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Inside Casting

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Casting Extraordinary Actors
 

Every actor strives to find the spark of truth in every action and every word spoken. The goal is to “act” without showing you are “acting.” This is a truly an extraordinary task. It is important for actors to realize that just as hard as they work to get the part, the casting director will have worked equally hard to find them. Read more about Casting Extraordinary Actors. Please do comment on the Facebook link at the end and spread the word about Actor Genie! 

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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.

JackOConnell


Jack O’Connell

Starring in Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie. 

 

 


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Michelle Dockery
Nominated for Best Actress in a Drama for Downton Abbey  

 

 

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Rachel Nicks
Starring in And I And Silence opening on Broadway

 

 

 

taharrahim


Tahar Rahim
French Actor starring in The Cut premiering in Venice

 

 

 

cushjumbo


Cush Jumbo  
Making her broadway debut in The River alongside Hugh Jackman


 

 

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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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Evita

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.

Projects

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Mr. Pig - Casting Director
Canana Films 

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

Storyline under wraps.

START DATE: Fall 2014
SHOOTING LOCATION: Mexico

 

 

 

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.

START DATE: Fall 2014
SHOOTING LOCATION: TBD

 


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

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.


Nina
– 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.


The Young and Prodigious Spivet – Casting Director

Feature Film

Jean Pierre-Jeunet - Director
Francis Boespflug, Frédéric Brillion, Suzanne Girard, Jean Pierre-Jeunet, Gilles LeGrand, Tyler Thompson - Producers
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie and Kyle Catlett

Based on the best selling novel by Reif Larson comes Jean Pierre-Jeunet’s (Amelie) next film about a young cartographer enthusiast who embarks on a journey that might allow him to finally understand how the world really works.

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The Song – Casting Director
Feature Film

Andrew Lauer - Director
David Kauffman, Page Brown - Producers
David Kauffman - Writer
Starring - Cheyenne Jackson, Kevin Pollak, Christopher Lloyd

BEN CANTOR, an aspiring singer/songwriter, gets to the finals of THE SONG reality contest show, where he is again confronted with the business side of music: does he stay true to himself and his beliefs or should he sell out to win the big prize? 

 

 

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

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: January 2015
SHOOTING LOCATION: Europe


Clang
– 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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Elephant Song
 - Casting Director 

Melenny Productions

Charles Binamé - Director
Nicolas Billon – Writer
Richard Goudreau 
- Producer
Starring: Xavier Dolan, Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss

When a psychiatrist investigates the disappearance of a colleague, he questions a disturbed patient and winds up in a complex mind game.
Premiering at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival


Bang Bang Baby 
- Casting Director / Associate Producer

Feature Film

Jeffrey St. Jules - Writer / Director
Daniel Beckerman - Producer
Starring - Jane Levy, Peter Stomare, Justin Chatwin

A 1960′s teenager begins dating a rock star who is stranded in her small town, but after a leak in a nearby chemical plant is rumored to be causing hallucinations she begins to question if he is real. Premiering at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival


Actor Genie
Your GPS for Hollywood

Actor Genie 2.4 Released!New Features!
Heidi Levitt – Creator
Lauren Fernandes – Director of Development

We recently added a new video feature on Actor Genie where you can record and tell us why you want to be an actor! Also register with the Genie to receive updates and promos. 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
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“Walking Back to Happiness

 

Resume

 

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About Heidi

As a graduate of Barnard College and the AFI Producers Program, Heidi has cast such successful films as The Artist, JFK, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, Nurse Betty, The Rock, The Joy Luck Club, Smoke, Benny & Joon and Lakeview Terrace. Most recently, Heidi cast and associate produced Cesar Chavez, directed by Diego Luna and Wim Wender’s film Every Thing Will Be Fine, starring James Franco which will be released in 2015. She is currently casting the independent film Vernon God Little for Werner Herzog and Mr. Pig for Diego Luna.

In addition to casting, Heidi also is an active producer in the Indie film world. In 1997, on the eve of Hong Kong’s unification with China, Heidi collaborated with Wayne Wang on The Chinese Box, a film that captured that moment in history, which she co-produced and cast. She has also served as an executive producer, or co-producer on  films such as, Cesar Chavez, Ginger & Rosa, I Melt With You, The Open Road, Fido, Center of the World, Coastlines, and Delivering Milo, which she also wrote the story for.

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.

Heidi is also an adjunct professor at The American Film Institute (AFI) and continues to work in theatre, where she began her career as a casting director. She recently cast the world premiere of Kimber Lee’s play Different Words for the Same Thing that opened in Los Angeles at the Kirk Douglas theatre this past summer.

Heidi’s passion for information and technology led her to create Actor Genie, which is available on iTunes and Android. Actor Genie is a Mobile App that is an essential tool that tells who’s who and what’s casting in Hollywood. The app has loads of inspiring quotes from well know actors, directors, writers and offers tips on the best acting coaches and much more.

Download Heidi’s Resume


Feature Films


Vernon God Little
(Currently Casting)Werner Herzog, Dir
Mr. Pig
(Currently Casting) - Diego Luna, Dir
Elephant Song –
Charles Binamé, Dir
Every Thing Will Be Fine –
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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Producing


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
Sunshine Superman (in development) – Producer
Exiles on Main St. (in development) – 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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Television


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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Commercials


Harman Kardon –
Simon Crane, Dir
Verizon Xlte – Geordie Stephens, Dir
Transamerica
– 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… 


Theater


Different Words for the Same Thing
(Center Theatre Group) - 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!

Address

Address

7201 Melrose Ave #203
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Address

Phone

323.525.0800
323.525.0843 (fax)

Address

Email

info@heidilevittcasting.com

Address

Staff

Heidi Levitt
Lauren Fernandes

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