Once in a great while, a man really has a chance to shine. Andy Millman is not that man.
Ricky Gervais stars as Andy Millman, a frustrated Englishman in his 40s who gives up his day job to pursue acting, only to find that because of his age, blend-in appearance and complete lack of experience, he just can't land any juicy parts.
Undaunted by failure and convinced of his "star" potential, Andy spends most of his days changing from costume to costume and hustling from set to set, stalking anyone who might somehow help him land a speaking role or, at least, a larger extra part in a scene. In an effort to make a rare on-camera impression, Andy often milks the scenes that he's in to get more screen time, but that strategy has a tendency to backfire.
Andy must also contend with his inept and contemptuous agent (Stephen Merchant), who not only fails to get his client a speaking gig, but actually encourages him to quit acting and find another form of employment. It's clear that Andy would fire his agent (we never learn his name) in a heartbeat - if another agent would agree to take him in.
Even when he's not working, Andy continues his quest, stooping to extremes to seek out invitations to "in" spots and celebrity parties that might expose him to directors, writers and bigger actors. But more often than not, he and his fellow extra, Maggie Jacobs (Ashley Jensen), spend their days ensconced in a green room with other extras, filling the time with gritty stories of their personal lives, all the while envying their A-list counterpoints. Occasionally they finagle a conversation with one of the stars, but these brief encounters have a way of coming back to haunt them. As for Maggie, her acting ambitions are tempered by a far more pressing need: to find a man (not Andy) who might make a suitable husband.
As Andy and Maggie move from gig to gig, each episode features a different film set, as well as guest appearances by well-known actors playing themselves, including Kate Winslet, Ross Kemp, Les Dennis and Patrick Stewart.