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When to say "NO" to a role?

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

In 2015, I submitted pictures for a network television show, which will remain nameless. Within an hour, I received an email that stated that I booked the role. The weekend before, I received the script for the episode along with the wardrobe information. Initially, I opened the email on my phone, scrolled through at least forty pages, and searched for my lines. That’s when I saw it - a passionate love scene. I tossed my phone onto my bed, upset because if that information was in the initial casting, I would’ve never submitted my pictures in the first place.

Moments later, I asked the Casting Director how intense the scene was?

To which they responded by asking if I was comfortable with any groping or on-screen kissing? During our email exchange, I thought to myself why these questions weren't mentioned in the initial casting? That way those who were uncomfortable would not have submitted in the first place!

Can I Turn Down a Role?


Some people may not agree with you turning down a role - and that is okay! When I turned down this particular role, I was in a Facebook group for background actors. I remember discussing the situation with the administrator. They stated that it wouldn't be smart to turn down this specific role on a show many tried to book. They also stated it would make the group look bad. (Insert eye roll here!) I mean, it wasn't like the Casting Director knew I was in this particular group. I think the admin of the group was trying to make me feel bad. If a specific role either convicts you or makes you feel uncomfortable, DON'T DO IT because you'll regret it in the long run!

Tips BEFORE turning down a role:

  1. When you receive a script, be sure to read it in its entirety.

2. Do not just read your lines but also read the other character lines

3. If you aren’t comfortable with the content of the script, be sure to let casting know ahead of time. That way, they can have time to re-cast for your role.

4. Lastly, if you have a Talent Agent, be sure to discuss it with them first.

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