A few days ago, E! Online columnist Marc Malkin had a fun item about actress Freida Pinto admitting to using a “butt double” for a love scene in the new historical drama Immortals. The revelation sparked a trail of additional media coverage, including mention during an Ellen interview. (The love scene in question was in fact the first scene filmed on location in Montreal.)
Realizing that this topic usually gets the bum’s rush from investigative journalists, FishbowlLA decided to check in with SAG’s director of background actors, Terri Becherer, and director of theatrical-TV contracts, Elizabeth Moseley, to find out more.
First off, the next time you snicker at the idea of a body double, consider that the current SAG daily minimum for principal work of this nature is $825. Even the lesser, “special ability background” variety pays $152.
It wasn’t until 1995 that SAG got body doubles provisioned in as principal contract players, although such performers do not have to be listed in accordance with the union’s screen credits stipulations. That’s why for example there is only a stunt double listed on IMDb for Pinto in Immortals.
Finally, SAG audition rules dictate that a performer can have a chaperone present at a “butt double” audition as well as refuse any requests for full nudity. If-when such tryouts are deemed necessary, a G-string and pasties is all that’s required for a woman to prove her IMMORTALS-ity.