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Character Introductions

A character introduction is the first mentioning of a character in the screenplay. While all action lines in the script are supposed to be visual writing (translate to situations that can be filmed resulting in images seen on the screen) writers have some leeway here when they first introduce a character. Often they hint at character traits in a less visual way, especially with main characters.

Here a few examples of character introductions - visual and less than visual:

From: Fallen
Original screenplay by Nicholas Kazan


HOBBES (40) glances toward the car. His face, normally handsome, now ravaged, in pain...


EDGAR REESE (30, white, large-bodied, vacant eyes, bald head) sits on his bed, legs stretched out casually, hands behind his head, twiddling his thumbs at fantastic speed.


Lively scene, ethnic neighborhood. In the back is a table of
off-duty cops: Hobbes, LOU (half-Jewish, half-Italian, 40, a jaded extrovert), TIFFANY (black, 28, Totally one of the guys), LAWRENCE (35, bland), and JONESY (55, Hobbes’ partner: the ultimate cop, a worker, a bear in polyester).

From: Ghost
Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin


MOLLY JENSEN, in her late 20's, has a bandanna around her hair and a workman's mask over her nose, but we can tell from her eyes and cheekbones that she is beautiful. SAM WHEAT, in his late 30's, is also hidden behind a mask, but he has a strong forehead and handsome features. Sweat is dripping down his brow, leaving streaks in the dust. CARL BRUNER, early 30's, removes his mask revealing a good looking young man with a fashionable two-day stubble. Both men have their shirts off.


She turns back to the closet and opens the door. Like magic, ODA MAE BROWN, 41, appears standing inside. She is a black woman in a white tunic. The whiteness of her garment makes it look as if she is glowing in the dark.

From: As Good As It Gets
By Mard Andrus and James J. Brooks



in the hallway... Well past 50... unliked, unloved, unsettling. A huge pain in the ass to everyone he's ever met. Right now all his considerable talent and strength is totally focused on seducing a tiny dog into the elevator door he holds open.


We hear a FADING SERIES of PLEADING "ANOOOOS" from the DOG fade to nothingness... as another apartment door opens emitting the loud sounds of a PARTY and SIMON NYE, early 30s. Simon has been born and raised with Gothic horror and it's strange that what that stew of trauma has produced is a gifted, decent man.


CAROL CONNELLY talks with another MOTHER -- a customer. You would not guess it, but her working hours tend to be the most carefree time of the day. She is telling a story about her son for the umpteenth time.



From: Blade Runner
Screenplay by Hampton Fancher

Blade Runner

The man talking is big, looks like an over-stuffed kid. “LEON” it says on his breast pocket. He’s dressed in a warehouseman’s uniform and his pudgy hands are folded expectantly in his lap. Despite the obvious heat, he looks very cool.

The man facing him is lean, hollow cheeked and dressed in gray. Detached and efficient, he looks like an accountant. His name is HOLDEN and he’s all business, except for the sweat on his face.


His eyes closed, head rested against the glass. Ten years ago, DECKARD might have been an athlete, a track man or a welter-
weight. The body looks it, but the face has seen some time -- not all of it good.


The woman is pretty, a touch of gray in her hair, kind and blue-eyed. MARY looks like an American dream mom, right out of “Father Knows Best.”

The man also resembles a tradition: the gym instructor, short cropped hair with the body of a drill sergeant, but the eyes are grey and chilling. ROY BATTY is a presence of force with a lazy, but acute sense of what goes on around him.

From: Constantine
Screenplay by Kevin Brodin



Lined with tenants trying to get a glimpse of the unexplainable.

The Stranger pushes through. Suspicious faces step out of his path. The ones that don't he pushes aside – even the

The man has no patience for politeness, no time for tact, no fear of anything.



CHAZ (20s) looks up from his cab. Cool. Frustrated. You just know he'd love to be up there, not down here.


A shadowy FIGURE several floors up stares over the rail at the heroes below. Note the slick suit, the polished veneer.

This is BALTHAZAR and he definitely does not rent here. He flicks an ancient COIN between his fingers.


ANGELA'S (30) weary eyes open. She's on her belly hidden between track ties and shadows even deeper. Grips a police-issue revolver tight. She's pinned down, unable to move.


John turns to see BEEMAN waddle in.

This diminutive occult version of Bond's "Q" carries a custom bowling bag and squints in the light like a mole.

From: The Big Lebowski
Screenplay by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

The Big Lebowksi

It is late, the supermarket all but deserted. We are tracking in on a fortyish man in Bermuda shorts and sunglasses at the dairy case. He is THE DUDE. His rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.

He is feeling quarts of milk for coldness and examining their expiration dates.


We are tracking in on the circular bench towards a big man nursing a large plastic cup of Bud. He has dark worried eyes and a goatee. Hairy legs emerge from his khaki shorts. He also wears a khaki army surplus shirt with the sleeves cut off over an old bowling shirt. This is WALTER.

He squints through the smoke from his own cigarette as he addresses the Dude at the scoring table.


Entering the room is a fat sixtyish man in a motorized wheelchair-- JEFF LEBOWSKI.


We see the backside of a naked woman in a sling suspended from a ceiling track rumbling over a canvas that lies on the floor. She is holding a paint bucket in one hand and a brush in the other, with which she flicks paint down at the canvas.

The Dude turns again as he hears running footsteps. Two young men in paint-spattered shorts, T-shirts and sneakers reach the sling shortly after it reaches the end of its track and haul it back for another push.

             I'll be with you in a minute, Mr.

She rumbles by in another pass.

             All right, we'll do the blue

                               tomorrow. Elfranco. Pedro. Help
             me down.

The two men help MAUDE out of her sling. She is naked except for leather harness straps which ring her breasts and wrap her thighs and give her something of a dominatrix look.