Magazine article Variety

Thesps Wanted: Long Run, Plot Not Guaranteed

Magazine article Variety

Thesps Wanted: Long Run, Plot Not Guaranteed

Article excerpt

'I think there is still a little bit of mystery about what casting directors do and what part they play in the creative process," says Carrie Audino, casting director for Mad Men. "We don't just slap a few actors into the roles."

Casting highly serialized dramas with multi-year arcs presents challenges different from those of traditional episodics or feature films. Thesps going into such dramas have to really want to do a series (not all do) and be prepared for a long run. Producers count on casting directors to make sure the actors understand what they're getting into and are in it for the long haul.

Robert Sterne, casting director (with Nina Gold) of HBO's Game of Thrones, says the show's popularity and its schedule have helped avoid such troubles.

"Luckily the show has become such a phenomenon that lots of actors really want to do it," Sterne says. "There is the luxury of it being a relatively short shooting period - about five months) so the actors have at least nalf a year eacn year to do other stuff and keep variety in their work."

AMC's The Walking Dead series casting director Sharon Bialy has a method of determining an actor's commitment to an opportunity. "You know an actor really wants to do the show if they are willing to go ahead and test at the network for the role," Bialy says. …

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