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Why do some actors stay in the same role forever


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Old 16-05-2013, 13:02
Swanandduck2
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I usually assume someone becomes an actor because they enjoy playing different roles, trying on new characters etc. But some actors seem to take on one role and treat it like a job for life eg the now infamous William Roache; Sally Dynevor; Adam Woodyat; Helen Worth; Ann Kirkbride and so on

They all joined Corrie or EE as young actors just starting out and are still there decades later having played no other roles whatsoever. They might as well have got a job in the Civil Service or the Bank or somesuch as all they seem to want is a secure job for life. Nothing wrong with that, but surely actors are meant to have more of a sense of adventure, experimentation etc?
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:06
milliejo
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Job security and they like their character...In many cases the characters have grown up..Helen Worth does good work on campaigning for the protection of elephants...I actually got a phone call from her a few years ago, she was campaigning for New Labour in a general election....It think the ones that stay are actually less likely to draw attention to themselves....they are often older, over 40..

Another is Simon Gregson, Steve has always been terrific character and Eileen Derbyshire who doesn't do interviews.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:09
stud u like
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Helen Worth was in "Doctor Who" and other productions.
Sally Whittaker/Dynevor was in "Juliet Bravo"
Adam Woodyatt was in "The Baker Street Boys".
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:16
Swanandduck2
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Yes but they're all jobs they did years and years ago but then, at a very young age they settled into a soap role and never left it.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:25
jiroos
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It would be interesting to know whether they have been offered other roles which they have turned down by choice or if their contract prevents them from trying something and, because of the job security, they've been left with no choice but to refuse.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:35
dodrade
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Apart from the job security and steady income, if you have been a high profile character in a soap for many years you effectively become typecast and have little chance of decent TV work if you leave. Most who do leave soaps after a long time seem to end up in regional theatre.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:38
lexi22
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Yes but they're all jobs they did years and years ago but then, at a very young age they settled into a soap role and never left it.
I don't see anything odd about it. It's a great gig. Maybe they know their limitations as actors, how precarious the profession is, and realise that nothing else will give them (a) the audience they have (b) the 3/4 days a week tv profile and (c) the great paycheck. They're all character actors doing something they love, where else would they get the exposure they have and the character growth/development and key storylines over the years? Good sense rather than lack of ambition imo.
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:48
bookaddict
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Why would they leave a secure job? Some obviously do, but it can be hard for some actors to get work after they are so closely associated with one character. It's a precarious profession anyway, so I guess if they're happy where they are, why not stay?
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Old 16-05-2013, 15:14
Swanandduck2
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Job security is something a lot of people want but I would have thought the instinct that propels people into acting would also push them into wanting to explore more than one role. Acting seems to be a vocation as opposed to a rational, practical career choice so I just find it unusual when some actors seem to settle into one role at an early age and never move on to new ground.

I'm not talking about soap stars who have left their soap, found that they can't get any other work and so reprise their roles - but the ones who haven't even tested the water and end up getting typecast and almost unusable in other roles.
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:18
bookaddict
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Job security is something a lot of people want but I would have thought the instinct that propels people into acting would also push them into wanting to explore more than one role. Acting seems to be a vocation as opposed to a rational, practical career choice so I just find it unusual when some actors seem to settle into one role at an early age and never move on to new ground.

I'm not talking about soap stars who have left their soap, found that they can't get any other work and so reprise their roles - but the ones who haven't even tested the water and end up getting typecast and almost unusable in other roles.
I do agree with what you're saying, but maybe some get used to the job security? Or maybe if they realise that even if they left, they'd always be associated with that particular role, perhaps they think its just easier to stay?
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:40
jjne
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Why do some people in more mundane jobs end up staying at the same company for their entire careers?

Because some people prefer a settled lifestyle.
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:08
skp20040
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I usually assume someone becomes an actor because they enjoy playing different roles, trying on new characters etc. But some actors seem to take on one role and treat it like a job for life eg the now infamous William Roache; Sally Dynevor; Adam Woodyat; Helen Worth; Ann Kirkbride and so on

They all joined Corrie or EE as young actors just starting out and are still there decades later having played no other roles whatsoever. They might as well have got a job in the Civil Service or the Bank or somesuch as all they seem to want is a secure job for life. Nothing wrong with that, but surely actors are meant to have more of a sense of adventure, experimentation etc?
But when actors do leave and go to another soap people then call that other soap a graveyard for characters from another soap, or they continue to call the character by their old characters name as thoughy they have no right to move on, so really they cannot win whatever they do.

And why might an actor just as well work for the civil service or a bank? neither are similar to acting and whats wrong with enjoying acting but also wanting to stay in the same role ?
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:21
offtotheraces
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The job security reasoning is one I can understand to a point, but acting is defined by risk taking and exploration. I admit I don't understand how people can stand to play the same role for 10+ years but if they're happy, good luck to them.
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Old 16-05-2013, 20:11
zx50
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Maybe they're bright enough to realise that because they've got a steady income for every episode, their bank account savings will just carry on getting bigger and bigger. Why ruin a steady income? I think some ruin for reasons of greed.

Edit: Actually, I may have been a bit hasty typing the above out. They may feel that by sticking with the same role that they're missing out on offers that other TV stations would want them for.
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Old 16-05-2013, 20:58
cunningham1471
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Why would they leave a secure job? Some obviously do, but it can be hard for some actors to get work after they are so closely associated with one character. It's a precarious profession anyway, so I guess if they're happy where they are, why not stay?
I think that this is probably the correct answer.

Let's say Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) left Eastenders, how likely is it he would get another TV role?

You often find that actors taht have become so established in a role or a type of role they are either stuck doing it forever or they stop and just become famous and a celeb.

I think a good case in point is Barbara Windsor. She said in a few interviews years ago she was close to quitting acting and becoming an agent. She was still playing the busty blonde kind of roles she had been doing in the Carry On films for the last 10 years on stage. She was fed up with it and she was too old for it. She was starting look a bit sad and desperate. She had set a date to call it a day and she got two phone calls. One was to do a single episode of One Foot in the Grave where she got to play a woman her own age that dressed properly and wasn't all clevage and the other was Eastenders. That role totally changed the country's perception of her to the point people would start calling out to her "Peggy" rather than "Barbara."

Unlike film and theatre where you can escape a character because you are either seen once (theatre) or a person has to make a point of getting the DVD to see the film and thus that character. When it comes to TV, that character can become so associated with you that even when you stop doing it people see you as that character because of the repeats.

The last episode of Only Fools and Horses was 10 years ago this year(Christmas Day 2003) and Roger Lloyd Pack is still always thought of as Trigger despite being in The Vicar of Dibley as well as Doctor Who, Survivors, The Old Guys, The Borgias and other things on TV. The neverending OFAH means he will never escape Trigger.

If you are in a soap where you are seen weekly month after month and year after year it's even worse, so it's understandable they stay as long as they can once they get past a certain point or number of years
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Old 16-05-2013, 21:05
milliejo
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Anyone that wants an acting career after being in a soap has to get out at the right time..And not let their character get too stale or too badly written and they have to want to act not just be a columnist....Natalie Cassidy waited too long......Lacey Turner, Suranne Jones, Katherine Kelly,
Angela Griffin, Eva Pope, David French, Georgia Taylor, Bradley Walsh and Anna Friel did get out at the right time...
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Old 16-05-2013, 21:25
Jerrica09
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I wonder if they sign a contract at some point that they have a job there as long as they want it, because soap work isn't supposed to be a steady job.

My friend knows someone who worked on Hollyoaks, she was a regular, but was given fairly short notice that they were writing her out, for no other reason than they had no more storylines for her - yet Roache, Kirkbride and Woodyatt are largey part of the furniture in their soaps, yet you can't see them going anywhere.
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Old 16-05-2013, 21:49
Rose*~*
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Job security and most soaps are flexible enough so you can do other projects while not risk losing your job. I'd say it's ideal for a working actor. Maybe not the most challenging, but it keeps a roof over your head, so why not?
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Old 16-05-2013, 21:51
Rose*~*
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I wonder if they sign a contract at some point that they have a job there as long as they want it, because soap work isn't supposed to be a steady job.

My friend knows someone who worked on Hollyoaks, she was a regular, but was given fairly short notice that they were writing her out, for no other reason than they had no more storylines for her - yet Roache, Kirkbride and Woodyatt are largey part of the furniture in their soaps, yet you can't see them going anywhere.
There's a hierarchy when it comes to soap characters. The main characters don't run the risk of getting written out that easily, the regulars are more at risk. And those with a little line here and there are easily replaced.
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Old 17-05-2013, 14:30
Sloopy
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Many soap actors are far from being the greatest actors in the world. They know their profession is a minefield and by staying with their roles, the longer term cast members pretty much have job security for life and in the current financial climate, they're wisest to stay put.

People like Anne Kirkbride, Helen Worth, Sally Dynevor, etc. are from a different era to the likes of the Hollyoaks cast, who see it as a stepping stone to bigger fame, reality TV and being a WAG, probably. Anne Kirkbride apparently does the dusting in between filming scenes!
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Old 17-05-2013, 14:32
tommytiger
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Many soap actors are far from being the greatest actors in the world. They know their profession is a minefield and by staying with their roles, the longer term cast members pretty much have job security for life and in the current financial climate, they're wisest to stay put.

People like Anne Kirkbride, Helen Worth, Sally Dynevor, etc. are from a different era to the likes of the Hollyoaks cast, who see it as a stepping stone to bigger fame, reality TV and being a WAG, probably. Anne Kirkbride apparently does the dusting in between filming scenes!
Wow, I couldn't write this better myself.

They know they are on to a good thing.
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Old 17-05-2013, 14:37
dorydaryl
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Surely there is room for different types of actors. There are those who will like moving on and trying new things. There are those whose 'other life'/ domestic priorities might take precedence. There will also be those, as has been said above, who value the job security and actually like being part of a long-running venture. Also, there are those who get told how wonderful they are, take it at face value and move on from a role thinking that they are destined for much better, without the talent to back it up. They either end up returning to their 'established' role with their tail between their legs or sink without a trace. Maybe some actors know their limitations and work within them, or maybe they feel they've still got much to achieve in the role they play.
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Old 17-05-2013, 15:48
tinkerbell987
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I think some of them stay because they know how lucky they are with their limited abilities i.e. Michael Le Vell pre scandal. I can't see someone like Fiz leaving Corrie of her own accord as she canít act for toffee.
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Old 17-05-2013, 16:35
cynet2007
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The worst actor in soap land has to be that guy who plays Dev in Corrie, can't believe he will ever get another acting job, he is as wooden as it gets for acting, I cringe at his poor attempts of trying to cry when he has been hurt by a woman's actions, plain awful!
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Old 17-05-2013, 17:43
jackbell
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Actors are supposed to be gypsies - free to move around taking on different roles like chameleons. That's a real actor for you, that's what they are meant to do.

However poor actors end up in soaps playing themselves until death (or scandal, it seems these days). They know they are well paid for doing the same types of lines, the same types of situations and any talent they may have for other roles diminish.

Anthony Cotton could never play any other role but the one he has in Corrie. It's a fact. He played the same role in Queer As Folk. He knows he onto a good thing and he'll stay until he is fired. Just the way it is.

A soap actor has become a genre over the last two or three decades. I'm sure there are youngsters now who want to be a soap actor - as opposed to a regular actor, doing different parts in theatre and TV - as a lifelong career.
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