Hollywood Freelance: Extras, Actors, and On-Screen Talent

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Abstract: Actors are, and have always been, the biggest labor force in Hollywood. Although their faces might be familiar, how they have negotiated the extremely competitive and ever-changing business of Hollywood is typically a mystery. For many, at least those below the level of stars, work in Hollywood is inconsistent. Hollywood Freelance demonstrates how sporadic work has been a defining characteristic of actors’ labor and sheds lights on the lives and collective struggles of working and aspirant actors. Supported by archival evidence and interviews with industry workers, this book looks at the relationship between labor, technology, and capitalism to provide a cultural framework of actors, unions and Hollywood’s industrial practices. This contract was granted on the basis of peer review and approval by the University of Michigan Press’s editorial board.

Kate Fortmueller