Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of Directors and in many of the casting meetings they will say to me: “just get me a REAL man/woman–not necessarily an actor.” What do I mean by this? Here’s a typical real life example that happened to me on INTO THE WILD (Director: Sean Penn).
The scene was a tractor trailer driver who gets out of his cab and walks inside a local business to use their pay phone.
Our Director wanted an older man, who actually had driving experience inside a big rig. Why? Because he would know how to quickly and effectively climb down out of the cab and his body language would look real and more natural on camera— he (Floyd) was a real big rig driver with a lifetime of experience driving trucks.
I cast Floyd who lived in Nevada. We also loved his face!
Tip: make sure you include any real life experiences (like driving a tractor trailer) on your resume–whether or not you are applying to be an Extra or have an agent.