Created By: DannyVElAcme on April 16, 2011 Last Edited By: DannyVElAcme on August 25, 2011

Buddy Casting

A director populates his movies with actors he's friends with.

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He's got a little help from his friends.

Needs More Examples

Picture this: you are movie director Tee Roper. You had a few indie hits under your belt and gotten enough of a rep that you finally have your chance at a big Hollywood production. And lo and behold, it was a success! You have finally hit the big time! You now have the chance to hire some big-name actors for your productions, sweet!

And then something interesting happens: you and the actors you've hired start getting along well. Real well. You simply just click with them and you enjoy the collaboration. The actors approach you and say "Hey, Tee? Any time you need someone for a flick, gimme a call, buddy, I'll be there." And lo and behold, they are. You announce you're gonna make a new film and they are more than willing to star in it, maybe even approaching you themselves offering to act in it. Pretty soon, you and those particular actors become practically synonymous with each other.

And that, my friends, is Buddy Casting: the tendency for directors to have a favored group of actors who concurrently star in their movies.

This cannot happen without the director and actor getting along, as no matter how awesome the finished film is, they won't want to do another one if they hate each other's guts. The director and his stable of actors collaborate frequently because they like each other and believe they play to each other's strengths. Another form of buddy casting is that the director and actors were friends before their respective careers, and maybe hit the big time together at the same time. Perhaps even on the same movie.

This doesn't mean that this is always a good thing, mind you. It sometimes happens that the director and actors become too associated to each other, to the point that they collaborate with each other in pretty much every flick they do, whether it merits it or not. The director will start cramming his buddy actors into his films even if it's a cameo which has no bearing on the plot, or give him a starring role for which his buddy actor is not an appropriate fit. On the actor's side, he starts starring in his buddy director's films so often, he starts getting pigeonholed into them. On a worst case scenario, the director gets criticized as being too dependent on his buddy actors, and the actors get basically blacklisted from other directors' productions to the point they ONLY get work from their buddy director.

Compare/contrast Pigeonholed Director, Type Casting, Stunt Casting.

Examples:

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • April 16, 2011
    Ekuran
    I think this may be Production Posse. Otherwise, I would nominate this as the YKTTW of the year.
  • April 16, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @Ekuran: I read Production Posse, and it's not very specific. It mentions collaborations between directors and composers, for example, and it mentions film crews as well. The way I wrote my trope, it is specifically about the dynamic between directors and actors. Perhaps Production Posse could be a supertrope for this one.
  • April 16, 2011
    Ekuran
    Never mind then.
  • April 17, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I can see the distinction you're making but I think in practice is more or less IS Production Posse, just The Same But More Specific. Most tropes for the one will be on the other, I don't think it's different enough to warrant another trope.
  • April 19, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    Bumping, want more opinions on it. Do we need this, or does Production Posse already cover it well enough?
  • April 19, 2011
    Ekuran
    Perhaps you can expand upon Production Posse with an Internal Sub Trope that includes Buddy Casting.
  • April 19, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    That's a good idea. I think Production Posse needs a clean-up anyway, I found it kind of haphazardly-made.
  • April 19, 2011
    randomsurfer
    [Deleted: Oops, wrong ykttw.]
  • April 19, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I can see a distinction, if Buddy Casting is specifically for actors and Production Posse is for other members on the production team like composer, make-up artist or producer.
  • April 20, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @NoirGrimoir: That's my point, that Production Posse should be a supertrope to this. While relationships between, say, director and composer are frequently just as or more intimately intertwined, the relationship between director and actor is a much more up-front and interesting one, I think. It's like the difference between spices and meat/vegetables: spices give flavor and life to the dish, but the main ingredients are the ones that make the dish when all's said and done, and the main thing we judge. It just seems Production Posse is too all-encompassing and doesn't go in-depth.
  • April 20, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    This reminds me very much of the Star System, to be honest with you.
  • April 25, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @TwoGunAngel: Star System refers to fictional characters being recycled in other roles in different series, this refers to a director using the same actors. Similar, to be sure, but there is a distinction.
  • May 3, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    If you're going to make this then obviously something about Production Posse will have to be changed so I'm suggesting you bring it up in the Trope Repair Shop and go from there.
  • May 4, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @NoirGrimoire: That's a good idea. I'll make the suggestion there and see how it progresses. I hope in the meantime I get more examples. Thanks for the suggestion :)
  • May 4, 2011
    arromdee
    Joss Whedon seems to reuse his actors a lot...
  • May 4, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Sam Raimi has brother Ted, and, of course, Ted's former babysitter: The Bruce.
  • August 25, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    Bumpydeedump

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