Auctions Are The New Auditions

Jeffrey Donovan’s much-desired butt got a little close to the casting couch Sunday night. Well, kind of. At a benefit concert, the “Burn Notice” star auctioned off two walk-on roles on the show for $18,000 each. Maybe the lucky female bidders were under the impression that the cameos involved smooching Donavan’s character (Michael Westen)? Seriously though, kudos to the USA Network for greenlighting this casting-for-charity scheme. [People]

But I’ve gotta wonder: Is buying a role the new form of auditioning? After the jump, see three more roles that were assigned through unconventional means.

  • Last spring Tom Hanks auctioned off a speaking role opposite his wife, Rita Wilson, in “The Taming of the Shrew.” The proceeds went to benefit Shakespeare Festival L.A. We have no idea what the winning bid was, but the package did come with some pretty juicy extras—like star-filled cast parties and Tom Hanks recording a personalized answering machine message for the lucky bidder, I mean actor. [Hip Hop Elements]
  • A walk-on part in “Spider-Man 4″ is currently being auctioned to benefit Stand Up to Cancer. Before you pull out your credit cards, though, please note: “Spider-Man 4″ hasn’t been greenlit by its studio yet. [Slam Fish]
  • This one wasn’t for charity; it was actually for profit. This year Banana Republic sponsored a contest where “Mad Men” addicts could pick up an audition code at a store then go online to upload photo of themselves in ’60s garb. The winner received a $1000 shopping spree and a cameo in “Mad Men.” [AMC]

Skipping drama school sounds kind of like a good right now.