'Star Wars' Casting Director Reveals How She Finds New Talent

Nina Gold casting reveals how she discovered John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

The audition and casting process is long, hard and extremely complicated. Especially, when it's for a multi-million dollar feature film or highly anticipated TV series. Typically, directors are looking for a specific look or a skill set for a role, but casting goes way beyond posting casting calls. It requires a certain type of eye and ability to determine if an actor has that X-factor during an audition. Related: Star Wars Actor Reveals His Early “Terrible” Acting Jobs Casting director, Nina Gold, has been in the film industry for over 20 years. She became the first casting director receive the prestigious BAFTA award, recognizing her career as a casting director. Over the course of a few years, Nina Gold has cast some of the biggest movies including Paddington, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, andThe King’s Speech. She also cast the BBC drama series, Wolf Hall, which achieved great critical acclaim and is nominated for four TV BAFTA’s. In addition, Nina Gold is responsible for casting on Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, which made John Boyega and Daisy Ridley famous over night. So how does she do it? Gold explains that one of the biggest problem with her job is that agents constantly want to introduce her to their talents, but she says that usually, she already knows what she's looking for. Related: Why Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen Quit Acting “In Star Wars, for instance, for [Daisy Ridley and John Boyega>, we certainly didn’t want people who had been in other franchises. I guess they had enough star power with Harrison Ford and the whole thing anyway. There really was this appetite for finding the most exciting person, and if they were brand new, that was only a good thing.” DFree / “I had cast John before, when he was 18, in Attack the Block. Finding him then took months and months meeting teenagers, not even necessarily professional actors, but young kids who wanted to act and from all sorts of drama groups and other weird and wonderful ways of finding them. John actually had a job, a part in a play at London’s Tricycle Theater, and I saw him in that and it started from there. Daisy was working in a bar, but also acting. We did see gazillions of people for both roles. But her agent sent her in, and she was really good. She straight away struck a chord and seemed to have the right feel from the first moment, which is unusual.” Related: Here’s the Best Acting Advice Harrison Ford Gave the ‘Star Wars’ Cast But, Nina Gold did more than cast and discover John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Gold was hired to cast the actors for the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. She explains that she's proud to see the cast on the popular drama series. n-GAME-OF-THRONES-BEHIND-THE-SCENES-large570 “I think the young leads of Game of Thrones like Emilia [Clarke] and Kit [Harington] and Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner — and Richard Madden when he was in it. I think they’re all really wonderful. I think a lot of people in Game of Thrones in fact, those people had not really had a job before, or barely. Credit to them, rather than me, they took those parts and really developed and grew. The medium really gives them a chance to explore their character and develop their potential, and they did and they’ve really grown and shown us what they can do, which is pretty amazing.” Related: ‘Game of Thrones’ Auditions Are Pretty Amazing [VIDEO] Via The Hollywood Reporter What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.

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