Cast set

An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production. [1] [2]


The structure of an ensemble cast contrasts with the popular Hollywood centralization of a protagonist , as the whole leans more towards a sense of “collectivity and community”. [3]

Casts in film were introduced as early as September 1916, with DW Griffith’s silent epic movie Intolerance , featuring four separate though parallel studs. [4] The film follows the lives of several characters over the years, across different cultures and time periods. [5] The unification of different plot lines and character arcs is a key feature of the ensemble casting in film; it is a rental, event, or an overarching theme that ties the film and characters together. [4]

Films that feature sets tend to emphasize the interconnectivity of the characters, even when the characters are strangers to one another. [6] The interconnectivity is often shown to the audience through examples of the ” six degrees of separation ” theory, and allows them to navigate through plot lines using cognitive mapping . [6] Examples of this method, where the six degrees of separation are shown in an ensemble, are in such productions as Babel , Love, Actually and Crash , which all have strong underlying themes within each film . [4]


Other forms of narrative for films with a set of casts having more or less equal amounts of screen time are shown in the following productions. The Avengers , where the cast and their characters are established in individual films prior to its release. [7] In the Avengers , there is no need for a protagonist in the feature as equal parts in the narrative, successfully balancing the whole cast. [8] Referential acting is a key factor in executing this balance, as a whole cast members “play off each other rather than off reality”. [3]


Casting also became more popular in television series . In addition, the departure of the players is less important than it would have been if the star of a production were to leave the series. The television series Friends is an archetypal example of an ensemble cast in an American sitcom. Together casts of 20 or more actors are common in soap operas , a genre that connies heavily on the character development of the set. [9] The genre also requires continuing expansion of the series, with the soap operas Days of Our Lives andThe Bold and the Beautiful on the air for decades. [10]

An example of a success for television in a casting group is the Emmy Award – Winning HBO Series Game of Thrones . The epic fantasy series features one of the largest set casts on the small screen. [11] The series is notorious for major character deaths, resulting in constant changes within the set. [12] Other programs include the original Netflix series Orange Is the New Black , known for its various cast, and flashbacks to almost all of the characters. British comedy television series Extras included a guest television or movie celebrity who play fictional versions of themselves. Another include Skins which included a various cast of comedy actors among the family of the lead characters which are replaced biennially.

See also

  • All-star
  • Polyphony (literature)
  • Supergroup (music)


  1. Jump up^ Random House: acting together 2013-07-17
  2. Jump up^ Steven Withrow; Alexander Danner (2007). Character design for graphic novels . Focal Press / Rotovision. p. 112. ISBN  9780240809021 . Retrieved 2009-09-05 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b “Mathijs, E. (2011) .Regarding acting and the whole cast screen., 52 (1), 89–96 Retrieved from /1/89.extract
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Smith, L. (2012). Movie set, postmodernity and moral mapping. Screening The Past, 35. Retrieved from
  5. Jump up^ ,. (2014). Intolerance (1916). Retrieved 20 June 2014, from
  6. ^ Jump up to:b “Silvey, V. (2009) Not Just Together Films: Six Degrees, Webs, Multiplexity and the Rise of Network Narratives FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & The Arts, 0 (08 Retrieved from
  7. Jump up^ Child, B. (2012). Avengers Assembles disarms the critics. the Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2014, from
  8. Jump up^ Bean, J. (2011). Joss Whedon talks about the whole cast of ‘The Avengers’ – Hypable. Hypable. Retrieved 20 June 2014, from
  9. Jump up^ Ford, S. (2008). Soap operas and the history of fan discussion. Transformative Works and Cultures , 1. Retrieved from
  10. Jump up^ Jenkins, H. (2010). The Survival of Soap Opera Part Two: The History and Legacy of Serialized Television. Retrieved 24 June 2014, from
  11. Jump up^ Campbell, S. (2014). David Cameron: ‘I’m a Game of Thrones fan’ –The Daily Telegraph. (London). Retrieved 17 June 2014, from
  12. Jump up^ ,. (2012). The Game of Thrones: Nobody wins, everybody dies -Opinion ABC Religion and Ethics Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 17 June 2014, from