China Diary

Day 20: Casting challenges


Casting is the most important part of director’s job, and also the easiest. Once you meet the right person for the role, you know it instantly. All kind of auditions are a waste of time, it’s the first “hello” when you know whether or not this person is the person you’re looking for the role. What makes it hard is to make up conversation with the actors you don’t want to cast, to not to make them feel bad for taking the trouble and coming over for an audition. There are of course exceptions: when I casted Lara for Iron Sky The Coming Race, I nearly passed her because the first casting tape wasn’t really what I was looking for. Luckily, she did another one and that was a ten. But for Julia for Iron Sky 1, and Vladimir for Iron Sky The Coming Race, it was really clear the moment they walked in: that’s who I want for this role.

Casting Iron Sky: The Ark is a bit different experience. This time, I’m not the only one who has a say on things: Max knows the market here and has great experience with actors around here, so with many roles I go with his recommendation. This time, we also have to deal with the big casting agencies in USA, which adds another layer of confusion to the pot, but if the cast that I’m planning to get works, I’m going to be really happy.

Sometimes, finding the right person can be just a terrible drag. I remember casting for The President of the United States of America’s role in Iron Sky 1. I saw tens of casting tapes from actors of which none were anything close to the role, and the shoot was creeping up closer. On the last minute I got the last casting tape from this great Australian lady, Stephanie Paul, and she was perfect! I was just about to give up on the role, but she stepped in the last moment.

Right now, much of my days here go by meeting actors, doing auditions with different combinations and trying to find one or two very important actors. In addition to this, we’ve been sitting with Mika doing storyboards every night until it’s nearly midnight, so when I get home, my brain is a toast. I might’ve even written about it here, but I can’t remember anymore…

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