But I think that one of my cast members has shown evidence of a distinct lack of character.
My co-director suggested him several weeks ago. It was a slow process to get the script to him and to get him to accept. Matthew (my co-director) indicated that he - the actor (whose name I will not use as I don't really know that my suspicions are correct.) - was keen and was 'in.' He apparently also wanted to suggest some changes to the script to make it more suitable to him. As the writer, I actually think that that is awesome. I love the idea that the character's voices are more distinctively separate because the actors are bringing their own interpretation.
So I awaited the actor's response... 3 days, 5 days, a week ... I was getting a bit pissed off, but Matthew assurred me that the actor was in. 10 days - we have a production meeting where I had hoped to have the 'final' script to distribute. No such luck - the actor had not yet called, had not responded to my messages.
Then, yesterday at about 6:30 - about the time that there was little we could do about it that day by way of calling agents and so forth - he leaves me a message. He got a part in a paying gig. (Our film is on Union-waiver... in other words, the actors get money if and when the film makes a profit.) He 'just found out' and was 'sorry' and 'really liked the script.'
My interpretation: When he said 'yes' to our film he either already knew he had a possibility of paid work, or he found out VERY soon thereafter. He didn't want to scotch his chances of doing our film if the paid work didn't pan-out, so he never told us that there was a chance that he might have to drop out. He was scared that if we knew there was a chance he'd not be able to do it that we'd find someone else.
If that is what he was thinking, he was most-likely wrong. If he knew that he'd know with two days to go before we started rehearsals, I admit it would have been close, but I think that what we would have done is be prepared to replace him if he dropped out... so that we'd experience less stress if he did drop out.
Perhaps if he didn't know when he would find out, or if he knew that he'd find out in the week between rehearsal and the shoot - then we would likely have had to replace him, and furthermore - could you blame us?
So, I spent (luckily only) three hours aging at triple my normal rate before we found out that the actor who originally played the role inthe stage version was available to do the part, and that he wasn't holding a grudge for us not selecting him in the first place... very big of him.
We really should have just picked Dean originally obviously. Lesson learned.