Do A-list celebrities still need to audition for roles?

They do, but money is often involved.  
A studio may offer specific actors to a producer, based on their known draw. For example, a producer may be told that if you get actor A, we will give you 20 million dollars in production dollars. If you choose Actor B, you may only get 5 million dollars. That is for the A-list stars, who always bring a big audience and large ticket sales just by showing up!
It is up to the producer and director to determine if actor A or B is “right” for the role, so their production will be first class, rather than just a showcase for A-List talent. Keep in mind, even a great actor can’t save a bad script, even if the studios support that decision with production dollars. And a good actor doesn’t want mediocre roles, jsut because they have a strong fanbase at the box office.
A listers have to compete by auditioning when they are up against other a-list actors – especially when the production has a well-known director and a good story to tell.
All the rest of the cast need to audition or have the right age/look/experience/etc. to perform in each role.
From the Web:

The reality is, Actors audition for roles ALL THE TIME.  If your last blockbuster was a big-budget FLOP, you have to work even harder.  There is a long list of former A-list  stars.

No matter what, Enjoy the Show!
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Expanded from my answer to this question on Quora.

Is it possible for a foreigner to get a role in a Hollywood movie through a video audition without a work visa or green card?

Is it possible? YES. Is it Easy? NO.


Video (Youtube, instagram, facebook, etc.) allows our images and talent to cover the world. The first part of your question should be, “what skills that I may possess will be attractive to a producer, that I can demonstrate competently over the internet”? (And keep asking yourself that, and be grateful for your supporters and followers).

For the “how to do it” part, you have to develop your acting chops, promote yourself, make videos, make a “demo reel”, and put yourself out there.   Also get traditional headshots (8×10 photographs).  Consider emailing headshots and your resume to casting agents for review.

How To Audition On Camera: A Hollywood Insider’s Guide for Actors

For the Visa question, you can take temporary employment: Temporary Employment | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom

If you have the means, schedule a trip and make appointments with agents, casting directors, and anyone who will meet with you, etc., and FOLLOW UP! Send thank you notes, etc.

How To Audition Internationally – Backstage

How can foreign actors work in the U.S.? • r/acting – Reddit Forum



Some rules may be changing, due to politics, but ambition and talent can transcend borders and make friends, fans, and admirers worldwide!  

Remember that Americans love their movie stars – Bruce Lee, Kal Pen,  Monty Python, Don Cheadle. Hollywood is a melting pot. IF you work hard and get yourself “out there” to audition, and win good (meaning any) roles,  It really doesn’t matter what your nationality is, if you work your talent!
Work your social media and your contacts.  Get an agent.  Always Audition.  Luck favors the prepared!

Break a leg! (Laudatory actors salutation)

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Is an actors’ public persona reliable? Authentic?

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
“We are each responsible for our own life – no other person is or even can be.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Most actors have a public and a private persona. The public persona is their brand, how they show themselves to the world, and how they get more roles, recognition, and exposure. Good actors have a consistent and reliable brand, so endorsement deals, roles, and commercial work can have their consistent star power on their packaging. An actors private persona is when the paparazzi have gone, they are at home or in repose, and they are not “performing” or being in character.  Having a “private” persona means they can rent hotel rooms, cars, and charge meals without revealing their true identities.  It allows them to have a life outside their famous identity.
From the Web:
A professional actor will have a consistent  brand.  They will be in character, have measured behaviors (as their fans come to expect), and deliver reliable performances and numerous public relations work (appearances) for their studios/TV/Stage gigs.  Promotion is an important part of the business, and most professional actors have a team of people managing their social media, Paparazzi, and public relations.
When you see an unreliable actor or Diva, you have to wonder if that is their public persona, a publicity stunt, or are they cracking under pressure?  For Example, Tom Cruise excitedly jumped up and down on the Oprah set.  It was unexpected, and got a lot of press for the actor.  
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Expanded and edited from my answer to this question on Quora.

Which actor do you like more, Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch?

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
Both of these Actors have enviable careers, and some visible and career-making roles.  Having said that, I will look at their stats and take a look at both their statistics and IMDB write-ups.  That should be heading in the right direction.
I will give my answer at the end.
Here are the Stats, Starting with Eddie Redmayne:
Box office draw for Eddie:
Lifetime Gross Total (9): $514,312,245
Average: $57,145,805
Opening Gross Average (4): $32,065,139 (Wide Releases Only) [1]
Eddie Redmayne – IMDB
And Now, Benedict Cumberbatch:
Box office draw for Benedict:
Lifetime Gross Total (15): $1,460,229,392
Average: $97,348,626
Opening Gross Average (10): $35,312,224 (Wide Releases Only)[2]
Ben has more work under his belt, therefore more visibility and money. Money, as we know, is how Hollywood keeps score.
Who do I like more? I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. I know more of his work than Redmayne, (Who is also a fine actor), and have enjoyed his unique persona and roles as Sherlock (Holmes) and Khan, in Star Trek.
Remember, that this is a personal choice.  I enjoy actors who play their roles well, and make a good impression on the audience.
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From my answer to this question on Quora.

Why are the Kardashians so popular? Why are people obsessed with the Kardashians?

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
There is a scholarly article by Moshe Adler Published in the The American Economic Review, “Stardom and Talent” made the unsettling claim that fame could just be a matter of luck. Even an insignificant incident (like the unauthorized release of a sex tape) could escalate into superstardom by a sort of positive feedback loop: The more famous an entertainer becomes, the more readily you can talk about her with your friends; the more she gets talked about, the more her fame expands.[1] The Article can be found here:…
Keep in mind that the Kardashians work at their media coverage as hard as any business; They are backed by money and get a lot of coverage, sponsorship, and attention. Paparazzi can sell their pictures for big money, and their images and antics sell TV spots, Fan Magazines, cosmetics, clothing, and more.
We would all like to see Olympians, Shakespearean actors, and Nobel prize winners as our hero’s – but money and publicists can trump accomplishment with, you guessed it, The Kardashians.
Enjoy the show.
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Expanded from my answer to this question on Quora.

If Johnny Depp showed up at your door confused and asking for directions, how would you respond?

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
I would offer him a glass of water, some sympathy, and directions, as I would any lost traveler at my door.  I always try to be a gracious host.
It is highly unlikely he would show up in costume (although that makes for an amusing story).  In fact, it is highly unlikely – a member of his entourage might stop in.  (Grey Poupon moment?)
Why Johnny Depp may be disoriented or confused? – Johnny Debt, sorry, Johnny Depp has spent all of his $650 million in lifetime earnings – My9NJ
Johnny Depp Bio: OMG! Look What Johnny Depp Has Done Now. – Johnny Depp Web
Johnny Depp – IMDB profile

Let me ask you – 

What if you showed up at his house?

Edited from my answer on Quora.

Why does Michelle Pfeiffer have to be so picky with her roles or what projects she wants to take part in?

In Hollywood, you are as good as your last role.

If your last role was a dog, or even if the film was not well received, your career can nosedive.
In addition, what you read about what roles she was considering may be the creation of her agent’s PR firm, to keep her brand in the news.
According to her Bio on IMDB:

Michelle Pfeiffer turned down a string of known films that included: Casino, Mamma Mia, Evita, The Grifters, Basic Instinct, The Silence of the Lambs, Original Sin, Dick Tracy, Bugsy, Thelma and Louise, Casino Royale, A Prairie Home Companion, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Double Jeopardy, Catwoman, Pretty Woman, Chicago, Working Girl, Mystic River, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Against the Ropes, The Blue Lagoon, To Die For, Pulp Fiction, Lorenzo’s Oil, Still Alice, Adventures in Babysitting, Batman, Under The Tuscan Sun, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Agents and producers also consider box office draw, which governs movie budgets and casting choices.  Some actors will take almost any role, just to “keep working”.  This is not always the best strategy, but it does create some prolific actors.  Other actors specialize in quirky roles, while Michelle Pfeiffer seems to pick roles that fit with her career direction, and has a sizable body of work.

Nominated for 3 Oscars. I am a fan.

I hope we will see Ms. Pfeiffer in many more roles!


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How can I start an acting career in a small town? I am currently enrolled in college.

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
How did you learn to act so well?
“I was a big liar when I was a child” – Jennifer Lawrence
I mean it, this is not a “casual” undertaking – You have to want it so bad you can taste it.  
If yes, continue reading:
So here we have a start. Become a street actor. Perform in front of your friends. Ask people to review your bits – and don’t stop… Keep going! Get a side gig (like juggling or performing at Chuck E cheese – something, anything, even remotely acting – you have to support yourself until the paying roles start), and keep working on your skills.
Put your acting chops out there on social media.  Have a friend film you, even with a cell phone, and post it on instagram, or tumblr, or facebook.  Don’t stop!  seek out other actors, ask how they started.  Go to casting agents, submit your headshot (yes, you need one) and ask if there are parts available.  Opportunity is out there, you just get to it before anyone else!
Break a leg! And yes, I want your autographed headshot for my wall!
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From my answer to this question on Quora.

Who have been the worst-cast actors for movies featuring familiar characters? For example we collectively tend to agree that Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and Emma Watson was ideal as Belle in Disney’s latest film Beauty & The Beast.

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout.
It is not uncommon for studios to cast actors based on their “box-office draw”, and not suitability for a particular part, script, or co-stars. Based on this, you will often wonder “why did this actor get this role”?
Even though this is a personal question, the audience response and box office often tell the story of casting gone wrong. Here are some articles from the web, with interesting commentary – bear in mind it is not my opinion but the authors.
More Recently, this revival of “The Lone Ranger” attracted a lot of negative attention.
The lone Ranger cost Disney almost $200 million and, despite the racist overtones, was a pretty poor film.
Some actors always play the same character regardless of the story or casting, and others are good actors who are in a role that they can’t believably play.  Some actors take on any role, just to “prove” to the world how great their skills are, like John Travolta in Hairspray, as adolescent girl Edna Turnblad.
Sometimes you just have to try and enjoy the show, even if the casting, and the acting, falls short of your expectations!
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Which British actors have nailed American accents?

Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
Hugh Laurie, In my opinion, Nails it!
Hugh Laurie – IMDB (Full Bio)

Hugh Laurie Biography on amazonActor Hugh Laurie

His recent work, as a San Francisco Psychiatrist named Chance, is Marvelously dark and compelling to watch. From the Book: Chance. The series is viewable on HULU.
And if you think there are more, and can’t think of them off-hand, look at 23 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Actually British.
Way to go, Mr. Laurie!
Some American actors are appalled at the “British invasion”, as noted in this Observer article: “The talent, the twang: how the Brits and Irish stormed Hollywood
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Edited and expanded from my answer to this question on Quora.