Am I Right… that the best actor should just get the job?

Sure. Ideally, the best actor should always get the job. But in your experience, how often is that true? How many times have you been frustrated when you lost a part to a colleague you know you may be “better” than because they were, taller/shorter/friends with the director/willing to work for less money/whatever other factors that had nothing to do with talent or skills? I’m pretty sure every actor knows that talent is *never* the only factor at play when casting is making decisions.

That argument that we should “just let the bast actor get the job” is thus a disingenuous call for a pure meritocracy. It’s the argument regardless of race we must protect and advocate for the integrity of the art. That argument is this: a part should go to the best actor for the role.

So let’s define “best.” Best as in most qualified? The person with the most credits? That’s not a great measurement.

We could measure best by technical measurements—height, singing ability, body type, etc.

Let’s go with this: The best actor is the one who best fits what the creative team wants.

So “best” is completely subjective and defined case by case by a creative team. And who are casting teams? What do they usually look like? Who are the people they know and love and have worked with most often in the past? What sort of unconscious biases do they bring into the room with them when they are looking for what they deem to be the “best” actor for the part?

Consider who might be deemed “best” for the part if people on the other side of the table looked more like the characters they were casting.

Further Reading:

Lauren Villegas