General Question

Bluefreedom's avatar

I just started watching a movie and it listed the cast and then showed 'guest stars' and listed additional cast members. What constitutes a 'guest star' as opposed to the regular cast of a movie?

Asked by Bluefreedom (22557 points ) November 28th, 2008

I’m wondering how guest stars differ from the regular cast or if there is any real distinction at all between them. Does anyone have the inside scoop on this mostly unimportant question of mine?

(It’s 1:05 a.m. at work and I have a lot of extra time on my hands so it was important for me to ask this question for no substantial reasons whatsoever. Thank you in advance if you choose to answer it.)

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10 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

Yeah I’ve always wondered that too. And when I first started watching Gilmore Girls and it named the Grandparents as guest stars I thought it meant that they only appeared every now and again in various episodes, but then I realised that they’re actually in every episode so I have no idea. Sorry. That isn’t even about movies I’m sorry. I’d like to know too!

Jeruba's avatar

I think the only movies you’ll see that in are made for TV, borrowing something from series television. I always supposed that it meant nothing more than that the agents of the “guest stars” negotiated for this form of special mention, which probably translates into dollars, but this is only a guess.

dynamicduo's avatar

Jeruba is pretty much right, it’s used as a negotiation tool to convince actors to work on the movie.

steven's avatar

Besides the money factor actors may also be cast because they are friends to the producer/director.I have mostly found guest stars to have a nominal role tho.

SuperMouse's avatar

I always figured it was all about who has the best agent. Like the guy who gets the “And Starring (fill in the blank) as” had a better agent than the poor schlubs who were just plain old stars.

galileogirl's avatar

Think about if credits on TV movies and shows were like those in theatrical movies. At the opening there would be s couple of over the title names, the title, a few secondary players them writer, producer, director. At the end of the movie there is a list of all players including non-speaking parts, stunt people, crew, office support, gofers, caterers, post-production techs, and a list of everyone who said hello to the producer. This kind of front and back end recognition takes a lot of time.

With a made for TV movie that runs for 2 hours really has just about 1 1/2 hour for the story so the credits are pretty much truncated at the backend. There is the shot of the stars names, or like in the case of Friends each star gets his/her little montage. Then everybody else rolls by so fast they can’t be read. If someone is a major player, they can negotiate to have their name appear long enough to be seen instead flashing past.

Up and comers might be on the WITH screen, regulars might be ALSO STARRING, bigger names become GUEST STARS, and has-been old movie stars become SPECIAL GUEST STARS. Name recognition is almost as important than money for the newbies and has beens.

shadling21's avatar

It’s the same as using “featuring ____” in a song. Wikipedia has an article about guest appearances.

It’s strange that a movie would have guest stars, though. Was this part of a series of movies? Was it a made-for-TV movie?

If so, that explains things- the regular cast didn’t include So-And-So (even if So-And-So had a significant role or many returns), so So-And-So is a guest star. But if it’s a movie, then that’s very odd, because there should be no distinction between “regular cast” and “guest cast” – they’re all there for a one-time thing.

Perchik's avatar

I’d say for a movie, the only guest star would be someone who stars as themselves. Like if David Hasselhoff shows up as Hasselhoff then I think it’d be cool to call him a guest star

I suppose you could also think of it as the “starring roles” = “This movie features these actors, it’s suppose to help their career” “Guest stars” = “This movie features those other people, we’re just here because we want to support them, our career is set.”

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Guest stars are more well known, usually quite established. They’re listed usually when they have cameos or smaller roles. When it’s also starring, it’s usually people you dont know about as much.

maybe_KB's avatar

They were invited not casted

(I know ‘cause i star in my own movie called ‘LIFE’ every day
and sometimes i invite people in it.)

Too easy

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