Sometimes, especially in comedies of the 80s/90s, there will be a character whose very purpose is to be made fun of for being unattractive - be they an "abhorrent admirer" where the joke is how the main character gets stuck with them or has to escape their advances, or, for example, a "fat woman" in Al Bundy's (of Married... With Children) shoe shop so Al can deliver a stinging remark about their weight.

How do the casters advertise these positions? Do they actually say they are looking for a person ugly enough to be the butt of a joke about their appearance?

  • Well they casting call might be a little kinder and use the term "unusual features" or something but requesting a "person of size" isn't unusual....or extra tall, skinny whatever. They might tailor the joke to the people who show up. – Paulie_D Feb 27 '18 at 19:36
  • Here's the same question on Quora - quora.com/… – Paulie_D Feb 27 '18 at 19:38

Sure. Why shouldn't they?

If you want someone with a particular characteristic, just ask for that in the casting brief.
Casting notices have to ask for what they need, or they get a room full of people they don't want, which just wastes everybody's time.

The casting director actually wants everybody who walks into that room to be perfect for the part. The better-specified the brief put out to agents and in public notices, the better chance they have of getting the right actor.

For any part, there's an actor. The actors in question, or on any specific brief, are already perfectly aware of where their strengths and weaknesses are. They know their niche, they know what the calls are that will give them the biggest chance of a part. It's as niche to be 'perfectly' ugly as it is to be 'perfectly' beautiful.

Most people have a tougher time getting a part because the vast majority of people are 'imperfectly' ordinary. That's a tough market to break, too.

There's a large casting agency in the UK actually called 'Ugly'.

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