jenkins’ film — revealed he once auditioned for a part on Game of Thrones.

“I think my audition guaranteed that I wasn’t almost on Game of Thrones,” he told the titular host of Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday. “That was one of the worst auditions of my life.”

Ali was up for the part of a “merchant who gets locked in a safe,” which can only be Xaro Xhoan Daxos, played by Nonso Anozie. “I’d gone in for this casting director before, and I felt like I had two other wonky auditions with her, but I was really prepared this time around.”

So what went wrong? The chair.

As Ali explained, he practiced some leaning power moves, but his seat in the HBO offices turned out to be a backless stool. “So, I’m kind of sitting there with my feet halfway off the ground, a little bit stiff during the audition, and then she goes, ‘Wow, you gotta loosen that up, that was really stiff. That was a problem,'” he recalled. “So it was because I didn’t have a back to my chair.”

Watch the clip above.