TCM Classic Film Festival 2014: Red Carpet Briefings

Lynn_Stalmaster

Lynn Stalmaster received the first-ever single card “Casting by” credit in the main titles of a film for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

When you first see somebody in the casting room, is that first impression a big factor in your decision?

Lynn Stalmaster:  No. Actors — and I was an actor, so I know — when they walk in, they’re very nervous. And that’s good because it gives them a certain amount of energy. So I try to put an actor, the minute he walks into my office, to make the actor comfortable. I was an actor during the studio era and it was a very business-like, uncomfortable experience. So, having been an actor, I empathize and I go out of my way to give the actor their best opportunity.

Do you read the entire script before you start casting?

LS: Oh, I study it and I spend a lot of time with the director. To take in his vision.

Do you talk with the screenwriter as well? 

LS: Rarely, unless it’s a director-writer.

So you’re mostly concerned with the director’s vision?

LS: Yeah, I mean, his concept is all that matters. But sometimes he’ll change his mind and experiment with something.

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