41 Actor Interview Questions (And 5 Example Answers)
Updated 23 February 2023
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Actors are professional artists who perform in films, television shows, stage dramas and other productions to entertain, or inform the public. They find work by attending auditions and meeting with casting directors to showcase their talents. By understanding the types of questions that you are likely to encounter at acting auditions, you can prepare well and make a good impression on the casting directors. In this article, we review a list of frequently asked actor interview questions and look at some sample answers to help you prepare for your upcoming audition.
General Actor Interview Questions
When you go for an audition, the casting director or members of the casting team may start by asking you some general actor interview questions. These can help to put you at ease and get to know more about your personality. Some of the questions you might expect are:
Where did you hear about this audition?
What made you decide to go into the acting profession?
Why did you apply for this role?
What do you know about our production company?
What are your short-term goals for your acting career?
What do you hope to achieve in the long term as an actor?
What do you like the most about being an actor?
Do you prefer to act in live theatre or films and television shows?
What is your greatest strength as an actor?
What is your biggest weakness as an actor, and what have you done to overcome it?
Which film or theatre production inspires you the most?
Who is your favourite actor?
Related: How To Become An Actor: A Complete Guide
Interview Questions About Acting Background And Experience
After getting to know you, the casting director might ask you some of the following questions about your background and experience as an actor:
Have you taken any formal acting classes?
Where did you study acting?
Do you have a degree or a diploma in acting?
Have you had any professional voice training?
Are you able to perform using different dialects?
Do you have any formal dance training?
Can you drive, and do you have a driving licence?
What types of roles would you like to do as an actor?
Have you acted professionally before?
What productions have you performed in before?
What acting role have you enjoyed the most?
What types of rehearsal schedules do you have experience of?
Related: Types Of Jobs In Film Industry (Duties And Salary)
In-Depth Actor Interview Questions
Once the casting director has asked you about your acting background and experience, they might progress to more in-depth questions to assess your knowledge of acting, such as:
What acting role have you found the most challenging and why?
What acting techniques have you used in previous productions?
What kinds of acting styles do you perform in?
Have you ever had to enact a character that was in opposition to your values and morals?
What approach do you use to get into character?
What techniques do you use to make your character development more believable?
Do you understand why it is essential to maintain content confidentiality for film and television projects?
Which actors in the industry do you view as role models?
How important it is to establish rapport with your partner with whom you are performing to execute a scene successfully?
If you had personality differences with your performing partner, how would you ensure it did not affect the performance?
How do you stay mentally and physically healthy as an actor?
How do you try to expand your acting knowledge and ability?
Related: How To Audition For TV Serials In 5 Steps
Example Actor Interview Questions With Sample Answers
You can use the following example questions and answers to prepare your responses for your acting audition:
1. What types of projects have you acted in before?
The casting director might ask this question to learn more about your previous acting experience before making a hiring decision. You can expect this type of question in auditions for complex acting projects that require actors to know advanced acting techniques or to work in unique environments. If you have the kind of experience that the casting director is looking for, you are more likely to get the role. To improve your chances of success, you could list the different types of productions you have worked on and give specific examples of your experiences.
Example: "So far, I have acted in two commercials, one theatre production and one independent film. The commercials were for organic body soap and a pressure cooker. The theatre production was a musical, and I performed one song in it. I essayed the role of an alien in the independent film."
Related: What Is A Film Director? (Duties And Qualification)
2. What are the most valuable skills for an acting career?
Casting directors often ask this question to assess the skills and knowledge of the auditioning actor. In your answer, you can describe what abilities actors require to perform professionally. You can also give examples of how mastering these abilities helped you to become a better actor. If the casting director knows that you have the required skills, they are more likely to consider you for the role.
Example: "I think there are two particularly valuable skills for an actor: memorisation and the ability to observe, enact behaviours, expressions, and tones. It is also useful to have good intrapersonal skills and be able to speak and sing in various vocal styles and dialects. I have an excellent memory which is helpful for memorising lines and my expressive abilities help me to enact characters easily. I can also sing in a regional dialect, which improved my performance in a recent musical. I enjoy the rehearsal and production process because I like being around other people."
Related: Top Skills Of An Actor To Master (With How To Improve)
3. What professional training do you have in acting techniques?
Professional training in acting techniques is generally necessary for actors to perform in advanced and complex acting roles. If you are auditioning for such a role, it is likely that the casting director might ask you this question. They might want to assess if you have the technical acting skills to perform comedy, tragedy or melodrama. They may also check your ability to do accent and dialect work. To answer this question, you could list the acting techniques you have trained in and describe how you have used them effectively in your previous acting roles.
Example: "I have trained in the Stanislavski method, the Chekhov technique, the Meisner technique, the practical aesthetics acting technique and the method acting technique. These have been very useful in my acting roles so far. In my last musical, I used these acting techniques to give my role a multidimensional and emotional touch. It seemed to be effective because many critics were enthusiastic about my performance in their reviews."
Related: How To Write An Actor Resume (With Template And Example)
4. What is more important for an actor: talent or training?
Many casting directors ask this question to understand your personal philosophy towards acting. Your response can help them determine whether you share their personal values, which might influence their casting decision. Since many productions last for extended periods and it is essential for the team to work well together, casting directors usually look to hire people with similar values like themselves. In your answer, you can try to describe what is more important to you and explain the reasons for your thoughts.
Example: "I think actors need both talent and training. Your talent is unique—it enables you to play a role with a special quality that sets you apart from other actors. But it is not enough by itself to succeed professionally, so you can improve further by training extensively in different acting techniques. This can help you to understand the different possible ways of playing a character and become more effective and believable in different types of roles. Ultimately, this enables you to take part in a wide range of projects."
5. How do you respond to negative performance reviews?
When casting directors ask this kind of interview question, they usually want to know if you can accept criticism and learn from negative feedback. In a production, the director is likely to give constructive criticism on your performances and expect you to follow their exact directions. In your answer, you could try to demonstrate your ability to accept negative feedback with grace and professionalism.
Example: "If the criticism is valid, I use the feedback to understand my performance and think of how to improve it in the future. If the criticism is baseless, then I try to ignore it. People are not always going to like what you do, and they have the right to express their opinions. I am grateful for all kinds of reviews, both good and bad, because it would be worse to not receive any feedback at all."
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