I do build my own backstory as an actor. It’s important to know where your characters have come from in order to know where they’re going – in order to exist in that state of being.
As an actor I always think one of the most fascinating processes when preparing for a role is the creation of a backstory. Having the backstory is what really brings flesh and bones to your character.
Often with the larger roles in television such as recurring characters or guest roles a lot of the backstory will have been discussed with you by the writers and director, on smaller roles it isn’t all there in the script and the majority of the work will be for you to do as homework. Don’t expect a television director to have the time to rehearse with you and help you build your character – you must do your own homework.
Whatever size your role, creating a real backstory to your character is both a vital and fun part of creating a compelling and realistic character.