An actor (actress is sometimes used for females; see terminology) is a person portraying a character in a dramatic or comic production; he or she performs in film, television, theatre, radio, commercials or music videos. Actor, ὑποκριτής (hypokrites), literally means "one who interprets"; an actor, then, is one who interprets a dramatic character.Method acting is an approach in which the actor identifies with the portrayed character by recalling emotions or reactions from his or her own life. Presentational acting refers to a relationship between actor and audience, whether by direct address or indirectly by specific use of language, looks, gestures or other signs indicating that the character or actor is aware of the audience's presence. In representational acting, "actors want to make us 'believe' they are the character; they pretend."
Formerly, in some societies, only men could become actors, and women's roles were generally played by men or boys. In modern times, women occasionally played the roles of prepubescent boys.