The Neglected Importance of Casting Directors


3/5/18 UPDATE – It’s been 4 years since I wrote this article and casting directors still got the short end of the stick during last night’s Oscars.

1/11/15 UPDATE – Considering that not a single actor thanked the casting director on the Golden Globes, this article merits repeating once again.



After seeing the Oscars last night, I have come to notice that not a single actor acknowledged the casting director in any of the acceptance speeches. I find this a bit puzzling as I truly believe they play a key part in ways that most people (especially actors) don’t seem to acknowledge. And yes, this even applies to getting the A-listers on any TV show or film. Read on to find more..Please love me First off, a lot of folks think that casting directors don’t play a role when it comes to name actors in a studio film and that it’s all dependent on the director/producers/studio. On the contrary, casting directors play a crucial role in cleaning up the details between the producers and the name actors as the two parties interact back and forth. The CD’s make sure the two parties play along well with each other and in a way, act as therapists so that everything goes smoothly (shoutout to casting individual Russell Boast for this awesome info). This is a detail that many people ignore unfortunately.

Casting directors will go through thousands of headshots, online submissions, demo reels, pitch calls from agents/managers, and a lot of headache and stress for all the roles that need casting on any given weekly basis. Seriously, try sitting in that kind of an office all day, getting flustered phone calls from countless agents & managers telling them why their client needs to be one of the 40 that need to be seen out of the thousands of submissions and perhaps hundreds of phone calls. That shit ain’t easy and so I tip my hat off to all the casting directors, associates, and assistants who somehow meet their deadlines under tight pressure.

And thus it goes without saying that casting directors work tirelessly to make sure they provide the right talented actors that fit with the vision the creators want for their films/TV shows, whether it’s a lead down to the one-liner waitress.  Casting directors also will make creative and artistic decisions to bring people that otherwise does not quite within the breakdowns of the characters (for example, bringing an Asian actor to read for a role that strongly suggests Caucasian) simply because they believe in the talent and professionalism of the actors.

So I do believe that in any of these major award shows, actors  should share some of that love to the folks that deserve something more than being part of “I know I’m forgetting some people” when they get their glorious golden statue.

5 thoughts on “The Neglected Importance of Casting Directors

  1. Hammering out work details is not why a creative award should be given. The confusion comes from the misleading title — it should be casting ASSISTANT TO the director. Directors and producers hire the key players and approve the rest. Casting is an office job with no advanced education to present filmmakers with actors suggested by agents and managers.

    1. I wish I can understand your point but if that is all you know what casting directors do, then I would suggest watching the documentary CASTING BY and understand the role they play. It is not as menial as you make it sound to be.

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