After it was mentioned that Richard was in L.A. for an audition and then we found out that he had been cast in Urban and the Shed Crew (a part that is not Richard’s usual fare), I started thinking about the casting process. I was reminded of this video interview with The Hobbit’s casting director, Amy Hubbard:
I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a casting book, though it does make sense that something along these lines would exist; even if it does remind me of the suspect sheets that police use…(It also surprised me that auditions are filmed on such small unassuming cameras)
Confession: I watch Richard’s Thorin audition at least twice a week, I adore it! He looks like Lucas North but then instantly turns into Thorin, almost as if a spell has been cast. Those eyes of his are like storybooks ❤
I enjoyed hearing the casting director talk about her craft, how she tries to cast a personality and not a face. I imagine the director can help or hinder her job greatly, depending on how detailed their wants are and how much freedom they allow her to rely on her own instincts.
What type of actor might be needed factors into things as well, considering the various situations or locations that may be required in a film and how well the actor can acclimate to them.
Philippa said that although Thorin was an older aged character in the book, realistically an older actor would have had a rough time physically with the role and Peter talked about how they didn’t let themselves get boxed in by the age issue in regards to Richard. once they had seen him, they wanted him regardless.
I knew that actors sometimes campaigned for a role but I did not know that Elijah Wood made a homemade video to do so for the role of Frodo. enthusiasm and how much an actor really wants a specific role, can be taken into consideration as well.
Favoritism and bankable actors were mentioned in the interview too. I don’t like it when a director keeps casting the same actors in their movies over and over again (Martin Scorsese & Leo DiCaprio come to mind), it can damage the integrity of the film, for me. The opposite is when I hear of a big name bankable actor who has the power to not go through a physical audition but insists on one anyway. I wonder how Richard would feel if he found himself in that situation?
It would be nice to have your work so well respected that a director would be willing to hire you based on your reputation alone, but I would still want them to see what they would be getting from me for that particular role; and to reassure myself that I had earned it. Riding on coat-tails, even if they’re your own, can be complicated; shadows are tricky things.