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Many of Hollywood’s leading actors might be taking roles on the small screen these days, but a majority of the time, the transition still goes the other way. A TV show becomes popular. Movie studios begin mining the cast for talent. In the mid-2000s, it happened with Grey’s Anatomy. Now it’s happening with Game Of Thrones, which has left many wondering, why not The Walking Dead? After all, as one of the most popular shows in cable TV history, shouldn’t it be a breeding ground for stars?
Well, the truth is apparently complicated and has a lot to do with external factors like lighting and subject matter. That’s right. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it all comes down to how the characters are presented. The reporters spoke with several casting agents who all apparently said the same thing. The lighting, the camera angles and the costumes are all big factors. Because the actors are being presented to the world in grungy, gross and downright unsexy situations, it’s often hard for writers, directors and casting agents to see those people in other types of roles. An overwhelming majority of the films big studios churn out every year are filled with beautiful people doing beautiful things; so, the translation is way harder to grasp than for a program like Game Of Thrones that shells out huge to make the characters look as ripped, sexy and beautiful as possible at any given moment.
Part of the problem here is the basic format of television, as well. Because these actors are contractually obligated to spend so many weeks each year on set, there’s not a whole lot of time to go through the audition process. So, typically, it’s a lot easier if a production has a specific role in mind for one of the cast members, maybe does an audition or two and then asks him or her to shoot during the previously scheduled summer break. That requires a lot of effort on the part of other people, however. So, if they don’t think of the actor or actress first, it probably won’t happen.
Here’s the good news though. Being on The Walking Dead is still a huge plus because once these characters get killed off or the show ends, they’ll actually have time to go on auditions like normally movie actors. Having a major role on The Walking Dead will at least get them seen, at which point they can clean up and prove they’re more attractive when not fleeing from zombies.
That being said, Norman Reedus still lands movie roles because he’s Norman Reedus and had more than his fair share of wins before even appearing on the program.