In theatre, film, and television, the term “stunt casting” can be used to describe the casting of a celebrity in a production purely to create publicity and sell more tickets. In theatre, stunt casting typically takes the form of casting a movie star or television celebrity in a production’s lead role. Stunt casting in film and television also includes creating cameo opportunities for multiple celebrities, often resulting in what can be referred to as “cameo fatigue.” Casting big-name celebrities in any production typically increases the show’s marketability, creating significantly more publicity for the run and guaranteeing ticket sales. Stunt casting has been criticized as often the celebrities cast in these productions do not have adequate theatre training to perform on a stage. They are hired over trained actors merely for their name recognition, which sacrifices the quality of the performance and takes opportunities away from more qualified actors. For more, please see Parker-Starbuck, Paskin, Tweedy, Weinman.

Sources and Further Reading:

Parker-Starbuck, Jennifer and Joshua Abrams. “Thriving in Hard Times: The Contemporary London Scene.” Western European Stages, vol. 21, no. 2, 2009, pp. 44-58. ProQuest,

Weinman, Jaime J. “How to Sustain a Smash TV Hit.” Maclean’s, vol. 125, no. 9, Mar 12, 2012, pp. 81. ProQuest,

Paskin, Willa. “Cameo Overkill; How stunt-casting jumped the shark.” New York, vol. 43, no. 37, 29 Nov. 2010. Gale Academic OneFile,

Tweedy, Jo. “YouTube Star Joe Sugg Sparks Bitter Backlash from TRAINED Actors After Landing West End Role in Waitress – As They Slam Theatre for ‘Stunt Casting’.” Daily Mail, 21 Aug. 2019,