LOS ANGELES—Stopping producers in their tracks after an exhausting, fruitless day of screening candidates for their film’s lead, local actor Christopher Ryan, the perfect fit for the role, poked his head into the audition room Monday to ask whether it was too late for him to be considered. “Is there still time left for me to go?” asked Ryan, 23, sweetly oblivious to the fact that he was the living, breathing embodiment of the part on which the success of the multimillion-dollar project depended. “I saw the sign on the door as I was walking by. Thought maybe I could give it a shot, but if you’re all done for the day, I understand.” At press time, the producers had leapt up from their chairs to stop Ryan from reaching the door after he misinterpreted their awestruck silence as proof that he shouldn’t have auditioned and turned to leave.

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