“These veteran insiders have a passion for casting major motion pictures, and they use meetings with famous people to illustrate how Hollywood works.” —Publishers Weekly
For anyone who’s ever walked out of a movie and said, “That guy was all wrong for the part,” comes this first-of-its-kind look at how actors are chosen and careers are born. Two of the top casting directors in the business, who recently cast the much-lauded choice of Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, offer an insider’s tour of their crucial craft—spotting stars in the making. Janet and Jane share the fascinating, funny stories of discovering and casting then-unknown stars such as Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Jennifer Connelly, Virginia Madsen, Joaquin Phoenix, Meg Ryan, Benicio Del Toro, and the Harry Potter kids. Taking us from the first casting call through head shots, auditions, meetings, and desperate searches to fill a part, they give us the kind of behind-the-scenes access to the machinery of star-making that captivates movie fans and aspiring actors alike.
“In an exuberant, faultlessly pleasant manner, the authors take us behind the Hollywood curtain and into a world often misunderstood . . . remarkable reading.” —PopMatters
“Parlour game fun . . . Good-natured and always professional, Hirshenson and Jenkins impart the tenets of their craft.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Reads as fast and easily as a finely honed script.” —The Columbus Dispatch
“Hirshenson and Jenkins have done much to demystify the process of matching actors with movie roles in this must-read for anyone interested in acting or casting.” —Booklist
Hirshenson and Jenkins got their start casting for Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios. When the studio went bust, they opened their own office, the Casting Company, and their book reminisces about the many films they've cast, including Harry Potter and A Beautiful Mind; the actors they've discovered, such as Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson; and some of the A-list directors, like Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, who hired them. Given the authors' credentials (they have been casting partners since 1981), consider the advice they offer blue-chip. They cover everything from how to handle a call-back to telling actors to send head shots "that actually look like you." Most important, never take anything personally. A great audition doesn't always translate into a role: there are many factors that determine the final decision, such as chemistry, preference and competition. These veteran insiders have a passion for casting major motion pictures, and they use meetings with famous people to illustrate how Hollywood works. Tales of actors' career trajectories are informative without being malicious. For actors, this informative, breezy narrative is like having a frank but loving aunt tell you the facts of life.