Character Types: The Detective
Wardrobe Character Analysis for Detective Headshots and Reels
For both auditions and headshots, wardorbe choices for certain types of characters are extremely important, as are aspects like angles and lighting. Detective roles run the gamut from comedic roles such as in a movie like Ride Along, or a TV show such as Brooklyn 99, to more hard and gritty roles such as those in the film The Departed or TV's Chicago PD. Overall, however, many elements of detective roles are universal and paying attention to them will help create the best headshot and reel to help you land one of these intriguing roles.
Detective roles are often highly sought after by actors because of the complexity of the characters. Therefore, great headshots for detective roles often start with angles, lighting and wardorbe choices. Lower lighting with lots of angles and shadows is a good lighting choice, but make sure your face is still clearly visible, and the photo or video is still clean, crisp and clear. Wardorbe choices should reflect the more utilitarian nature of detectives. They are often far more concerned with solving puzzles than with fashion or high style.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as the character of Kate Beckett in the TV show Castle or the cast of CSI: Miami, but those are more the exceptions to the rule than the standard. As a general rule, when creating a headshot for a detective role, keep the lighting dramatic and the clothing neutral, but with an edge - something slightly outside the norm.
During auditions, it is also important for actors to dress the part. In the same way that detectives are often a mystery, detectives in law enforcement are also frequently rebels against many of the norms of the society they are sworn to protect. A good example of this is the character of Seely Boothe from the TV show Bones. Overall, he is a buttoned down FBI agent, but is also well known for his wild socks and oversized belt buckles. On his off days, he is also known to wear sports or casual attire, which also gives insight into his character. When creating a wardorbe for a detective, it's important to pay attention to the small details that provide small clues to their inner workings.