Kate Winslet Recalls Robert Downey Jr. and Jimmy Fallon's Failed “The Holiday” Auditions: 'That's Bad'

"Here he is now winning everything [for 'Oppenheimer']," Winslet said of Downey, after recalling his "dreadful" accent for his 'The Holiday' audition

The leading men in The Holiday could've looked very different!

During a recent visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, one of the 2006 movie's stars, Kate Winslet, recalled both the host, Jimmy Fallon, and Robert Downey Jr. auditioning for the comedy classic.

“I remember [it] extremely well,” said Winslet, 48. “We were sort of told ... well, I thought it was just a reading, like a fun read of the script. I didn’t realizing you were auditioning for the part."

She told Fallon, 49, of his tryout specifically, "I am so sorry you didn’t get it. And I’m sorry if I happened to have been mean to you in any way, or rude. I don't think I was — I'm just checking."

After Fallon assured her she was "so nice" to him, Winslet went on, "You were very sick and you were obsessively hand-sanitizing. And I thought, ‘Okay, he’s one of those people.’ And then COVID happened and I was like, 'I'm gonna be one of those people!' "

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<p>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube</p> Kate Winslet and Jimmy Fallon on <em>The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon</em> in February 2024

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

Kate Winslet and Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in February 2024

Related: Kate Winslet Says She's Recognized More for The Holiday Than Titanic: ‘It's Lovely'

As for Downey, 58, Winslet revealed that he "did an English accent" during his audition — presumably to play the part of her character Iris' brother, Graham (which ended up going to Jude Law) — but she "thought it was an Australian accent."

“I thought, ‘That’s bad — that’s not gonna work, and who's gonna to tell him that sounds dreadful?' " said the Academy Award winner.

"I think it was an Australian accent, and I think it sounded great!" joked Fallon, who lost out on the part of Iris' romantic interest, Miles, to Jack Black. "I go, 'This is perfect, but I don't think the character [of Graham is] supposed to be Australian.' "

"It wasn’t actually that great,” said Winslet, as she and the host laughed. “But that’s really sweet of you to have said that!"

And here he is [now], winning everything [for Oppenheimer]," she praised Downey, agreeing with Fallon that the latter is a "fantastic" and "amazing" actor.

<p>Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty, Zade Rosenthal/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock, Neil Mockford/FilmMagic</p> From L: Jimmy Fallon, Kate Winslet in <em>The Holiday</em> (2006) and Robert Downey Jr.

Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty, Zade Rosenthal/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock, Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

From L: Jimmy Fallon, Kate Winslet in The Holiday (2006) and Robert Downey Jr.

Related: 'The Holiday' Director Shuts Down Rumors of an Imminent Sequel: 'Sorry but It's Not True'

The Holiday follows heartbroken movie-trailer producer Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who offers up her Los Angeles mansion in order to get away for the holidays, before similarly downtrodden columnist Iris (Winslet) answers, swapping her English country cottage.

During their visits, Amanda falls for Iris' widower brother Graham (Law, 51), a book editor, while Iris hits it off with film composer Miles (Black, 54), a friend of Amanda's ex.

“Did you know that The Holiday would be such a cult classic, a big hit film?” Fallon asked The Regime star during her appearance on his show.

“People come up to me in the street more about The Holiday and the episode of Extras that I did than Titanic,” Winslet revealed. “I promise you. Especially at Christmas.”

“And actually what’s so lovely is that mothers and daughters come up to me in the grocery store and they say, ‘Oh Kate, we just love The Holiday, it's our little ritual at Christmas,’ ” Winslet continued.  “That’s something I never would have expected, actually — the sort of mother-daughter connection around a film like that. It’s so nice. It’s lovely.”

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