Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

“Casting By” — HBO Documentary About Casting Directors

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone who cares about movies should see “Casting By,” a new documentary on HBO about casting directors.  It is a rare opportunity to see early glimpses of some of the greatest actors live in their first roles and even never-seen before audition tapes.  But more important, it is a chance to understand the influence of casting directors like the pioneering Marion Dougherty, who championed actors like Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and John Travolta and literally changed the face of movies.

In the early studio days, actors were primarily chosen for their looks, including the indefinable “screen presence.”  They were under contract, and when it came time to make a movie they would often pick whoever was available from their list of in-house talent.  They would train them in-house as well.  “They used what people looked like physically to define the character…Can we fix the nose, can we fix the teeth?  Last on the list was ‘can they act?'”

Advertisement

The end of the studio era coincided with a change in story-telling on film that opened the door for New York stage-trained actors who looked less like leading men and more like real people, actors who understood a new kind of acting based on “inner being, emotional truth.”  The movies were ready for “great actors as opposed to the Hollywood star-making system.”  That was where Dougherty came in.  She began casting for live television, a trial by fire that was the perfect foundation for getting to know the actors and the business.  It is touching to hear the gratitude of the actors she helped.  “She can see what other people can’t see,” we learn.  “Even before you see it in yourself,” adds Danny Glover.

 

Previous Posts

A Walk in the Woods
It isn't getting to that point where you most often see your friends at funerals. It isn't feeling stale because instead of promoting a new ...

posted 5:50:12pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

AJ Hakari, Mack Bates, Betty Jo Tucker and I Talk About the Fall Movies 2015
[iframe width="400" height="370" src="http://player.cinchcast.com/?platformId=1&assetType=single&assetId=7879147" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 5:09:27pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Opening This Month: September 2015
Happy September! Fall is when we see fewer sequels, superheroes and shootouts, more dramas based on real stories or best-selling books. Here's what we have to look forward to this month: September 2 A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson's book ...

posted 3:24:52pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d88APYIGkjk" frameborder="0"] Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in "The Danish Girl," directed by Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"). It is the true story of transgender ...

posted 11:05:10am Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
The end of August is traditionally one of the year's low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse "Straight Outta Compton" lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen ...

posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.