Part of my job as a casting director and acting coach is to watch TV & Film, lot’s of it! I know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it:) I watch a variety of shows, but I make an EFFORT to watch shows that center around or feature kids. It’s my job to know talent and trends. What networks are responding to, who’s hot and who’s not. With the onslaught of mediums through which you can watch tv and movies, it’s sometimes hard to keep up.
I just started watching the first season of “Shameless” on showtime. I know, I’m late! **Warning-this show is NOT for everyone. It’s a FANTASTIC show with a strong cast, lead by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Shameless is centered around Rossum and the siblings she’s left to take care of because of absentee parents including her alcoholic dad (Macy) who while present isn’t able to take care of anyone, including himself. The subject matter is intense, the performances are stellar.
As I stated, the subject matter may not be for everyone, the kids curse, find themselves in compromising situations and seem to take care of themselves the best way they know how, nothing’s off limits. Shameless works. Watching it got me thinking about how many parents would not be okay with their child portraying a character that steals, uses foul language and sometimes finds themselves in compromising situations? Even when said children are actually good natured, caring and left with carrying the weight of the world on their small shoulders. The further along in this business you get, the more opportunities like “Shameless” are put in your path.
Here’s my take…there WILL be roles that fall outside of your comfort zone. That’s a fact. You can dismiss them without further thought or you can take it case by case.
Read the script. Learn the project, do your homework. If the content of the script makes sense for your character, it’s probably worth further review. Know your child, every child is different. Can they handle it mentally, physically, and emotionally?
I want to hear from some of you. How would you handle a “Shameless?”