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Inside Casting


The Art and Science of Casting a Movie – by Heidi Levitt

Heidi recently wrote an article for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about her experiences as a Casting Director and how the industry has evolved over the last two decades. Check it out – comment and like the article on the Medium website here. https://medium.com/TheAcademy. 

New Features on Actor Genie!

Actor Genie  is relaunching as one new integrated app for iOS8. Actor Genie: Audition is being retired and will no longer be avail with these new updates, but please login to the itunes app store to switch over. The Genie features in-app web browser control, Facebook integration and Commercial casting notices. If you already have the app on iPhone / iPad go into your app updates to download the latest version. 

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Up and Comers

We put together a small list of our favorite up and comers to look out for.
To learn more about these actors, click on their names.


Taron Egerton

Starring in Legend with Tom Hardy. 




Mia Goth
Recently starred in Nymphomanic: Vol II and coming out in Everest  



danielmaysDaniel Mays
On stage in the West End revivial of Mojo





Susan Park
Starring in the TV series Fargo





Lisa Joyce   
Currently starring in Billy and Billie alongside Adam Brody avail on DirecTV





Gideon Glick  
Currently starring in the Off-Broadway production of Significant Other through August 16th






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The Artist

Casting a silent film in black and white was like no other experience I ever had and it was a complete joy to be able to take cast so many great character actors in this film. I will never forget the look of the actors who came into audition who just weren’t sure what to do with the “silent” part. It was a complete thrill to see them come dressed in character and then to guide them through the scenes. We got them to relax into the character and not worry about the “silence,” while we turned the sound off, and turned the camera to black and white when we watched the auditions. Check out this article from The New York Times about the process.


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Angel Heart

This was my first film casting experience. As an assistant I was assigned to research the world of jazz and blues musicians to find a key character in the film. I met and auditioned living legends all over the country including BB King, Ornette Coleman, Johnny Lee Hooker, Dizzie Gillespie and many more.Ultimately we ended up casting the legendary blues guitarist Brownie McGhee. During this experience I also became the extras casting director for the Lousiana portion of film. I found craw fisherman in the Bayou, Voo doo dancers, musicians and a host of other amazing faces that Alan Parker used so beautifully to paint the landscape of this film.


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When Oliver Stone was going to direct EVITA, he sent me to discover the real “Latin” Evita. I went on an amazing casting journey from New York and Miami to Mexico, Argentina, Spain and London. I met singers, dancers and performers who had never auditioned for a Hollywood film before. Along the way I discovered the talents of Catherine Zeta Jones, who at then time was a stage actress, a Spanish pop singer and a complete unknown at an open call in Buenos Aires. Ultimately, Oliver never directed this film and Madonna played Evita, but my journey on the film was unforgettable.


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Chinese Box

After having cast THE JOY LUCK CLUB (another amazing casting experience), as well as the wonderful film SMOKE and BLUE IN THE FACE, I had the privilege to dig deeper with Wayne. I co-produced and cast CHINESE BOX, which chronicled the changeover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China. It was certainly a casting challenge to work in Hong Kong where finding the best supporting actors was as complicated and fulfilling a task as finding the best Peking Duck. Simply said, it was finding out where to go and who to ask and then to ask again and again.


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Heaven and Earth

We (Risa Bramon Garcia, Billy Hopkins and myself) scouted the United States for nine months searching for Vietnamese actors to play most of the principal roles in this film. Oliver Stone was completely open to non-professionals so we held numerous open calls. These open calls were amazing and inspiring. We found immigrants who wanted to share their stories and life experience with us. They were open hearted and full of life. Some barely spoke English at all but managed to do the best improvisations you could imagine. The lead, Hiep Thi Le was a pre-med student at UC Davis when we cast her. I remember the minute I saw her audition, I knew she had the power to carry the film.


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Don’t Come Knocking

It took almost two and a half years to cast this film. Collaborating with Wim was, as always, rewarding. The script evolved and the characters became more and more defined. The search for the actors to play Sam Shepard’s children and mother was just as much about finding the truth in the character as matching them to Sam. Together with Ssam, the family cast was Jessica Lange, Sarah Polley, Gabe Mann and the sublime Eva Marie Saint.



BENT - Casting Director
Center Theatre Group

Moises Kaufman -  Director
Martin Sherman - Writer
Starring: Hugo Armstrong, Ray Baker, Tom Berklund, Matthew Carlson, Brionne Davis, Wyatt Fenner, Patrick Huesinger, Charlie Hofheimer, Andy Mientus, Jake Shears, Brian Slaten and Jonathan B. Wright

Set in Germany in the 1930s, Bent follows the struggles of gay men trying to survive in Nazi Germany, in particular two men who, in the midst of the darkest moments of mankind, manage to give and receive love and find strength in each other. OPENING: July 16th – August 23rd at the Mark Taper Forum


A Storm in the Stars - Casting Director
Gidden Media

Haifaa al-Mansour - Director
Emma Jensen - Writer
Amy Baer, Rebecca Miller, Joannie Burstein- Producers
Starring: Elle Fanning, Bel Powley

The story of the love affair between poet Percy Shelley and 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft, which resulted in Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein.

START DATE: Fall 2015


Two Lovers and a Bear - Casting Director
Feature Film

Kim Nguyen - Writer / Director
Roger Frappier - Producer
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Tatiana Maslany

Set in a small town near the North Pole where roads lead to nowhere, the story follows Roman and Lucy, two burning souls who come together to make a leap for life and inner peace.

Soy Negro - Casting Director
Feature Film

Rafi Pitts - Director
Rafi Pitts, Razvan Radulescu - Writers
Nicolas Celis, Rita Dagher, Thanassis Karathanos - Producers
Starring: Johnny Ortiz, Rory Cochran, Aml Ameen, Darrell Britt-Gibson

Nero, a 19 year old Mexican, dreams of becoming an American. He joins the U.S Army as a Green Card soldier – a shortcut to citizenship. Nero is shipped out to the Middle East to fight a war where he doesn’t belong.

The Chosen - Casting Director
Feature Film

Antonio Chavarrias - Writer / Director
Antonio Chavarrias, Monica Lozano, Edmon Roch - Producers
Starring: Alfonso Herrera, Hannah Murray, Henry Goodman and Julian Sands

Based on the true story of the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Russian Marxist revolutionary who was killed in 1940.

The People Garden - Casting Director
Feature Film

Nadia Litz - Writer / Director
Coral Aiken, Daniel Beckerman, Jonathan Bronfman, Jason Ross Jallet - Producers
Starring: Dree Hemingway, Pamela Anderson, Francois Arnaud

An actress in Japan searches for her missing rock star boyfriend.

Mr. Pig - Casting Director
Feature Film

Diego Luna - Writer / Director
Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz - Producers
Starring: Danny Glover

Storyline under wraps.

The Greens Are Gone 
- Casting Director / Associate Producer
Feature Film

Peer Pedersen- Writer / Director
Michael Kristoff, Adam Gibbs - Producers
Starring - Catherine Keener, Kaitlyn Dever, Anton Yelchin, Annie Starke, Riley Keough

The Greens Are Gone, is one of those character rich dramas that tells the story of a family riddled with emotional problems and  a story of strong women faced with emotional instability.

Every Thing Will Be Fine
- Casting Director

Feature Film – Released Fall 2015

Wim Wenders - Director
Gian-Piero Ringel - Producer
Bjorn-Olaf Johannessen - Writer
Starring - James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Charlotte Gainsbourgh

Every Thing Will Be Fine is a family drama, unraveling over the course of 12 years. A story of guilt and forgiveness, and of accepting things you cannot change anymore. The film will be shot in 3D.

– Casting Director
Feature Film

Cynthia Mort - Writer / Director
Ben Latham Jones, Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr - Producers
Starring: Zoe Saldana, David Oeylowo

Nina tells the story of the legendary great soul singer, Nina Simone and her relationship with her manager Clifton. It is not strictly a biopic, but rather a portrait of an icon whose talent and passion took the world by storm. She was an iconic musician, but also a woman who represented “women” in their quest to be heard and appreciated equally. Nina’s talent was huge and like many artists her inner demons also shaped her life and career.

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Vernon God Little - Casting Director
Feature Film

Werner Herzog - Director
Andrew Birkin - Writer
Katja Eichinger, Stefan Arndt, Pablo Cruz - Producers

In the small border town of Martirio, Texas (everyone just knows everyone, you know?), a violent school shooting stops everything. Jesus Navarro, a bullied loner, guns down 6 classmates before shooting himself. Vernon, his one and only friend, watches Jesus’ suicide and then in an ugly twist of ignorance, becomes the prime suspect in the shootings.


– Casting Director
MP Films

Mark Pellington - Director
Mark Pellington, Larry Gross, Paul Schrader – Writers
Tim Perrell, Mark Pellington - Producers
Starring: Kurt Russell

A man flies home after his mother is murdered in order to investigate her death and tend to his father with Alzheimer’s.

Our Little Secret
– Casting Director / Producer

Yuri Zeltser - Writer / Director
Heidi Levitt – Executive Producer
Yan Fisher
– Producer

Inspired by true events that provide the background and trigger the plot, this story is an intimate exploration of a family post 9/11. A family destroyed, and a family resurrected – rising from the ashes. I see it as a fairy tale of sorts, filled with magical realism, humor – and dread.

Start Date: TBD
Shooting Location: New Mexico

Exiles on Main Street
– Producer
LG Productions

Heidi Levitt, Alex Gibney - Producers

This project is a strong passion of mine. It will be a series of short films for television that I have developed. The series deals with culture clash and immigrant struggles in America and abroad. Each film will be directed by a renown director, including Wayne Wang, Mira Nair, Sherman Alexie, Isabel Coixet, etc, who will bring his or her own unique “outsider” experience to the project. Films will be based on short stories by great writers including, Robert Olen Butler, Jumpha Lahiri, Sherman Alexie, Z.Z. Packer, K. Kvashay-Boyle, among many others.

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White People - MTV Documentary

Define American - Producer

White People follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas as he travels across the country to get this complicated conversation started.

Premieres: July 22nd at 8pm/7c.
Article: Nine Ways You Can Use Your White Privledge for Good

Actor Genie
Your GPS for Hollywood

Actor Genie – New for iOS 8!New Features!
Heidi Levitt – Creator
Lauren Fernandes – Director of Development

We recently updated Actor Genie and Actor Genie: Audition for the iPhone and iPad iOS 8. Actor Genie is the only App with Hollywood insider information on what’s casting in Film and TV in New York and LA. The Actor Genie YouTube Channel

“Walking Back to Happiness





About Heidi

Heidi Levitt is a casting director, producer and the creator of the mobile app, Actor Genie. An essential tool that tells who’s who and what’s casting in Hollywood. She has cast such films as The Artist, Nixon, JFK, Cesar Chavez, The Joy Luck Club, Lakeview Terrace, and many more. A graduate of Barnard College and The American Film Institute where she has served as adjunct faculty.

Heidi is currently producing a film series called Exiles on Main Street in partnership with academy award winning documentary filmmaker, Alex Gibney. The series will feature six one-hour films that deal with the issues of culture clash and immigrant assimilation in America. The first film is called Saint Chola, based on an award winning short story by K Kvashay- Boyle and will be adapted and directed by filmmaker Cherien Dabis (Amreeka, May In The Summer). Heidi is very excited to be working with award winning filmmakers and writers on a project that captures the true Mosaic of America.

Download Heidi’s Resume

Feature Films

Two Lovers and a Bear – Kim Nguyen, Dir
Mr. Pig
- Diego Luna, Dir
Bang Bang Baby - 
Jeffrey St. Jules, Dir
Elephant Song –
Charles Binamé, Dir
Every Thing Will Be Fine
(To be released Fall 2015)Wim Wenders, Dir
The Face of Love – Arie Posin, Dir
The Young and Prodigious Spivet – Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Dir
Nina Simone
– Cynthia Mort, Dir
Cesar Chavez – Diego Luna, Dir
Ginger & Rosa
– Sally Potter, Dir
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius, Dir
I Melt With You – Mark Pellington, Dir
Mother and Child – Rodrigo Garcia, Dir
Sympathy for Delicious – Mark Ruffalo, Dir
Lakeview Terrace – Neil LaBute, Dir
My Life Without Me – Isabel Coxiet, Dir
Nurse Betty – Neil LaBute, Dir
The Rock – Michael Bay, Dir
Nixon – Oliver Stone, Dir
Million Dollar Hotel – Wim Wenders, Dir
Natural Born Killers – Oliver Stone, Dir
The Joy Luck Club – Wayne Wang, Dir
JKF – Oliver Stone, Dir
Benny & Joon – Jeremiah Chechik, Dir
And Others…

Download Heidi’s Full Resume

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Define American
(in development) - Senior Media and Entertainment Advisor
Exiles on Main St. 
(in development) - Producer
The Greens Are Gone -
Associate Producer
Bang Bang Baby –
Associate Producer
Cesar Chavez
– Associate Producer
Ginger and Rosa – Executive Producer
I Melt With You – Executive Producer
The High Cost of Living – Executive Producer
The Open Road - Executive Producer
Under Still Waters - Co-Producer
Fido – Co-Producer
Coastlines - Associate Producer
Delivering Milo – Co-Producer, Storywriter
Interstate 60 - Co-Producer
The Chinese Box – Co-Producer
Center of the World - Co-Producer

Download Heidi’s Full Resume
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Web / Television

What Lives Inside
(Online Branded Content Film) - Intel / Dell
Dear Dumb Diary
(Movie of the Week) – Hallmark Channel
Saving Hope
 (Canadian Series) – Thump / CTV
Hunt for Justice (Movie of the Week) – Gala Films / CTV
Wanted (CBS Pilot) - Warner Brothers / CBS
Sullivan Street (WB Pilot) – Warner Brothers / WB
Brimstone (ABC Series) - Warner Brothers / ABC
Excellent Cadavers  (HBO Movie) – HBO
The Wedding (ABC Movie of the Week) - Harpo Productions
Class of ’96 (FOX Series) - ABC Productions
TV Nation (Pilot) - Michael Moore, Creator / Tri-Star TV
Grand (NBC Series) - Carsey-Werner / NBC

Download Heidi’s Full Resume
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AT&T “Lily Series” –
Hank Pearlman, Dir
Peloton Cycle – Hank Pearlman, Dir
BJ Restaurant and Brewhouse –
Peter Chelsom, Dir
Nationwide Insurance –
Doug Liman, Dir
Harman Kardon –
Simon Crane, Dir
Verizon Xlte – Geordie Stephens, Dir
– Janusz Kaminski, Dir
Tropicana – Paul Weiland, Dir
Hyundai – Lenny Dorfman, Dir
GE Capital - Lenny Dorfman, Dir
McDonalds – Lenny Dorfman, Dir
Volvo - Lenny Dorfman, Dir
And others… 


(Center Theatre Group)Moises Kaufman, Director / Martin Sherman, Writer
Different Words for the Same Thing (CTG) - Michael Ritchie, Artistic Dir, Neel Keller, Dir / Kimber Lee, Writer
Helter Skelter (w Ron Eldard and Kate Behan) – Neil LaBute, Writer / Director
Restoration – Christopher Ashley, Dir / Claudia Shear, Writer
Wrecks – Neil LaBute, Writer / Director
La Jolla Playhouse  – Christopher Ashley, Michael Grief, Annie Hamburger, Artistic Directors
ACT Seattle - Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Dir

Download Heidi’s Full Resume
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Contact// Get in touch!



7201 Melrose Ave #203
Los Angeles, CA 90046



323.525.0843 (fax)






Heidi Levitt
Lauren Fernandes




Copyright Heidi Levitt Casting