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329 - The Casting Process

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

Duane Allen Robinson is an actor who specialises in Off Broadway productions of Shakespeare. We asked him about the casting process: how do directors choose from the many actors who audition for a part?

Duane Allen Robinson (Standard American accent)

And it’s really less about saying who’s a good actor and who’s not a good actor and more about saying who is going to work well together, which of the dozens or hundreds of actors we saw today are going to be the most compatible. It’s very much like choosing a boyfriend or a girlfriend, or a husband or a wife, really! It’s really about compatibility. The more I do behind the scenes, the more I do with producing, the more I do with casting and directing, the more I realise that it’s really just about compatibility and less about talent. If you have five actresses come in for a part, if you’re doing Romeo and Juliet, for example; a few years ago I was doing Romeo and Juliet, I was playing Romeo, I was cast way ahead of time because I had already worked with the director, and we were auditioning actresses to play Juliet. So they had all these actresses coming in, I would read with all of them, and at the end we chose the one that I felt the most comfortable with and that I felt the most chemistry with. The other actresses were just as talented as the actress we eventually chose, but sometimes you’re just with someone and there’s just... it just works, you know. It’s something that can’t really be defined, but when it works, it works.

(Duane Allen Robinson was talking to Lorenza Cerbini)