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Top tips for avoiding typecasting in Tinseltown


Comedian Reggie Reg imitates Denzel Washington - spot on (Photo: Youtube)

June 28, 2014
19:03

by Lawrence Shanahan


In an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jason Alexander (who?) makes a cameo, appearing at Larry David’s office to complain to him about being pigeonholed as George Costanza. 

He has no trouble finding work, but can’t seem to escape the role of Jerry Seinfeld’s neurotic friend.

This phenomenon plagues many actors and actresses, but the question is why does it happen? 

Sometimes the shoe just fits – an actor, whether it is physical, a matter of his/her voice, or something intangible, is just perfect for one type of character. 

Following the success of this performance, there will inevitably be demand for more.

At this point, the actor has to make a decision whether or not to accept similar type-casted roles – though some actors don’t really have a choice and need to take the money where they can get it – as it can lead to Alexander’s dilemma. 

Take Daniel Radcliffe for example –  he only really did one role, Harry Potter, but can you picture him doing anything else? 

Maybe you’ve seen him do something else, but I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that you regretted that ticket purchase. 

Then, of course, there’s Jim Carrey (over-expressive, comical roles) and Denzel Washington. Though many may argue that he’s versatile, come on, the facial expressions are always the same (see: YouTube video on Denzel impersonation).

Some actor’s manage to resist  this typecasting, like Christian Bale, who plays a ripped Batman in The Dark Knight and then a scrawny drug addict in The Fighter, or Jared Leto, who plays a scrawny drug addict in Requiem for a Dream and then an even scrawnier transsexual with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. 

It would seem we have found the solution for these afflicted actors stuck in specific roles: lose 30 pounds and turn yourself into a drug addict. If you’re already a drug addict then get AIDS. If even this fails, just go the tranny route and you’ve got yourself a Golden Globe.