Actress Olivia Wilde was stunned to score a role in new comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone because she was convinced she was the "lame horse" in auditions and had no chance at landing the job.

The beauty reportedly faced stiff competition from fellow actresses Judy Greer, Jessica Biel and funnywoman Sarah Silverman for the part of magician's assistant Jane, but it was the Tron: Legacy star who was picked to feature alongside Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi - and she can't believe her luck because she has little experience in the genre.

She tells Marie Claire magazine, "It was a bit of a coup getting this role - it was intended for a comedian. My agent knew I loved comedy, but I was a long shot, the lame horse at the back."

However, Carell, who also co-produced the movie, insists Wilde blew casting directors away with her performance.

He says, "Her audition was fantastic. Subtle, but full of detail. She was my immediate first choice."

And Carell admits her presence on set lifted everyone's spirits, "I was struck by the care with which she goes about her work, and the joy that she brings to the work-place. Everyone likes her. It's impossible not to. She has an unrelentingly good heart. I also happen to think she is an enormously talented actor. I feel lucky to have been able to work with her. She is genuinely kind, compassionate, unassuming, funny and smart. All traits that I detest in a person."