Do We Have This One?
Casting agents usually have a very specific appearance in mind when casting actors to play their characters. When holding auditions there will usually be descriptions noting what the character should look like, for example blonde hair, frail frame, not too tall etc. This is also the case when casting actors in adaptations of books and video games. However, sometimes an actor who is completely different from the physical description shows up for the audition and they completely nail it. The casting directors throw the description out the window and hire this actor because of their performance. This sometimes leads to other tropes such as Race Lift
, Adaptational Attractiveness
and often Hollywood Homely
and Hollywood Pudgy
if the character was meant to be ugly but references to this weren't removed when an attractive actor was cast.
Real Life Examples:
Live Action TV
- The character of Lisa in Saved by the Bell was written as a Jewish princess with the auditions calling for white females only. Lark Voorhees (African-American) got the part based on the strength of her audition.
- Producers were reluctant to cast Amber Benson as Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she was too voluptuous for the supposedly plain girl but she won them over with her awkwardness.
- When casting Julia in Party of Five producers wanted a relatively young actress (the character was 15 at the time) but ended up casting the 19-year-old Neve Campbell due to her strong attitude during the audition.
- The 80s BBC Production of The Chronicles of Narnia cast four children who were nothing like the descriptions - Peter looked too young, Lucy was much older and chubbier, Susan was blonde and Edmund looked older than Peter - but they all gelled well together in their auditions.
- Shelly of Northern Exposure was written to be Native-American but Caucasian Cynthia Geary ended up getting the part.
- When holding cheerleader auditions in Bring It On the cheerleading squad wants a girl who fits the typical cheerleader image. When tomboy Missy gives the best tryout they are reluctant to let her on the squad but she gets on anyway.
- A strange case with Bridget in 8 Simple Rules when she ends up getting the part of Anne Frank in the school play despite looking nothing like her. She reads the book and ends up giving a fantastic performance.