HIRING AN ACTOR TO BE YOUR CHILD’S PARENT. I tend to trust internet stories more than I should, but Roc Morin had a story in the Atlantic (November 7) that I find hard to believe.The story is about a Japanese company (called in English “Family Romance”) which “provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients”. The company has a staff of 800 actors to accomplish this.The article consists of a long interview with the founder of Family Romance. I found it very moving.

The founder tells this story to explain the services that the Family Romance company provides. A mother rented him to serve as the father of her 12 year old daughter, who was being bullied at school because she had no father (her birth father, a violent man, had disappeared). The founder has been seeing her for 8 years. She believes he is her real father, who can only see her for four hour sessions because he has another family.

The rules of the company provide that if the client never reveals the truth, the father will continue to play the role indefinitely—father at the girl’s wedding, grandfather if there is a child.

This entry was posted in Theater. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. This whole plan, to have an actor substitute for a needed but missing person, seems to me like the plot for a bad movie, or, at its most extreme, an ancient Greek tragedy.
    There are so many things that could go wrong and reveal the underlying falsity of deeply invested relationships. The actors could be recognized and their identities revealed to trusting children, for example. The actors themselves could decide they have simply had enough and drop out. OR, the actors could begin to believe in their roles after a while. OR, the actors could have nerve breakdowns if they become so good at portraying their new identities, their original identity becomes altered.

    It is chilling to me, in fact, that people who seek this service can’t find a better and more honest way to deal with life’s misfortunes and even tragedies. I think they are setting up a kind of alternate universe that is bound to dissolve–and leave wreckage behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.