Angela M. Hutchinson is a casting director who founded the non-profit organization, Breaking Into Hollywood. Here is a link to the website:
Q: How did you become a casting director?
A: I had worked as an agent for a few years and it wasn’t really gratifying because I wanted to be closer to the creative process. So, after meeting with a mentor of mine who also happen to be a casting director that I was pitching an actor client to for a role, she was telling me about all of her casting experiences. It sounded interested so I looked further into the career path. I landed my first feature film casting job with producer/actress Tangi Miller.
Q: Why do you think looks are so important in Hollywood?
A: I don’t think people would enjoy watching television or films if the talent on the screen was unattractive. We live in a very superficial society where looks matter. It’s the same reason why having good looks as a presidential candidate came more into play once the television was invented. I do believe beauty (internal/external) is a gift and should be shared.
Q: What do you like about your job?
A: I love reading actors for a role. I love working with directors and producers on deciding which star names are best for the project. I also LOVE being able to give new TALENTED actors/actresses a chance that they might not usually have in a prominent speaking role or lead.
Q: What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
A: Sometimes the best actor/actress doesn’t get the job. At the end of the day, filmmakers want to make sure they make quality content that sells. And generally, we are all driven to want to see movies with star names.
Q: What gives someone star quality?
A: When someone walks into a room, you can tell if they have star quality based on their presence. A star glows in a room, and their mannerisms and speech patterns just make you want to be around them for an unexplainable reason—star power.
Q: What is your strangest work story?
A: A guy once brought a McDonald’s meal into an audition and asked if he could eat during his audition (even though his character was not at all eating during the scene). He hadn’t eaten dinner and said he couldn’t wait…that was so rude especially cause I was hungry too. Another funny story is that I asked an actor to stand up for the scene since that’s how it will be acted out, and he told me that he had rehearsed it sitting down and that he couldn’t change that. To me that meant he was an actor who could not be directed so needless to say, his headshot quickly made it to the “No” pile.
Q: What is the most perfectly cast movie you have ever seen?
A: Too many to name. I liked the cast of actors in the movies Clueless, Lean on Me and the Last Dragon. The Oceans movies are well cast as well.
Q: What is the most miscast role you have ever seen in any film and who would you have put in the role instead?
A: No comment. Lol….
Q: What makes someone a good casting director?
A: They have an eye for talent and can get the actor to perform on camera in a way that the directors and producers can see their vision come to life. A good casting director respects actors and the process in which they go through to prepare for a character.
Q: What is the biggest mistake an actor can make during an audition?
A: I don’t know if there’s a biggest mistake… I’m a pretty forgiving casting director especially if the actor delivers a good performance during their audition. I do however not like it when actors tell me they were late due to traffic. I think it’s rude when an actor is chewing gum; I don’t like glasses on the head (reflects in the camera when playing it back), and I don’t like when actors change the lines, especially not dramatically. I think that’s the writer in me… I discuss more information on casting and breaking into Hollywood inside my comedic memoir, “BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD,” which is available on Amazon.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)