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  • Published: 19 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9781405958318
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

The Actor

To achieve greatness, you must sacrifice everything. An unputdownably tense novel about obsession, guilt and the glamour of Hollywood

At long last, Adam Sealey has an Oscar within reach. Working with his controversial former mentor, Jonathan, he's given the performance of a lifetime, and he almost believes it might be worth the cost.

Because Adam subscribes to "the method". It's the secret that the world's greatest actors swear by - digging into their darkest, most personal traumas to bring a role to life. And Adam's greatest trauma is worse than most. Back in drama school, he had to choose between a girl he loved and the success he craved. What he did that night is his darkest secret.

And then he gets a message: someone knows. And if they tell, everything Adam's worked for will come crashing down.

  • Published: 19 November 2024
  • ISBN: 9781405958318
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for The Actor

This compelling psychological thriller set in the acting world is both uncompromising and unsettling, with deeply layered characters and a narrative voice that grabs you from the opening line and won’t let you go. Fascinating.

Alex Michaelides

Ego and ambition, guilt and redemption collide in this masterfully plotted and beautifully written psychological thriller. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page.

Erin Kelly

A blistering story of obsession and where it can lead; a crackling whiplash of a book

Lou Morgan

An unsettling, all-encompassing read that explores obsession and ambition. So sharp, so visceral, I just couldn't look away.

Jo Jakeman

I was obsessed. Laughing one moment, absolutely speechless the next, I was completely swept away in Adam’s story. This book lives up to expectations – and then exceeds them

Sam Holland

What an incredibly tense, immersive debut. I was completely absorbed by this window into the world of method acting and the dark, twisted consequences of such intense commitment. A bravura performance from MacDonald - I didn’t want it to end.

Amy McCulloch

A darkly dazzling and glamorously wicked thriller. Take a bow, Chris MacDonald.

Chris Whitaker

Brilliantly twisting (and twisted) tale of method acting, madness and Hollywood glamour. I loved it.

Mat Osman

The Actor is both a compulsive thriller and a fascinating insight into the world of method acting. Chris MacDonald's writing captures it all, and beautifully: from the glamour of Hollywood to the grunge of 90s Camden. It's also very, very moving, packed with characters both lovable and entirely detestable. I adored it.

Abigail Dean

Brilliant, dark, immersive, and ultimately hugely satisfying

Jennie Godfrey, author of The List of Suspicious Things

Enthralling and unsettling, The Actor will get you wondering how far one would go for recognition and acceptance

Laure Van Rensberg

A masterful thriller that keeps you guessing until the final twist. Exploring a group of drama students in thrall to a toxic tutor and methodology, it has echoes of The Secret History. MacDonald skilfully treads the line between taut, suspenseful thriller and a layered exploration of method acting, with a very moving ending

Alice McIlroy, author of The Glass Woman

An intense, absorbing read about the danger of sacrificing everything for your art, with echoes - in its fascinating depiction of the relationship between student and mentor - of The Secret History and Black Swan.

Mark Edwards

A barnstorming performance

The Times

Twisty, compulsive fun


If you are interested in the world of acting, this is one for you. If you like to be kept at the edge of your seat, this one is for you. If you like classy, unique thrillers with richly-drawn characters at their heart, then, you've guessed it - this one is for you. I loved it!

Emily Koch, bestselling author of If I Die Before I Wake

Brilliantly evoked, totally compelling. A first-class thriller

Daily Mail

Discover more

How drama school inspired Chris MacDonald to write The Actor

Plus, learn about which fictional character he’d like to dine with and the musician he always turns to when singing karaoke.