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It’s a bit rare to find newly-minted actors sporting visible tattoos. Some agents actually turn away those with visible ink, especially since some roles would demand a “cleaner” image for their actors. That’s why it’s inspiring to see an actor who is brave enough to get inked.
The thing is, the rest of the world has changed drastically — and so has Hollywood. Once considered taboo, tattoos are increasingly popular, and if needed, makeup artists now have magical tools that can cover up anything and everything. So how does tattoos affect an actor’s career?
Tattoos in the film industry
If you’re planning on starting a career and you already have ink all over you, you should first talk to the artist that did your tattoo. The main reason for this is that a production company’s legal department will have your artist sign a release, stating that they will not be suing should their work appear on the screen.
While an actor may be okay with getting their ink showcased, an artist may not be as keen on sharing their work with the public without due credit. Mike Tyson, who has an infamous tattoo on his face, was one of the most crucial characters in the Hangover series. His artist sued Warner Brothers and was paid an undisclosed amount. Because of that incident, studios are now putting in some due diligence to ensure that an actor’s tattoos are fair game.
Alternatively, you may not exactly need to contact your artist. A good example of this is Alexandra Breckenridge of Netflix’s Virgin River. Alexandra has a lot of tattoos all over the visible parts of her body. But if you watch some of her roles, you won’t see any of her ink. Whoever her makeup artist on the set is, they’ve definitely done a good job of covering her ink.
Alexandra may not be an A-lister, but her show is produced by a big brand. That’s why it’s not surprising that they decided to cover her tattoos up.
Tattoo problems you never knew you’d face
Remember, if you’re still trying to make it, you may not have as much freedom compared to well-established celebrities. So, it’s always best to think things through before getting a very visible piece inked onto your skin.
If you’re a newbie to the industry, always expect that any visible tattoos may cause some problems. It’s not because you’re a bad actor. Usually, it’s simply because a studio may want to save money on a makeup artist and the effort that goes into hiding your ink.
There are some casting directors who refuse to give projects if someone has a visible tattoo. If you’re lucky enough to get a role, there’s a chance that you may get typecast. Auditions tend to invite someone who can cater to a wider range, and someone who doesn’t have tattoos may have an easier path toward getting a role.
Another thing to think about is how competitive the acting world is. You may have the talent, the charisma, and the looks, but you might not get the role you want because you made the drunken mistake of getting a face tattoo a few years ago. There’s no denying that the placement of your tattoos can definitely end up associating you with a stereotype.
Tattooed Actors in Hollywood
Aside from the names mentioned above, there are some A-listers such as Angelina Jolie and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that are heavily inked and are among the highest-paid actors.
They have the freedom to flaunt their tattoos because studios are willing to work around them. They’ve already become so bankable that producers don’t mind the extra time and budget that’s needed for cover-ups.
There are always ways to hide your tattoos. If you have a couple of ink here and there, then it’s quite easy to wear clothing that can easily cover them up. The only issue with this is that once you get the role, the script might require you to wear a wardrobe that may expose your skin.
The bottom line: yes, you can still get hired for acting gigs even if you’re inked. However, there are some additional challenges that you may have to face. The smartest choice is to just wing it and audition as much as you can. Your talent might just keep casting directors interested enough to make a compromise.