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How showrunners and actors interact on set, according to one actor



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Q: As an actor, how will I interact with a showrunner on a project? Will I see them often or not at all?-I am p. *

In my experience, our level of interaction with showrunners can vary depending on different factors. Some showrunners are director-producers, while others are writer-producers; the latter will usually not be as much on the set as the former. On a cable show with fewer episodes than a network season, it’s not uncommon for a director-producer to direct a lot of the season’s episodes, as was the case when I worked on the season 2 of “Goliath” with showrunner Lawrence Trilling. This season, Trilling has directed half of the episodes. On top of that, his personality is very collaborative, so he interacted with the actors a lot.

Another factor is your special relationship with the series. As a series regular, you’ll generally have more interaction and showrunner access to discuss general ideas about your character arc. Guest stars and daytime gamers will usually show up knowing what to do and will receive most of their walking orders from the director of this episode.

A good rule of thumb is to know that the showrunner is overseeing everything. While their personal approaches may vary, one constant is that they face a lot of important decisions, so I wouldn’t feel underestimated or overlooked if you didn’t interact with them a lot. If the communication on set is good, we hope the showrunner mandates will flow to you from the episode director – and sometimes the writers, who often visit the set for their episodes.

READ: How to decide when a TV monologue is right for you

Either way, show yourself prepared, after making choices so you can add to the creative process rather than just being a cog in the machine. Fighting for a choice that someone in a position above you might not have thought of is part of the game – as long as you can make it work and, if you’re in a rush, save the reasons. of your choice. As Sidney Lumet describes in “Making Movies”, the director is the one who sets the tone so that everyone can “make the same movie”. In a TV show, the showrunner is the one who occupies this position.

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This story originally appeared in the September 10 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.

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The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the person (s) providing them,
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Matthew Del Negro

Matthew Del Negro is a professional actor (Goliath, Scandal, The West Wing, The Sopranos) and host of the podcast, 10,000 Nos with Matthew Del Negro.

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