by SALIOU (NEW YORK)
What’s a character actor?
Good question. A character actor is someone who has a very specific type. It is often used for comedic types but not necessarily. If you always play bad guys, you can be considered a character actor.
Some people just have a strong character actor look, whether because of their features or their body type (for example, if they are overweight, very tall, or short, or muscular, etc.) Others can be considered character actors because they are very good at playing certain types of characters.
Usually, a character actor is not a lead type, but of course, some movies, especially independent films and comedies, feature character actors in the lead roles. For example, Steve Carell is a character actor who has been the lead in comedies like Get Smart and Date Night.
Being a character actor is a good thing. Character actors get a lot of work. You may not know their names but you recognize them because they keep getting hired to play the same types. Eventually, they get so much experience that they can start to branch out and do a wider range of parts. Look at Tom Hanks. He started as a character actor in comedies and went on to win two Oscars for the lead role in a drama!