When to say "NO" to a role?

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 the shoot, I received the script for the episode, along with all of my wardrobe information. Initially, I opened the email on my phone and 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 casting, then I would’ve never submitted.

Moments later, I sent an email to the Casting Director asking how intense was this scene?

To which they responded by asking was I comfortable with any groping or on-screen kissing? The entire conversation, I thought to myself, that the questions the Casting Director asked, should’ve been stated in the initial casting call - that way people like me who were uncomfortable with those things wouldn’t have first, wasted their time submitting for a role like that, accepting the role, only to turn down the role in the end.

Can I Turn Down a Role?


Some people may not agree with you for turning a role down. At the time I was in a Facebook group and I remember discussing the situation with the administrator - and them making the statement that I was stupid for considering turning down the role on a show that many tried to book on. BUT little did they know that I wasn’t desperate for roles. AND this specific role did NOT align with my moral compass nor did it represent how I wanted to be portrayed in the film and television industry

Here are some tips before you decide to turn 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.

Do you have any tips or instances where you had to turn down a role? Send us an email to

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