Art & Entertainment

Olivia Colman Says Asking Actors To Self-Tape Auditions Is 'Disrespectful'

Oscar winner Olivia Colman says self-taped auditions don't allow actors to receive feedback and form an in-person rapport with casting directors.

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Olivia Colman Photo: Instagram
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Oscar winner Olivia Colman says self-taped auditions don't allow actors to receive feedback and form an in-person rapport with casting directors.

In a conversation with her "Fleabag" co-star Andrew Scott for the Interview magazine, Colman weighed in on the entertainment industry's growing dependence on audition tapes.

The practice, which was a stumbling block in collective bargaining negotiations between SAG-AFTRA (actors guild) and the AMPTP (producers alliance) in 2023, gained widespread popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Colman, it's "disrespectful and rude" to ask actors for self-taped auditions.

“It’s very disrespectful. It’s basically a memory test, isn’t it? Because they give it to you really late. It’s really rude. I can see how it’s easier for them not to have to do things in the flesh, but I wouldn’t have gotten where I am if I’d had to do self-tapes, because I used to go to auditions knowing that they didn’t want me, but it was so much fun to win them over,” she said.

Scott echoed Colman’s sentiments.

Recalling his early days of submitting audition tapes, the "Ripley" actor added: “I used to go into the post office on Denmark Street (in London) and buy myself a zippy bag or whatever, put my videotape in and send it off to America for some f****** thing I was never going to get. It’s horrific. And then you wouldn’t hear anything.”

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