Wow, actors.

The good ones are sorcerers of sentiment and magicians working in otherwise elusive moods.

The bad ones are preening, emotionally atrophied, egomaniacal child-adults lost in a fog of petty self-adoration.

You want the former.

So if you find yourself having to put up with the latter, fire them immediately. It doesn’t matter how good they are they will eventually erode your sanity with their pettiness.  Either the daddies didn’t touch them enough, or touched them too much—who cares: that is an issue for therapists, counselors and priests, not film productions.

The most important thing to remember is Model/Actor means model, not actor.

You don’t want models for your film unless you are using them as an ornament, some sexy art direction in the background.  You want models for your print advertisements.

You want actors—good actors—for your film.

A stunningly beautiful actor who can’t act will be far less adored by the last frame of the film than a good-looking actor who knows how to engage and manipulate the emotions of the audience.

I know many models are pretty to look at, but trust me: you want actors for your films.

The bottom line for actors is this: if they can’t do it in rehearsal they can’t do it on set.

If any actor tries to sell you on the idea that “when the time comes I’m going to bring it” simply nod, dismiss them and recast.

There can be happy accidents on sets, but no surprises.  Know exactly what your actors can and cannot do or you might just learn it the hard, expensive way.


~ by David Jetre on January 25, 2011.

2 Responses to “Actors”

  1. I know this is an older post, but thank you for writing that. I have seen recent projects being cast with “non-actors” simply because they like their look or “Oh, but he’s so funny when he talks to everyone – He’d be great for my film!” idea. It all goes down hill from there when they get on camera and freeze. It’s so painful watching a director try to PULL what he wants out of a person who is not fit for the role. It makes you want to shake the person and say, “why can’t you act?!” Oh, that’s right, they’re not actors. They have other wonderful callings to them in life, but acting may not be one.


  2. Happy to help. Just some experience from several small projects when I was first starting out.

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