End Billing

Why are some actors credited as "and" or "with" after the other cast members?

By Deane Barker

When an actor appears at the end of the credits prefixed by “and” or “with,” this is called “end billing.” It’s usually reserved for bigger name actors who have smaller parts.

For example, in beginning of the movie True Lies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis are the main stars of the movie. They appear before the movie’s title, which is known as “top billing.”

Then, while the introductory action scene plays out, other names appear over the action on the edges of the screen – Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Eliza Dushku, etc. This is the supporting cast.

However, Charleton Heston had a small role in the film. It was more than a cameo – he was on-screen for about five minutes, but he probably shot his scene in day. Since he’s a very big name actor in a small role, he is set apart from the supporting cast by “end billing” (see image). His name doesn’t appear until the very end of the overlay credits, almost two minutes into the film (and, by my estimation, after a longer pause than between the other actors’ names).

In these cases, it’s common to say “and ACTOR’S NAME” and then sometimes “as CHARACTER’S NAME” (again, see the image). If there’s more than one actor who gets end billing, then it’s common to use “with.” For example:

with
FAMOUS ACTOR 1 as “CHARACTER 1 NAME”
and
FAMOUS ACTOR 2 as “CHARACTER 2 NAME”

In researching this, I found that there aren’t a lot of hard-and-fast rules around credits. There are some general conventions that are more or less followed, but every movie is different, and actors can negotiate their “credit status” as part of their contract.

Why I Looked It Up

I just always wondered.

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