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The Walking Dead's Casting Director Reveals Casting Decisions, Audition Process

The Walking Dead's Casting Director Sharon Bialy Reveals Casting Decisions and Audition Process for Actors on the TWD.

The Walking Dead has quickly become one of the popular TV shows on television. But, what makes the show so amazing may just come down to the casting decisions made by the Director, executive producer, and most importantly the casting director. In a recent interview with Jezebel Sharon Bialy the casting director of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead revealed her casting decisions and why she changed from a show that featured a single African American character to a cast that is "more realistic". The Walking Dead Bialy was asked what caused The Walking Dead to hire so many black actors and why the show features such a diverse cast and it essentially came down to "color blind casting". Read more: ‘The Walking Dead’ – How to Become a Zombie on The Walking Dead!
I can tell you one of the joys of working with the producers of The Walking Dead—there are many—but number one, Robert Kirkman has written [diverse> roles. Some of the most iconic roles in the comic books are African-American. Chad Coleman and Seth Gillian's [Father Gabriel] characters in the comic book are African-American. We've all adhered to the rule that if the character is African-American in the comic book, we will only cast an African-American. If the character is white, we can cast whatever we want. My partner Sherry Thomas, who casts the show with me, and I have a history of colorblind casting, so we're always looking for the best actor. [via]
The Walking Dead (Season 2)Sharon Bialy also revealed the story behind the casting decisions for several roles on 'The Walking Dead'.
We do have so many wonderful actors coming in that what happens is Scott Gimple will say, Okay, remember him for… and then he'll mention a role in a future episode. He'll say don't forget him for that. It happened with Sonequa [Martin-Green], who plays Sasha. She came in and read for something and didn't get it. Glenn Mazzera, who was the showrunner at the time and a man of his word, said I'm going to write another role for her and did. I can't remember the original role that we met her on. When we were doing the pilot and Lennie James got the Morgan role, we had actors telling us, "I want to be Tyreese." And Tyreese wasn't in the pilot or even the first year. We were able to keep track of certain actors and who might be right later. Chad Coleman read on the pilot for the Morgan role and I took notes to remember him for Tyreese. [Via]
Read more: The Walking Dead Season 5: Norman Reedus Wants his Character to Be Gay Bialy also discussed that they know the character's life span on the series before they even start casting. But, often times actors that audition for roles never find out until they read the script weeks to months later. In addition, The Walking Dead casting director pointed out that Season 5 of The Walking Dead underwent a different casting process than before. "Before we start casting anything, we have very long concept calls to discuss the roles and ideas and prototypes. Scott and the writers will talk about character specifics and where the character's going, like somebody who's not in the comic books." From there, Bialy goes through all of the actors she has auditioned for in the past and recruit them for 'The Walking Dead'. The Walking Dead Daryl Season 5   If you are a big fan of The Walking Dead and always wanted to be on the show we highly suggest reading the full interview with Sharon Bialy. If you read in between the lines you see what the casting director is looking for and how to gain her attention the next time you walk into the audition room. Read more: ‘The Walking Dead’ Producer Says The Show Has Only One Season Left What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.