March 29, 2013 at 9:30 AM ET
Actors: They're so cute when they're young. And, as their audition tapes often prove -- super-talented. Now, some audition tapes featuring actors before they were uber-famous are going up on the auction block, and Darren Julien and Martin Nolan of Julien's Auction House joined TODAY's Matt Lauer Monday to share some extremely rare footage.
"We've never sold anything like this, so it's hard to say" how much the tapes will go for, said Julien, though bidding estimates are currently in the very reasonable range of $2,000-4,000.
The tapes are not very high quality, but showcase some actors in the earliest years of their careers and shine a revealing light on just which actors went up for which roles, parts they weren't always right for. One of the tapes features a 15-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio in 1990 trying out for a TV series based on "The Outsiders," instead, the role went to "Mad Men's" Jay R. Ferguson.
Also up for purchase: Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr. and Keanu Reeves all trying out for 1991's "Backdraft" (the role went to William Baldwin), Gwyneth Paltrow and Helen Hunt trying out for the role Laura Dern ultimately won in 1993's "Jurassic Park" and Nicole Kidman giving it her all while auditioning for 1991's "Shattered" (a role that went to Greta Scacchi). Plus many more.
The tapes came from a casting director who wished to remain unnamed, but who had taken the footage over the past 30 years. All in all there are 12 lots of videos, with 54 auditions in all, and they hit the block from April 5-6.
It's no surprise that many of these actors went on to fame and fortune, but as Nolan noted, "You have to start somewhere."
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