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10 Most Thankless Jobs in Film


9
Stand-in
Tobey Maguire and his stand-in Chad Cleven (right) mill around the streets of New York during the filming of 'Spider-Man 3' in 2006. Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images
Tobey Maguire and his stand-in Chad Cleven (right) mill around the streets of New York during the filming of 'Spider-Man 3' in 2006. Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images

To serve as a stand-in is to experience the teensiest step up from extra status, sometimes at an equally pint-sized pay bump. To be selected one must meet the basic appearance requirements (height, weight, hair color and skin tone) of the featured actor in question. In other words, if you're lucky enough to channel statuesque Angelina Jolie in appearance, don't bother applying to stand in for fair-haired, 4-foot- 11-inch (1.5-meter) Kristin Chenoweth.

Once chosen, a stand-in quite simply stands around while the lighting and camera crews sync equipment to suit the actor's specifications. The job can be very tedious and time-consuming, with most stand-ins pulling the same hours as the full cast and crew [source: Backstage]. By contrast, extras are usually released once their scenes are completed. On the upside, casting agencies typically reuse the same stand-ins over and over, leading to steadier work and paychecks, which can be difficult to come by in the fickle film world.

To truly thrive as a stand-in it's vital to maintain a sense of professionalism and solid work ethic. In other words, be on time, if not early and never snap a selfie with your celeb "other half" unless he or she initiates it. Film sets work on a tight, detail-oriented schedule and have a surprisingly low tolerance for on-set antics.