Casting agents seek quirks

Using Facebook and other tricks

During pilot season, Hollywood casting agents have been in overdrive, handling not only lead roles but also hundreds of character parts. And while they’re used to finding players for TV skeins, every once in while they come across a request more unusual than others.

Central Casting agent Summer Wesson, for example, had to find someone who can do several pull-ups in a row to sub for Linda Hamilton, who plays Zachary Levi’s mom in “Chuck” — a feat Hamilton performed without effort in “The Terminator,” but that was back in 1984.

After little success with an online database and the company’s phone work line, Wesson turned to Facebook.

“Technically, we don’t use our personal Facebook,” Wesson says, but when she couldn’t find a woman of Hamilton’s build, her bosses allowed her to search for someone on the social networking site.

Wesson found a candidate who works out with her at her gym who could do more than half a dozen pull-ups at a time.

Wesson also recalled having to find a man with a forked tongue and 15 Mexican wrestlers with identical body types.

She found the candidate with the forked tongue after a week, but the wrestlers proved more difficult.

In the end, the show agreed to let her use other ethnicities, since the group they portrayed wore masks.

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