Oscars 2015

Without casting directors, there are no "Best Actors"

Kai Ryssdal Feb 19, 2015
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Oscars 2015

Without casting directors, there are no "Best Actors"

Kai Ryssdal Feb 19, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Actors are usually the ones in the spotlight, but it’s someone’s job to put them in their roles.

Terri Taylor cast the Oscar-nominated “Whiplash,” which is up for five awards. As a casting director, Taylor is ineligible for an Academy Award but she was nominated for the Artios Award from the Casting Society of America.

Taylor starts the casting process by reading the script and consulting with the director. After that, she goes into a casting workshop and starts thinking about actors. She says, “I have a lot of ideas of actors I’ve met in the past that I know very well. I’m incredibly familiar with their work, which is a gigantic part of my job… to educate myself on actors and what work they’re doing.” She also speaks with talent agents and auditions actors for each role.

The budget that a film has will greatly affect the casting process. Whiplash was a low-budget film.

“We made it for $3 million dollars, and it absolutely affects the casting process. I think the truth is that we are limited because of our financial resources when you’re making a low budget movie. Not everybody is interested or can work for what we pay,” says Taylor. “So I think it affects our casting process 100 percent.”

Even though she was working with a small budget, Taylor is proud of how the casting of the film turned out.

“I knew going in that it was a special project… not only was the film making wonderful but the acting across the board was so good, even down to the smallest parts,” says Taylor. “It was just pride. Not only for the work that we had done in our craft in assembling people in every role that could get the job done but for all of those actors, I feel a little bit of a kind of maternal feeling for everybody that we assembled and I was just really really proud.”

Whiplash is nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

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