As a writer without an agent or manager, would it be beneficial to me in any way to send a script to an actor via his/her agent? If I did send it, is there a possibility it may actually get to him?

–Chris Storer
Chicago

The odds are pretty slim, but there are a few cases where it might make sense:

1. For actors with very unique attributes.
Matthew McGrory, who plays Karl the Giant in BIG FISH, will be on the casting list for any movie involving a giant. So if you’ve written an acromegaly gangster drama called BIGFELLAS, it may make sense to send it to him. And, obviously, John Malkovich would be a prescient choice for BEING JOHN MALKOVICH.

2. For stars who can’t find roles.
Angela Bassett is a star, no question. But there aren’t a lot of great roles written for 46-year old African-American actresses. So if you’ve written one, it’s worth a shot.

3. For actors with a special affinity for the subject matter.
If you find out that Reese Witherspoon’s family is Armenian, and you’ve written the definitive wacky Armenian ethnic comedy, go for it. (By the way, I’m pretty certain Ms. Witherspoon is not of Armenian descent, but just by typing that last sentence, I suspect I’ll find “Reese Witherspoon Armenian” among the search engine phrases in the referrer log.)

In other words, Chris, if you’ve written a role that’s “perfect for Tom Cruise,” you have almost zero chance of getting it to him. But the more specialized the actor you’re targeting, the more reasonable it is to try.