Anonymous asked: Do you think a small factor of why Dianna seems to be doing so well is because she is a pretty looking actress? Her acting is good but not that great...
I feel like my answer to this question will probably be a bit lengthy, but I hope you don’t mind. I’m going to answer this completely unbiased. I work in the Late Night/Daytime talk show circuit and previously held a position at CBS Primetime Casting so I feel as if I know enough to be qualified to answer this honestly and matter-of-factly.
Let’s be real. Looks are a HUGE part of film/tv. However “looks” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be drop dead beautiful to be successful. It simply means that you must look right for the part. I can’t tell you how many times people came in to CBS, nailed the audition, but didn’t get the part because they just weren’t what the director saw in their head for the part. You could be the most talented person in the room but if you don’t look right for the part you are not going to get cast. And vice versa. You could be the most beautiful man or woman the Earth has ever seen, but if you can’t act what the script calls for, then you’re out. It’s give and take. A little of both.
Another factor that goes into casting is reputation. Not the actor’s reputation with the public of their fans, but within the industry. Everyone knows each other in this industry. A hardworking actor gets to a point where casting directors, directors, producers, writers, etc.. know an actor because they’ve either worked with or auditioned for them multiple times in the past. In Dianna’s case, she’s a true professional. She’s prompt, respectful, insightful, approachable, and real. People want to work with that.
In terms of acting, the key to getting any part is to be a good auditioner. If you can nail an audition, then who the hell cares what comes next. The audition is what the casting directors and director care most about. If you can bring it in the audition, they know you can bring it on the set.
In Dianna’s case, I have seen many audition tapes from the database at CBS. One scene in particular was for a television show (pre Glee) I will not mention. However, the scene required pure anguish. I was supremely impressed. She BROUGHT IT. We’ve never had a chance to see Dianna in a role that like. Her roles have been the popular, pretty, sometimes bitchy, girl next door. Most people might ask: “How did she get that part? Anyone could play that”. The reason is because Dianna Agron is a KILLER auditioner. They know she can bring it. She may not have been right for the part, but the people on the other side of that audition table know what she’s capable of, they know she has a flexible look, they know she’s professional and dependable. That’s why she gets roles.
I think people often jump to the “she’s just okay” opinion because they aren’t used to Dianna’s form of subtlety. The best acting is subtle acting. No one wants to watch a film or a television show and feel like the person is acting. What is so intriguing about Dianna is that she is so subtle and people aren’t used to seeing that. She’s got a lot of her own quirks and nuances that some mistake for bad acting, when really it’s a mannerism and natural tendency to play things extraordinarily real.
The reason Quinn Fabray was cast so late on Glee? It wasn’t because they weren’t casting. All the actors brought in played her as a caricature. Which of course is an honest mistake. The genre was comedy, the character was a bitchy high school cheerleader, it’s easy to exaggerate the role. It wasn’t what Ulrich wanted. True, Murphy wanted to Quinn to be purely conniving in the beginning, but even purely conniving doesn’t deserve to be a caricature. Dianna brought that unwavering, severe subtlety to a character that was exaggerated enough simply in the writing. She didn’t need to bring extra.
She’s got a lot of fans over at CBS, and according to file notes, a lot of other places as well. She’s successful for a lot of reasons. It’s not just “oh she’s pretty so we’ll make this work.”
Does it hurt to be good looking? Of course not. But in New York and Hollywood, everyone in the industry is good looking. You have to stand out. Good looks aren’t enough. So while of course they play a factor (as looks do with ANYONE trying to act), I do not think anything she has done has solely been because of her looks.
I hope you don’t mind the book! I’m just knowledgeable on the subject!