Typecasting (acting)

From Academic Kids

For other meanings, see typecasting.

Typecasting is the process by which an actor is strongly identified with a role or genre. Central casting often exhibits a pattern of placing the actor in subsequent similar character roles after one success. There have been instances in which an actor has been so strongly identified with a role, particularly title roles, as to make it impossible for him or her to find work portraying other characters.

Often a typecast actor may attempt to escape this fate by choosing a role particularly distinct from the ones they had been typecast as. This is called "playing against type", as in Tom Hanks's eschewing of his "nice guy" image in the feature film Road to Perdition.

Dustin Hoffman's choice to play the disreputable Ratso in Midnight Cowboy after playing the naive Benjamin in The Graduate is generally considered a famous instance of an actor avoiding being typecast, in Hoffman's case as ingenuous characters. Instead, Hoffman began to establish his fame as an actor of extraordinary range.

Typecasting often occurs to leading actors in long-running TV series. It is also a particular problem for character actors, especially those with a distinctive voice or ethnic look.

Typecasting also occurs in other performing arts. An opera singer may be limited because of voice range or prior success in one role, such as Denyce Graves as Carmen.

See also

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