Confessions of a Layman: How a Regular Dude Can Get Cast on Big Brother

Continuing in our annual series of Big Brother casting tips I asked former Houseguest Matt Hoffman if he could provide any advice to the next round of applicants. What he sent back was a treasure-trove of insight and guidance that anyone considering applying should review carefully. So read on, Big Brother Hopefuls, and best of luck!

Matt Hoffman Big Brother 12

Hello, Big Brother fans! It’s that time of year again – CASTING!…where, for a few of you, dreams will come true, and for the rest of you, you’ll get firsthand confirmation that you’re just not that interesting. As some of you may know, I applied for nearly every season of ‘Big Brother’ since season two before finally getting cast on the show in season 12. This fact, coupled with my proven charm and wit, has caused Big Brother Network to solicit me for an article offering my sage advice to all of you ‘Big Brother 14’ applicants.

If you’re super attractive and have skirted through life on your good looks, this write-up will not be for you. You don’t need my help. Just show up with your chiseled features, flash your dimpled smile, say a few things that aren’t really that funny but people will laugh politely at anyway because you’re so attractive, and the odds lay in your favor. I say with complete and total honesty that the winner of the season that I was on was actually asked to take his shirt off during his casting process. I’ve never worked in casting, so anything I write is pure speculation and educated assumptions through personal experience, however I can safely say that “outstanding personality” is not at the top of the list of casting requirements.

But I am here to help out the freaks and misfits like myself. We may have to work a little bit harder, but us “normal” people can still have our shot! Where card-counting gives you an edge in blackjack without officially guaranteeing you success, consider my advice the card-counting of getting cast on ‘Big Brother’. Follow my lead, and I’m not saying that you will 100% get on the show…but I can safely say that you will overcome the odds while not having to look like a supermodel.

I’ve applied no less than nine times, been to probably about six different semi-finals, and have been all the way through finals twice. So yes – I consider myself as much of an expert in ‘Big Brother’ casting as anyone outside of the “inner circle” can hope to be in their lifetime. That being said, follow these simple rules and you too can have your privacy obliterated for an entire summer.


Yes, ‘Big Brother’ is a reality show. I’d go so far as to say that it’s probably the most “real” of reality shows out there. But it still is a television program and, thus, it still needs “characters”… Continue Reading Part 1 >>


I’ve never been to an open call, but I’ve heard plenty about them. And none of it really seems to win favor over applying with a video… Continue Reading Part 2 >>


Confidence is key. Don’t be shy. Don’t be timid. Don’t be humble. This is your shot to take this thing, and you want the casting people to know that… Continue Reading Part 3 >>


You should definitely exaggerate every aspect of your character. But you definitely should NOT lie about anything… Continue Reading Part 4 >>


Persistence pays! How did a shifty-eyed, trollish, socially-awkward guy like myself ultimately make it onto a show catered to attractive socially-adept people?…

…The same way that myriads of unattractive dudes score hot chicks all the time – by wearing them down!… Continue Reading Part 5 >>


Stick with your story. Don’t forget anything you said on your video or in your open call. If you change from that “character” or “story”, you’ll be done… Continue Reading Part 6 >>


What I wrote just scratches the surface of the casting process. For a more in-depth look at the detailed intricacies of HOW everything works behind the scenes of casting, check out the new book by ‘Big Brother Season 10’ winner Dan Gheesling, How To Get On Reality TV. I have read it myself, and it is definitely something that I wish I would have had when I was applying to be on the show. Also on Dan’s site is a free eBook to download with his personal casting story.

Best of luck, and I hope to be writing scathing commentary about some of you right here on Big Brother Network this summer!


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  1. I loved this article!!! Very informative, I love when former Houseguests take the time to share info on casting etc.

  2. Hey Matt, I went to the open casting call in New Orleans it was an awesome experience, but I didn’t feel like I got my points across because we interviewed three at a time,so I guess my question would be should I go to another open call in another city for this season?

  3. Please tell me you’ll write your reviews each week again this year!  It was a highlight to the show just to read your hilarious comments

  4. Matt, are you blogging about Big Brother 14?  Please tell me YES! It was a total highlight last season!

  5. Recently I was REALLY low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – 5lk5

  6. give it up an go back to smokin crack, jack.. cause i’m bout to jump in ‘da game’ .. let’s dance~

  7. When I got onto the show I definitely think it’s because I was myself and myself is very honest and loud. The casting team knows if you’re not being yourself so I would only apply if your’re comfortable being yourself in all situations, especially on camera!

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