Becoming a body double requires a combination of luck, having the right physical attributes, and aggressive marketing ability. Body doubles stand in for actors who are unwilling or unable to film certain TV or movie scenes due to dangerous conditions, reluctance to do nude scenes, or to save production time and costs. Luck comes into play when a body double physically resembles the actor he will replace. Marketing ability and a spectacular portfolio are important to become a body double, because you must put the word out that you are available for this type of work. It can also be helpful to work as an extra on a movie set and network with filmmaking professionals to increase chances of being hired.
Anyone who wants to become a body double should assess herself critically. The hands, feet, and buttocks are all common body parts for which body doubles are used. Anyone who wants to become a body double should be well groomed, manicured, and physically fit at all times. It is best to keep tattoos to a minimum. Although they can be covered with makeup, tattoos represent an extra bit of time and cost to a filmmaker to hide them and could disqualify a body double from jobs.
To become a body double, it can be very helpful to have a portfolio made of past work and excellent photography that showcases your best body parts. Networking with filmmaking insiders can be a productive way to become known as a body double. Anyone who wants to become a body double should meet as many people in the filmmaking business as possible and market himself to everyone he meets to increase chances of exposure.
Some actors become a body double when they are accidentally discovered while working as extras on movie sets, so this work can be a good way to network and gain experience and meet insiders. Many body doubles are unable to completely support themselves doing this work, however. Working as a film extra can help bring in extra income.
Many times, filmmakers and TV producers will use body doubles during dangerous scenes or when a scene requires a skill that the actor lacks, like playing an instrument, dancing, or playing a sport. In this case, it can be helpful to have extra skills and talents to back up a good portfolio. For example, in the movie Black Swan, actor Natalie Portman’s more challenging dance scenes were performed by an experienced dancer body double.