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Entries in casting (78)


Quick Impressions: "Younger Ethel Darling" in Freakshow / "Song & Dance Girl" in Magic Mike XXL

KATHY DEITCHNew Series! In Quick Impressions we're looking at the working actor in key movie scenes. There are showbiz dreams embedded in nearly every frame of your favorite tv shows and films. Consider this series a celebration of SAG card-holders everywhere and double duty advice column for casting directors and aspiring actors.

For today's double-plus-good episode we talked to a young actress of stage and screen who I know you've already spotted on the very popular American Horror Story: Freakshow. KATHY DEITCH did flashback duty as "Younger Ethel Darling," for Kathy Bates's doomed Bearded Lady. But all is not misery because get this: next summer Deitch will also be getting more than her fair share of testosterone... albeit in a far more enviable way. She'll be partying with your favorite strippers on the big screen in the eagerly awaited sequel Magic Mike XXL

She tells us about her career-changing moment, fangirling it out while meeting Matt Bomer, and how to prepare for your big break in this exuberant conversation after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Bates, Sarandon & Curtis: Actressexual News Galore!

Manuel here bringing you some delicious actressexual news that'll make all of you 80s/90s film lovers really happy. 

A photo posted by xavierdolan (@xavierdolan) on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:41pm PST

Xavier Dolan's upcoming English language debut film, The Death & Life of John F. Donovan is slowly amassing quite the cast. The Mommy director had already announced the casting of Jessica Chastain and Kit Harrington but he's also added Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates to the cast. Needless to say, the boy has taste. Also, if you're not following him on Instagram, you're really missing out. That's where he's been sharing tidbits from his upcoming film, but also more NSFW-ey stuff like this (think he was celebrating casting Kit, Susan & Kathy?).

In other news, Ryan Murphy, who has yet to meet an 80s or 90s cinema goddess he doesn't want to shower with a juicy part (see: Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett), has conscripted Jamie Lee Curtis for his upcoming horror/comedy anthology seriesScream Queens. You have to admit, that's some amazing casting. Joining her is Emma Roberts, a regular member of the Murphy AHSacting ensemble (and a Scream queen herself!). I won't hold my breath for this being a great show, but I will look forward to the sure to be batshit crazy stuff he'll have Curtis do. If nothing else, he'll have rescued her from a career as yogurt spokesperson so we should be grateful for that. 

Which 80s/90s star do you wish were given a plum role by an established TV mogul and/or a tantalizingly exuberant up and comer? 


Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe'

Great news, Lupita fans! The selective Oscar-winning actress has signed on to a new project, the next film from acclaimed director Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding). 

Word around the project has been surprisingly quiet-- it's not yet listed on IMDb, nor has there seem to have been an official press announcement-- but Nyong'o and Nair announced the news themselves at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Nov. 11. The project is an adaptation of the sportswriter Tim Crothers' book The Queen of Katwe, which tells the real-life story of Phiona Mutesi, a chess prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. 

The project is set up at Disney, according to Nair, and it seems like a collaboration between these two women has been a long time coming-- Nyong'o was a student of Nair's, and their families have been long acquainted. (You can see footage of the announcement and an interview here.)

Lupita Nyong'o has had such a quick rise to acclaim and stardom, it's easy to believe she's got the bends. It's been hard, as a fan, to be patient during the long wait for new casting announcements, but her selectiveness looks like it may yield results. Between the Star Wars sequel she just wrapped and the adaptation of Americanah underway with Plan B Entertainment, to say nothing of her multi-year contract as the face of Lancôme, her future in the cultural landscape is looking more and more secure. Let's hope the projects keep on coming.

Which upcoming Lupita project are you most looking forward to? What do you hope she'll announce next?


Quick Impressions: "Nervous Intern" in Gone Girl

New Series! In "Quick Impressions" we will be looking at the working actor in key movie scenes. Consider it a celebration of SAG card-holders everywhere and free advice for casting directors. Have you ever noticed how many people it takes to populate each film's world? So many showbiz dreams wander around on every film set and are embedded in each frame of your favorite movies, sometimes front and center but off to the side and in the background, too.

Today, we're talking to actor/dancer Brett Leigh who has appeared in two David Fincher movies, The Social Network (2010) and Gone Girl (2014) the latter of which is still in the top five box office six weeks into its release and now the year's biggest hit outside of all those CG franchises.

NATHANIEL: Tell us about your scene in Gone Girl!

BRETT LEIGH: It's towards the beginning when Nick Dunne asks Amy to marry him. I play one of the reporters at the table.  They cut the scene down but kept my line in there along with the girl sitting next to me. 

NATHANIEL:  I love that scene because it feel so performative, as if Nick & Amy are essentially acting out a traditional love story moment for the press. How was the experience and why are you billed as "Nervous Intern"?

BRETT: In scripts, as a general rule, you don’t ‘name’ characters if they aren’t plot changing or show up for several pages or scenes.  So when you have one liners, or help move the scene along as a character for a page or two, writers will just call them what they are:  i.e. ‘Courtier’, ‘Mail carrier’, ‘Nervous Intern’.  I have no idea why I was called ‘Nervous Intern’.  I don’t seem to be nervous OR an intern. [Laughs] The other people were called like, 'Fashionista', 'Above-it-all-Journalist'. I think it was Gillian Flynn's way of staying away from just  ‘Journalist 1, 2, 3, 4’.

I do remember the scene work and was quite pleasantly surprised at how serious Ben Affleck is on set - very good actor, very focused.  And Rosamund Pike was top notch every single take.  We weren’t given the full script, but in taping you could definitely tell Rosamund and Ben knew where they were in the story and where their characters were going.  Of course with David Fincher at the helm it’s quite impossible NOT to know where your character is and where they are going.  

You're also in The Social Network!

I play the frat guy hazing Andrew Garfield in the snow. It’s about 2 minutes and I have the majority of the lines.  

Did you fantasize about further terrorizing him as a supervillain when he got the Spider-Man part?

[Laughs] No, but I would really like to be in a comic-come-to-life movie.

Getting that Social Network part must have been amazing

I was coming back from overseas playing Riff/Action in the International Tour of West Side Story.  

Brett Leigh, center with bandana in the international tour of West Side StoryMy favorite musical !

I got a call for an audition and I was like “They’re making a movie about Facebook?”.  It sounded kind of ‘TV movie’ to me.  It all happened kind of fast.  I was called in about four times for this scene. After getting the role I found out more about who was directing and writing.  Thats when my mind was blown. David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin?!  I couldn’t believe I got the role over other Hollywood hopefuls and the timing worked out so well just getting back from a major theatre tour.

I come from a theatre and ballet background so to transition into film with such an amazing director has been awesome.  I feel like I have been in the corps de ballet for two Fincher films. 

I hope you get a third and that we see you in a film musical some day!

Thanks for your attention dear readers. You can follow Brett Leigh on Twitter @BrettLeigh. He is also a Director/Writer and recently completed this short film "American Day". It's funny and sad simultaneously. Check it out...

COMING SOON: You tell us. Do you like this series idea?
Do you ever think about actors way down the cast list that might be one lucky break away from larger roles? 


The Honoraries: Harry Belafonte in Carmen Jones (1954)

Welcome to "The Honoraries". We're celebrating the careers of the Honorary Oscar recipients of 2014 and the Jean Hersholt winner (Harry Belafonte). Here's longtime TFE reader and new contributor Teo Bugbee, whose work you might have read at The Daily Beast, on Belafonte's biggest film...

Even in the fantastic canon of classic Hollywood musicals, Carmen Jones is a standout. It’s got all the colors—Deluxe, not Technicolor, which as any John Waters fan will tell you is the real deal—it’s got the timeless score by Georges Bizet, but before we talk about the film itself, let’s take a minute to look at the backstory, if only because what was going on behind the scenes in Carmen Jones is at least as interesting as what made it on film. 

Though he never really made particularly political films, director Otto Preminger was a modern man when it came to his politics, and he proposed the idea of adapting the Broadway smash Carmen Jones into a film as a means of showing off the black talent that he felt Hollywood was excluding. But despite Preminger’s substantial box office clout, no major studio wanted to take on a film with an all black cast. So Preminger took Carmen Jones to United Artists and set out making it basically as an independent film.

Harry Belafonte was brought on immediately as Joe, but Preminger took a longer time to find his star, testing a number of black actresses. 

Lusty affairs and a singular film after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Key & Peele Head to the Movies


Margaret here with your update on comedy greenlights. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of the eponymous highly-rated Comedy Central sketch show, are making time in their busy schedule of routinely putting SNL to shame to produce and star in their first joint film project.
They just inked a deal with New Line to make Keanu. No, it's not the long-overdue biopic following the rise and fall of the actor who brought us Neo, Ted "Theodore" Logan, and a very Sad Meme. The script, penned by Peele and Community writer Alex Rubens, follows two friends who pretend to be drug dealers to get back a stolen cat (named, you guessed it, Keanu). Peter Atencio, veteran director of Key & Peele, is in talks to direct, and production is slated to begin in April. Says Peele:
"The movie should resonate with a large audience as almost everyone has had a house pet stolen by a street gang, right?"
He also reassured fans that no K&P characters will be harmed in the making of the film. That will have to be left for another planned movie project in the pipeline, a spinoff of the popular sketch Mr. Garvey, Substitute Teacher. They've also signed on to produce a Police Academy reboot, and are attached to an untitled Judd Apatow production. 
The dynamic comedy duo have been working together for about fifteen years, from Chicago's Second City to several seasons of MadTV to supplying a welcome oasis of humor in this year's brutally dry Emmy telecast, and they've got their chemistry down to a science. They've got a formidable arsenal of incisive humor and devastatingly funny physical bits, plus a love of the movies:



It's always exciting when fresh comedy voices get a major platform. Since every sketch comedy star who has taken a shot at the big screen has without exception met with critical raves and great financial success, this has to be a slam dunk, right? Do you think that Key & Peele can become our next bankable comic movie stars?