I’m an actor, I talk for a living, I’m comfortable in front of the camera. Do I really need this?
Short answer: yes.
Whether you have years of experience and a number of credits or you’re just breaking into film and television, you may have asked yourself this very question. You’re an actor. You know your lines and how to say them. But do you really know how to answer a tough or unexpected interview question? On set, actors possess a great amount of trust in the director to mold their performance and lead them in the right direction. The same ideology should apply when working with your publicist and why budding actors should consider working with an actor publicist early in their career. They are the directors of your public image and help an actor craft their personal brand’s longevity.
Here’s a story from our archives:
We had a client who was lucky enough to be cast in a tentpole film. He knew that actor publicity made sense, but it was his first time working with an actor publicist. He had done lots of interviews in local news. However, we knew that larger outlets would now have an interest. Especially genre outlets.
As an experienced actor, he felt complete confidence in his abilities in front of the camera. Unfortunately, he was a little too comfortable. He hadn’t quite mastered the skill of censorship. That’s a problem when you’ve signed a number of non-disclosure agreements.
Our job was to poke holes so that he could realize he was working with a degree of false confidence. We put together a series of potentially troublesome questions that could come up. Questions we knew a skilled interviewer would ask. During the mock interview session, our client began to realize the challenge of innocuous questions and the potential hazards they posed for his non-disclosures.
You could literally see the wheels turning.
He was stumped.
Many things are kept under a non-disclosure agreement, so we had to help guide our client to navigate around those tricky interviewer questions in a way that didn’t end up with inadvertently spilling the beans?
Politicians, Actors, Brand spokes people—anyone invited to be interviewed by the media need to understand how they can have some control of the interview, and the only way to do that is by working with a publicist or media training specialist who can help guide them through the interview techniques and give them tactics to use as well as talking points that are acceptable and desired.
Considering what kinds of questions may come up during the interview is crucial to be able to prepare answers that either give the interviewer what they are looking for in a clean and concise answer or steering them away from a question in a smooth and practiced manner. The last thing anyone wants is to be struck at a loss for words when prompted with a question you can’t or don’t want to answer. Not only will preparing before an interview give an actor a roadmap for the direction they want the interview to go, but it will also provide the skills needed to shine in the interview setting.
Media training for actors is so important. Not only does this create a headspace to remember the important details to cover, but also makes an actor less likely to be stumped or freeze up—allowing them to showcase their talents and personality in authentic ways. After all, an interview is a platform for saying what needs to be said and showing your unique self to the audience.
Overall, interviews can be a tricky business, but when properly prepared, one can feel confident that there won’t be any surprises throughout the actor’s publicity phase. If an unplanned question does get thrown out, a prepared actor will know how to maneuver through it flawlessly. Practice makes perfect, and it is always good to be overprepared when it comes to media training for actors.