Doubles stand in usually for film actors during rehearsals and when close-up filming is not necessary, or they might have to play two roles. Actors communicate with and entertain people through the interpretation of dramatic roles.

Many actors struggle to become established and very few are recognised. Most take whatever parts they can get, even if these are small supporting roles. Many actors prefer a specific type of role, for example drama, comedy or action.

Sometimes movie directors do not have enough money to afford a double for an actor in, for instance, a movie about twins. The actor will then be asked to play both parts.

Doubles are also hired in action movies when difficult shots are filmed or stunts performed. The double or stunt master will then take the place of the actor in that part of the movie where, for example, the actor has to fall off a high building or jump out of an exploding car.

Another type of role for a ‘double’ is when he is required to dress like a certain actor and imitate the star with all the same mannerisms and gestures.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • acting ability
  • enjoy travelling
  • very observant
  • patient, persistent and flexible
  • creative and innovative
  • able to handle disappointment and lack of recognition

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: BA (Dramatic Art) - RU, US, UP, UCT, UKZN, UFS, Wits

Diploma: N.Dip: various - DUT, TUT


  • film production companies
  • television production companies
  • directors and producers
  • theatres
  • circuses

Further Information

Any of the above potential employers

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a film production company as an extra for example
  • make an appointment to speak to actors and doubles about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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