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?'”

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

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rjRlJvOxIY0?rel=0" frameborder="0"] "Uptown Funk," from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92.

posted 9:16:46am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B28IHhaQXCE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:29am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters
In honor of this week's release of "Focus," here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that "con" comes from "confidence." A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in their schemes. And cons make great movies. If you haven't seen these, crank

posted 3:45:21pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VUhFpFQeilM?rel=0" frameborder="0"] "Love & Mercy" tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

posted 8:14:21am Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win an Insurgent T-Shirt
Getting ready for the second film in the "Divergent" series? Not sure you have just the right thing to wear? I'm here to solve your problem! I have an "Insurgent" t-shirt (Size L) to give away!

posted 3:55:04pm Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.