Tim Wilson

Earlier this month, the London-based website RadioTimes ran an interview with New York City-based stand-in Tim Wilson, who has been interviewed on Stand-In Central all of the way back in 2010.

Currently working on HBO’s television series Succession as the stand-in for the show’s central character played by Brian Cox, Tim has worked in the industry for approximately 30 years, with years of notable stints as a stand-in for various A-list actors.

Facts about Stand-In Work

In the interview, Tim details some facts about standing in. For one, he talks about the basics of the job, explaining, “A stand-in’s job is to work with the camera and lighting departments in setting up each individual shot in each scene.”

He also shares the current rate for stand-ins working in New York under a SAG-AFTRA television contract. “Stand-ins get $199 per day with overtime earned after 8 hours of work. It’s all about the overtime!”

In fact, working as a stand-in helps him qualify for health insurance, because his union work is tied to a benefit plan and the more he works, the more potential he has to qualify for health insurance. He concedes it’s still a “struggle” to earn it each year, but he also says he’s been able to make “a decent living” from his work in the industry as a stand-in, which includes work as a background actor. (Editor’s Note: Tim also lands the occasional principal role, which further helps his earnings to qualify for health insurance!)

“It’s a Privilege”

Tim also divulges some of the emotional facets of the job.  There is a range of feelings. Tim says, “Stand-in work in particular, it’s both extremely tedious and extremely interesting. [It’s] tedious because they’re long days and one scene can take four hours because they’re doing all the different camera coverage […]”

But it’s definitely not all tedium for Tim.  Tim’s overriding feeling seems to be characterized in these comments: “It’s a privilege to be on these sets […] I’m fortunate in that people always interest me and sets are always fascinating to me.”

He continues: “I love the variety. I’ve been on hundreds and hundreds of sets by now, and it’s just, the chemistry and the atmosphere of each set is so different because of the nature of what it is. I don’t think of it as just a job, I always remind myself how privileged I am.”

Tim’s Still an Actor!

In addition to talking about his work as a stand-in, Tim details in the interview how he got into the industry, all the way back in 1972. He even talks about his “Close encounter” when he was in the Broadway production of Member of the Wedding that was actor Glenn Close’s first job out of college.

The article describes Tim as “a former actor turned professional stand-in.” It is hardly the case that Tim is a “former” actor. He very much still works in front of the camera as well as behind it as a stand-in. His IMDb page is a testimony to just some of his on-camera work over the years.

Read “The life of a film and TV stand-in” from RadioTimes »

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