Gregory Hyppolyte Brown, Psy.D., is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara.

Dissertation Committee

Brett Kia-Keating, Ed.D., Committee Chair

Sharleen O‘ Brien, Ph.D., Committee Member

Thalia R. Goldstein, Ph.D., Committee Member


actors, screen actors, acting roles, psychology of acting, phenomenology, phenomenology of acting, method acting, role immersion, character embodiment, multiple selves, multiple personalities, illusion of independent agency

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When an actor plays a character in a film, they try to connect with the emotions and behavioral patterns of the scripted character. There is an absence of literature regarding how a role influences an actor’s life before, during, and after film production. This study examined how acting roles might influence an actor during times on set shooting a movie or television series as well as their personal life after the filming is finished. Additionally the study considered the psychological impact of embodying a role, and whether or not an actor ever has the feeling that the performed character has independent agency over the actor. Blurred lines between a fictitious acting role, character embodiment, and an actor’s on and off-screen realities were explored during this investigation. Blurred lines were examined using a phenomenological paradigm, which encompassed interviews with six Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members about their own personal experiences living within a character. The outcome of this research suggested that actors are often emotionally and behaviorally influenced by roles affecting their daily lives and occasionally their romantic relationships. The participants also reported having experienced the effects of the illusion of a character’s independent agency while playing particular roles. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


ORCID: 0000-0001-6783-6708

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