Film Actor

Play different characters on the big screen.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Film Actors do?

As a Film Actor, you portray a character in a movie. That movie can be a big summer blockbuster or a small independent art movie seen only by those in the know. No matter the budget of the film or the role you take on, however, your job is to embody your character for the entertainment of audiences.

If you’ve ever seen a movie, you probably already have a fairly good idea of what this job is all about. Film Actors are people like Robert De Niro and Sandra Bullock (though, technically, if you’re a girl, you’re an Actress). Like these famous Actors, you portray a character in movies ranging from horror to comedy to romance.

The roles you play vary: You could find yourself acting like a monster for one project, and then months later, you might be playing the romantic lead in another. The more diverse your skills are, the more likely you’ll get hired.

Your work isn’t confined to filming, though. In fact, the job of a Film Actor starts way before filming, with the audition process. To get a part, you can work with a Talent Agent or you can audition on your own, but you want to get in front of a Director or Casting Director to prove that you can act.

Once you’re hired, you then need to start learning your lines. While on set, you should be prepared, ready to say your lines and then take direction.

After filming wraps, you get to work doing publicity for your movie, which might mean doing interviews with Journalists or talking with Talk Show Hosts. Like stage acting, this job isn’t consistent unless you make it big. Until then, expect to work a second job while you look for film acting gigs.


Should I be a Film Actor?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Actor, Community Theater Actor, Ensemble Director, Motion Picture Actor, Movie Actor, Television Actor See More

    How to become a Film Actor

    Most Film Actors have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9cakac&chl=no+college+%2860%25%29|certificate+%2828%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2810%25%29||doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,60,60
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