×

Gold & Sterne: Casting junior ‘Game’ changers

Youth Impact Report 2011: Channeling Talent

Impact: Found the young stars of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” as well as pics “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and “Attack the Block.”
Next: Cast Dakota Fanning, Kaya Scodelario and Jeremy Irvine in “Now Is Good” and booked Kevin Macdonald’s all-teen ensembler “How I Live Now.”
Causes: Gold’s partner works for Greenpeace; both support homeless charity Shelter.

Casting directors Nina Gold and Robert Sterne have a stellar track record finding the right adults for films such as “The King’s Speech” and “The Iron Lady.” But they’re just as accomplished casting kids, as the duo did this year for “Game of Thrones,” the latest “Chronicles of Narnia” installment and the indie alien-invasion thriller “Attack the Block.”

Popular on Variety

For HBO’s hit “Thrones,” the pair were tasked with identifying several innocent but clever kids to join an epic fantasy universe filled with royal political intrigue, rampant sexuality and relentless violence. “Finding the kids was definitely the biggest challenge,” says Sterne, who has worked with Gold for six years.

After a wide search, the duo cast teens Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Isaac Hempstead Wright to play characters left in precarious straits following their father’s execution in the season-one cliffhanger.

When hunting for the right young thesps, the casting veterans must consider whether the actors can handle such intense material. “We try to keep a balance of not terrifying the kids with too much of the nasty, gory or sexy stuff,” Gold explains.

Though produced on a relatively low budget, “Attack the Block” also demanded a lengthy casting process. The cult genre favorite follows a gang of tough inner-city teens as they defend their public-housing complex from aliens, with several of the roles going to kids who had never been in a film before.

More Film

  • Berlinale 2020: Variety, Medienboard Fete '10

    Variety Presents 'Ten Europeans to Watch' at Medienboard Party in Berlin

    Variety’s “10 Europeans to Watch” were feted Saturday night at a party held by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg at Berlin’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Co-hosting the evening were Kirsten Niehuus and Helge Jürgens, managing directors of Medienboard, the regional film, TV and digital-media funding body. Pictured above are U.K. filmmaker and rapper Andrew Onwubolu, known by his alias Rapman [...]

  • 'Funny Face' Review: An Anti-Capitalist Brooklyn

    'Funny Face': Film Review

    In a rare moment of light, everyday pleasure in the otherwise perma-brooding “Funny Face,” two young Brooklyn lovers build sandwiches from international deli ingredients, accompanied by Serbian butter and sour watermelon pickle, and eat their creations with relish on a bench overlooking the shore. Whether intended or not as a reference to an almost century-old [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic' Narrowly Beats Harrison Ford's 'Call of the Wild'

    After a close box office battle, Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” pulled ahead of Disney and 20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild” on North American charts. The two movies had been in a surprising tug-of-war for first place. Heading into the weekend, “Sonic” was expected to easily dominate again but Harrison Ford’s “Call of the [...]

  • Ventana Sur

    Ventana Sur Sets 2020 Dates, a New Venue

    BERLIN —   Ventana Sur, the biggest film-TV industry event in Latin America – and bulwarked by a hugely popular Cannes Film Week hosted by Thierry Fremaux – has set dates for its 12th edition, and announced a new venue in Buenos Aires. Running Monday Nov. 30 to Friday Dec. 4, this year’s 12th Ventana [...]

  • Cannes VR

    Cannes Film Festival Plots Major Expansion to VR Program

    Cannes XR, the Marché du Film’s program dedicated to immersive and augmented reality content, is set to expand. For its second edition, Cannes XR has partnered with tech creator Positron and Brogent Technologies to introduce a new VR theater, dedicated space and competition. While keeping its 700-square meter exhibition space in the basement of Cannes’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content