You may have noticed that sometimes an actor will be in a movie, but won’t get credited. And sometimes IMDb just says “(uncredited)” next to an actors name. Why is this?
An actor is usually marked as uncredited because the production hasn’t confirmed that the actor is involved, or because the specifications for accreditation haven’t been met.
But these aren’t the only reasons. In this article, I’ll be going over 4 reasons an actor will be uncredited.
1. The Actors Involvement Hasn’t Been Confirmed
Before a movie is released, there are lots of rumours surrounding the people that will be involved. Production often chooses to keep members of the cast a secret, as there’s no certainty that they will be involved in the final edit.
There have been many stories of actors filming for a character, only to get cut out of the final production. It’s also not unheard of for a production to completely rehire different actors after filming due to the directors being unhappy with an actors performance.
Rami Malek revealed in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that after filming for the role of Ahkmenrah in Night at the Museum, he found out that the production tried to hire another actor to play the role. But luckily, Ben Stiller backed Malek, and he was given a second chance at the role.
2. Avoiding Spoilers and Surprise Appearances
For some productions, the identity of the actor playing a certain character will be a well-guarded secret until the film or series gets released, even if they’ll definitely be in the final edit. Sometimes it’s important that we don’t know the identity of a character until the end of the film.
It’s also not unheard of for a character to die, only to come back in the next movie or season. When this happens it’s often highly confidential, and production will go to great lengths in order to keep the secret.
As you can imagine if, in these cases, they were to then put the actor in the poster, or IMDb credits, all the secrecy surrounding this part of the story would be useless, as fans would instantly be able to find out, potentially ruining the story.
3. Technicalities Of Pay
Sometimes, more well-known actors help out their industry friends by agreeing to briefly appear in a movie on the basis that it will be unpaid and uncredited.
This could be for a number of reasons. For example, in the United States SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild) have their Global Rule One. Which states, “a SAG-AFTRA member must always work under a union contract around the globe.”
READ: How Much Does it Cost to Become an Actor?
So if a friend is doing a non-union film, in order to help them out, they must be considered uncredited, otherwise, the actor will lose their SAG card, and won’t be able to work on union films (of which most big productions are) potentially ending their career.
4. Extras Adding Their Names To IMDb
Probably the most common reason an actor will be uncredited on IMDb is that they weren’t part of the principal cast. Often times actors that are just starting out and are struggling to get credits, work as an extra on a production and decide to “credit” themselves on IMDb.
READ: The Complete Guide To Extra Work For Actors
Is it a good idea to put your extra roles on IMDb? No. Actors that have worked on a production as an extra, should never add themselves to the IMDb credit list unless they were told by the director or producer that they would be credited. If an industry professional saw this on someones IMDb or CV, they may consider it to be very unprofessional.
But I’m Part of The Principle Cast?
If you were an actor in a film or tv show and you’re meant to be credited on IMDb, the chances are that you added yourself to the IMDb page, but your role is showing as uncredited. If this is the case, the production team haven’t yet confirmed your involvement in the production.
If it’s been a decent amount of time since you added yourself to the page, contact the casting director or someone you have connections with within the production and mention that you’ve not yet been credited. They will assist you in solving this! Sometimes it just takes time for them to credit you, so just be patient.