Film Roles: Casting Director

It is fairly common these days, for films to include casts of hundreds of people. This includes everyone from the main characters, to the supporting cast. As there are so many people needed, it is normal practice for a film to have an entire department that is given the task of casting each role individually. This task will be overseen my the Casting Director.

For main roles, especially in big budget films, the Casting Director may approach specific actors or if the Director is interested in casting an unknown, the Casting Director may get in touch with Drama Schools to encourage talent to audition. They might approach Agents, and for some roles - especially smaller ones, or roles that the

Generally, the main cast is likely to be a well-known actor. This is because well-known actors are likely to draw bigger audiences, especially if they are popular. Therefore, big names are instantly considered to be hypothetical cash cows when it comes to selling the completed film. However, the bigger the name, the bigger the price that it will cost the overall production, therefore it will be the Casting Director's job to negotiate these areas.

When it comes to much smaller roles, especially extras it is quite common for the Casting Director to advertise auditions in the local press within the area that the film is going to be shot. Quite often, with extras, these will be quite open, but it is also common for the Casting Director to advertise for specific age, appearance etc to fit in with the overall atmosphere of specific scenes and/or the overall movie.

A Cast List will gradually be put together, with the Director getting the final overall say about who makes the final Cast List.

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  1. Roles are usually cast by directors and producers. No cast list is assembled without them. The term casting director is misleading in that sense.

  2. Not entirely accurate. Whilst yes, the Director and Producers will get the final say (as stated in the article), it will be the Casting Director who puts forward specific actors for a role, and creates the cast list. Whilst the Director and Producer will probably have an idea of who they want for the main role, they are likely to leave smaller roles to the discretion of the Casting Director. They will also - although of course not always - leave it to the Casting Director to approach actors, unless they have good relations with a specific actor.

    1. Thank you, but stiill misleading. The director and producers cast each role throughout the process. That is how a list of people who are cast is generated. Casting people book appointments for a variety of possible actors for each role, but directors and producers decide at each step. Occasionally casting people will be allowed to cast less significant roles themselves.



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