How to Get Booked As a Double

JUNE 6, 2022
An actor and his photo double.

When you onboard with Central Casting, you have the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, including as a Background Actor, Stand-In, or double. There are different types of doubles with unique responsibilities, here’s what you need to know to get booked as a double and succeed on set.

What are doubles?

If you’re unfamiliar with the entertainment industry, you may think doubles and Stand-Ins are the same, but they are actually two different roles. Stand-Ins work off-screen and take the place of a principal actor for blocking, lighting, and camera setups. Doubles, on the other hand, take the place of principal actors on screen, though their faces are rarely (if ever) seen. Doubles are needed for a variety of reasons, from freeing up actors when their faces don’t need to be shown or to perform specialized tasks the actor can’t convincingly portray.

Here are some types of doubles used on set:

Hand Double

These can be needed for inserts of ordinary tasks, like texting or typing, and for more specialized skills, like playing piano or performing (fake) surgery.

Body Double

Body doubles may replace a principal actor to perform special skills, for nude scenes, or for second unit or insert shots. Body doubles are also common when an actor plays two or more characters who appear in the same scene.

Photo Double

A photo double needs to look like they could be the actor’s twin, resembling them as closely as possible in height, build, hair color, and complexion. This type of double can be used when a character is in a scene, but is not the focus. Since the photo double looks like the principal actor from a distance, they are used in the actor’s place.

Minor Doubles

There are strict laws for how long minors can work that usually come with other requirements, like school, so productions employ minor doubles to allow filming to continue when the child actors are not available. Minor Background Actors and doubles must also adhere to these child labor requirements; depending on the child actor’s age and size, production may wish to use a double over the age of 18.

Getting booked as a double

Interested in finding work as a double? One of the best ways to help yourself get booked is to fill out your online profile completely and accurately. When looking for doubles, Casting Directors often search our casting platform for specific details, like height, weight, and hair color. By including this information in your profile, you can increase your chances of showing up in searches for roles you fit.

Know how to waltz? Can you ride a horse? Are you an expert fencer? Don’t forget to include your special skills and abilities in the “Casting Information” section of your profile. Production needs doubles with all kinds of skills, you never know, your ability to juggle could land you a role as a double. It’s crucial to be honest and only add skills you are actually proficient in. Showing up to set and not being able to perform does not help you, Casting Directors, or the production.

As with background work, Casting Directors use the photos in your online profile when considering you for double roles. We recommend uploading new photos any time your look changes so Casting Directors always know what you currently look like. Some appearance changes may seem small to you, but little details like hair length or facial hair could make the difference in your ability to convincingly portray an actor’s double.

If you fit the requirements for a role, a Casting Director may send you an availability inquiry with information about the booking, like dates, location, and role details. Please read this message carefully before responding. You can also search our Jobs page for double opportunities. In job posts, Casting Directors will include details about and requirements for the role. If you fit the description, follow the instructions to submit and include any additional information the Casting Director has asked for.

Want to learn more about the types of roles cast by Central Casting? Check out our guides What is a Stand-In? and What Do Background Actors Do?

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Industry Essentials