How Do I Write a Character Bio for a Movie Script?

By Joe Burnham ; Updated September 15, 2017

Including character biographies within a film script is usually a good practice, as it enables readers of your script to have a better idea about the motivations and traits of each individual involved in the story. The biographies are also useful to actors, enabling them to get “in the head” of their portrayed characters.

Write a physical description of the character. Although the character may already be described within the script’s action, it’s usually relevant to also include a description with the character’s biography. This is especially true if the character’s physical traits have been affected by his history, for example, if the character has a noticeable scar on his face which came from a significant event in his childhood.

Describe who the character’s friends are and what sort of relationships they often form. If your character is a loner, discuss how he normally spends his free time away from other people. It’s also useful to describe how your character initially met his friends, as this can give insights into how the character develops trust and positive associations.

Describe the professional life of your character. Talk about what led your character to the current point in his professional career. If this was affected by certain notable points in his life, briefly explain what these were.

Describe where and how the character was raised. If the character was from a happy family, mention this, and likewise describe the situation if he was from a dysfunctional home. If it’s relevant, explain how the character’s childhood influenced his later personality.

Describe other defining moments within the character’s life. If the character suffered injuries at any point, was imprisoned, or had other eventful experiences, mention them.

About the Author

Joe Burnham has been a writer since 2008, working with British magazines such as "NME." His articles have been featured in "The Independent" newspaper, London's "Time Out" magazine and "York Vision," where he served as editor-in-chief. Burnham holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and international relations from the University of York.