Expert opinions

SAG Awards: The Ensemble

“One could say that casting an ensemble film requires the greatest skill. In my opinion, there is no better example than the casting of ‘The Help.’ Kerry Bardem and Paul Schnee did an amazing job in finding such vivid and skilled performers, who pulled the audience into not just one but two very different worlds and many story lines.
“I also really appreciated the skill shown in the casting of ‘Crazy Stupid Love.’ The family felt like a family. . .Excellent casting by Mindy Marin!”

— Deirdre Bowen (“A Dangerous Method,” “Eastern Promises”)

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“I don’t know how to explain an excellent ensemble, but I do find it very exciting being part of trying to achieve this. I loved Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ‘Once upon a Time in Anatolia’; (it has) beautiful actors working in perfect harmony with each other, the director and the words.”
Jina Jay (“War Horse,” “Coriolanus,” “Tinker Tailor”)

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“I love ‘Game of Thrones,’ and I think Nina Gold does a brilliant job casting it. I just saw ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ and I thought it was fantastic, the cast was wonderful. … Francine Maisler did a brilliant job of casting ‘Moneyball.’ You get to really focus in on that world, and I loved all the scouts — I loved those faces.”
— Ellen Lewis (“Hugo,” “Boardwalk Empire”)

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“I love ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ I’m obsessed with it. It’s a delicious cast, and the characters are so realistic. I long for them. I’m ready for Sunday night to come around.”
— Laray Mayfield (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Social Network”)

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“To me, ‘The Wire’ is an amazing ensemble. They mixed established actors with people who’d never done anything before, and that’s such a fun way to cast. Both ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Mildred Pierce’ were really, really well done. And they do a great job on ‘Mad Men.'”
— Juliet Taylor (“Midnight in Paris,” “Schindler’s List”).

* * *

“Ensemble chemistry is when the director has created a complete world, in that every actor feels a part of it. Everyone is living in the same experience.
“‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ is an incredibly successful ensemble. You’ve got Colin Firth, very British; Ciaran Hinds, an Irishman; Toby Jones, a terrific character actor; David Dencik from Sweden, and they were all meeting in this 1970s world at exactly the same pitch. It would be so easy to cast other people who’d lose their individuality, but these were all very clear and vivid.”

— Fiona Weir (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Parts 1 & 2,” “The Hereafter”)

SAG Awards: The Ensemble:
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