Lv 7
SH0891 asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheatre & Acting · 2 months ago

Do actors choose their roles or do they just do what their agent gives them?

7 Answers

  • R K
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    agents don't give their clients rolls, they only get their clients on auditions for rolls

    they think the actor could play.

  • 2 months ago

    An actor can turn down a role,  but you can't walk away from something you weren't offered.  Sometimes actors are on contract to a studio and are obligated to take on a number of projects,  but nowadays  you audition,  you beg,  you negotiate,  you die to get work.

  • 2 months ago

    The question indicates you don't understand how casting works.  Casting involves a team of people, not one person.  These teams need to work together to cast a project.

    So a production company hires a casting director (CD) to find qualified people to audition for a role.  If the CD knows an actor that might be good for role, they invite the actor to audition.  A CD can also write a "breakdown" (a description of the project and the roles to be cast)  The CD makes the breakdown available to legitimate talent agents.  Agents review their roster and submit the appropriate actors for the roles.  (To submit means to send in an actor's professional head shot and resume listing their acting training, experience, special skills and links to a show reel demonstrating their previous screen work.)  An actor can also "self submit" - meaning if they know about a role they'd be interested in they can send in their head shot and resume to the CD as well.  If a CD is interested, they invite the actor to audition. Then the agent will notify an actor of an audition. There can be several different levels of audition and when a decision is made, the CD contacts that actor's agent to make a offer and discuss terms.  

    So an actor needs to network with casting directors, so they're aware of the actor's skills and acting goals.  This increases the chances that an actor will be invited to an audition.  The actor needs to communicate with their agent so the agent knows the actor's availability and acting goals and will submit them for the appropriate roles.  The agent works with the casting director to provide actors who fit the breakdown and availability to work.  And a group of people (directors, producers, network executives, etc) all have input in to who is cast.  And an actor is never forced to take a role, if they decide they don't want to do a role, they can refuse any offer. 

    The thing that a lot of wannabe actors don't realize is that they need to step up and take responsibility for their careers.  It's not that they just get an agent and an agent takes care of everything.  That's just not the reality of the industry.  But on the other hand production companies invest a lot of money in their projects and they trust that investment to trained and experienced professionals so they're not holding  open auditions that any actor who wants to can go to.  Additionally in the US there's a who issue of union vs non-union jobs and actors who are members of the SAG-AFTRA actor's union.

    Basically attempting a professional acting career involves an actor starting and running a business  They need to understand the industry - casting, networking, marketing and the like.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Agents don't 'give' roles to anyone.  

    Agents are sent details of a role (or roles) by casting directors who work for the film/TV/theatre company.  They then look through their client lists to see if any of them would suit the role and fit all the requirements.  They then contact any of their clients who might be interested and suggest that they might like to audition.

    If the actor would, then, like to audition they tell their agent and the agent sends their CV/resume, photos, links to showreels, etc, to the casting director.

    If the casting director then chooses to offer an audition to that specific actor, they get in touch and give a date, time and place to attend.

    The actor then has to compete with all the other actors whose agents have gone through that process.

    If any actor looks at the details sent by their agent and decides that they aren't interested, they simply don't apply for an audition.   Sometimes, after attending an audition and meeting the director the actor will decide that they really don't like the role, the director, the arrangements or whatever, they can still decline to accept the role if it's offered to them.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    First of all, agents don't give roles to their clients. That's not their job and that's not how it works. The way it works is, when a new project starts casting a casting director is hired. The casting director creates a "Character Breakdown" specifying exactly the roles they're looking to fill based on their age-range, looks, ethnicity, special skills, etc. Then they approach the agents they know and trust. The agents go over the breakdown, go over their client database, and submit to the casting director only the clients they believe may fit those said roles (meaning, they send them those clients' resumes, demo reels and headshots). Out of those, the casting director will invite to audition only the handful *they* believe may fit those said roles. Those actors will come in and audition for as many rounds as needed till one gets each role.

    Only the big, A-list actors can afford to turn down roles and only they (sometimes) are offered roles without auditioning first. The rest, the 99.99% of professional actors, should take any acting job they can get. Anything that pays the bills. If they constantly refuse roles, their agent will eventually drop them. Agents make money only if and when their clients book a job. It's NOT about the actor, it's BUSINESS. The more limited the actor makes themselves, the less auditions and jobs they'll get. In the more extreme cases, that bad reputation will follow them throughout their career.

    Agents do recommend to their clients about accepting or not accepting a role, however. Especially if the client is a famous one. They're involved in their career in that sense.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    depends on how big of a name they are in Hollywood .............

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Both. Some actors take whatever they can get. Some actors are still discriminating, even starving ones. Some actors have enough caliber to be very discerning of what their agent brings them. Some actors have enough caliber to send their agents out to get them the roles they want. Some actors have so much clout that they start their own production companies and do whatever roles they feel like, and if there are none, then they have their production company do a film or play with a role in it that they do want that they then cast themselves in.

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