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Watch: Bryan Cranston Charms in Biopic ‘Trumbo’

28 August 2015 10:53 AM, PDT

Bryan Cranston is slowly but surely achieving pop culture domination. After God knows how many Emmys (four) for his performance in AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” plus a Tony Award for playing Lbj in “All the Way,” it now seems Cranston will be going, well, all the way in his bid for hardest working actor in the biz. “Trumbo,” directed by Jay Roach with a script by John McNamara, is based on the life of 1940s Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose career hit a roadblock when he was blacklisted for being a suspected Communist. His fight against the U.S. government and studio heads for freedom of speech implicated John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and countless others. Joining Cranston in the title role is Diane Lane as his wife, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, Michael Stuhlbarg, and John Goodman. Helen Mirren gives what looks to be a juicy supporting performance as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. »

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7 Chances to Get Cast

28 August 2015 10:46 AM, PDT

Here are seven opportunities—from short films and a Spanish-language series, to TV and theater—to showcase your audition skills all across the country. Check them out and see if any are right for you! “Repairing A Nation”Auditions are Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Chicago for an upcoming play about a woman seeking reparations after the Tulsa Race Riots in 1921. An actor is being sought for the role of Anna Davis, a 49-year-old uppity socialite. The show runs Nov. 3 through Jan. 3 in Chicago. “Keep Ya Hat Up”This short film follows a Mets fan in die-hard Yankee territory in the Bronx, N.Y. Lead and supporting actors will be cast for this project shooting in early September. “360 To Paradise”Nyu film director Alex Robertson-Dworet is seeking three lead actors and several supporting for his short film centered on a skateboarding drug dealer who owes a violent psychopath $12,000. These are paid »

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Michelle Pfeiffer Cast in HBO’s Bernie Madoff Flick ‘Wizard of Lies’

28 August 2015 9:08 AM, PDT

HBO’s “Wizard of Lies” has found its new star in Michelle Pfeiffer. The film centered on swindler Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme will feature Robert De Niro as Madoff and Backstage cover star Alessandro Nivola as his older son Mark Madoff. Pfeiffer will play his on-screen wife, Ruth. Directed by Oscar winner and De Niro collaborator Barry Levinson (“Wag the Dog,” “Rain Man”) and produced by Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal, “Wizard of Lies” is based on the book of the same name by New York Times writer Diana Henriques. John Burnham Schwartz, Sam Baum, and Sam Levinson will pen the screenplay. The film has been on cinephiles’ radar since 2011 and Pfeiffer’s recent casting has invigorated the upcoming project. Stay tuned for more updates! Inspired by this post? Check out our audition listings! »

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Now Casting ‘Marcus’ and Upcoming Auditions

28 August 2015 7:26 AM, PDT

Talent is currently being sought for the film “Marcus.” “Marcus” follows the rise, climax, fall, and redemption of a adult film star. Over 30 roles are being cast for this production, and submissions are being sought worldwide. Filming will take place in L.A. and NYC. For more details, check out the casting notice for “Marcus” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our audition listings! »

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#ICastIt Why Casting Was Key To the ‘Out There In the Dark’ Trailer

27 August 2015 2:08 PM, PDT

Romantic comedy writer and producer Dianna Ippolito is taking her first stab at the horror genre with “Out There in the Dark,” a feature film focusing on two girls (inspired by her nieces) who go to a haunted house and leave with a ghost. To release the ghost, the girls must solve the mystery of what the ghost wants. To raise money for the film, she decided to shoot a trailer first and turned to Backstage to find two young actors to play her leads. Ippolito cast completely off video submissions, a method she also employed for her previous work casting a television show. “I find it a lot easier to weed through people’s reels because sometimes actors will memorize something and then when you bring them in to do something in front of you, they’re not very good.” So seeing video of the scene gave her the »

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Kate Winslet on Going After the Parts You Want

27 August 2015 1:30 PM, PDT

Kate Winslet’s casting in the upcoming “Steve Jobs” biopic opposite Michael Fassbender is proof that sometimes an actor can benefit from playing against their “type.” As Joanna Hoffman, a “feisty immigrant,” Winslet had to convince producer Scott Rudin she was right for the part. “I could feel that the powers that be weren’t overly intrigued by the idea of me playing this role, maybe because physically, facially, I didn’t look like a Polish-Armenian immigrant,” she told Vulture. “But sometimes you have to convince people....” Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), “Steve Jobs” is set to drop Oct. 9. Inspired by this post? Check out our film audition listings!  »

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Watch: Kaitlin Olson Nail Her ‘Always Sunny’ Audition

27 August 2015 1:03 PM, PDT

Believe it or not, the formidable Kaitlin Olson has been playing Dee Reynolds (aka Sweet Dee) since 2005; “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is set to premiere its 11th season next January. Though her character is a quirky and terrible person in her own right, Dee is often the voice of reason among the group at Paddy’s Pub. Olson is making the entire room crack up during her reading for “Always Sunny.” Watch her completely inhabit the character below!   Want to see more? Check out "9 Great Actors’ Audition Tapes!"   »

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Watch: Julianne Moore and Ellen Page Star in Powerful ‘Freeheld’

27 August 2015 10:11 AM, PDT

Coming on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality is a noticeable increase in the amount of Lgbt stories in mainstream entertainment. First “Fun Home” takes top honors at the Tony Awards, then film awards season frontrunners “Carol” and “Grandma” feature more strong and complicated lesbian characters. Joining Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Lily Tomlin in the awards race is Oscar nominee Ellen Page and last year’s leading actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore in what look to be two of the most powerful performances of the season. “Freeheld,” based on the real-life story of Ocean County cop Laurel Hester, is screenwriter Ron Nyswaner’s adaptation of the Oscar-winning, Cynthia Wade-directed 2007 documentary of the same name. Helmed by Peter Sollett, the film centers on Hester’s terminal cancer diagnosis and subsequent fight to have her pension benefits transferred to her domestic partner Stacie Andree. Page, »

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L.A. Now Casting ‘360 to Paradise’ and Upcoming Auditions

27 August 2015 7:26 AM, PDT

Talent is currently being sought for the short film “360 to Paradise.” “360 to Paradise” follows a skateboarding drug dealer for 24 wild hours as he tries to gather $12,000 by midnight. This paid gig is casting nine roles, and submissions are being sought from the Los Angeles area. For more details, check out the casting notice for “360 to Paradise” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our Los Angeles audition listings! »

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3 Websites Texas Actors Should Bookmark

27 August 2015 7:05 AM, PDT

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that certainly seems to be true of the growing film industry in the largest state in the continental U.S. For actors in the Lone Star State, that means there are numerous possibilities to become stars of stage, television, and film. But just because there’s a large number of casting calls, workshops and other resources for actors doesn’t mean they are always easy to find. For those looking to hone their craft and find out about casting calls throughout Texas, here are some websites you’ll definitely want to mess with. Austin Film MeetFrom acting workshops to film screenings to networking events, Austin Film Meet brings the central Texas filmmaking industry together in many ways. For actors in the Austin area, there are listings for casting calls and auditions and posts about local, regional, and national resources for actors, such as classes, »

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25 Years of Giving Playwrights a Home

26 August 2015 8:00 AM, PDT

Few New York theater companies can boast quite as impressive a roster of outstanding playwrights as Signature Theatre, which this season celebrates its 25th anniversary with a mix of retrospectives, returning works, and, of course, new American plays. Founded in 1991 as the first company to devote an entire season to the past and present work of one playwright, Signature has become a home for writers looking to settle in and build a body of work. Its residency programs currently include 14 theater artists, all of whom are given institutional support to complete new work. It also doesn’t hurt that the company’s Frank Gehry–designed facilities on West 42nd Street include three theaters plus a café and bookstore. “What we hope to do here at Signature is provide the right environment for them to do their work,” said associate artistic director Beth Whitaker of the playwrights-in-residence. “It gets a lot »

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5 Films Inspired by Toys

26 August 2015 8:00 AM, PDT

From action figures to trading cards to board games, some film favorites are rooted in the spirit of play. Much like the toys at the center of the upcoming “Max Steel,” about the team-up between teenager Max McGrath and his alien friend, Steel, these stories have come to the big screen in a big way. Starring Ben Winchell, Andy Garcia, Josh Brener, and Maria Bello, “Max Steel” is set to be released Aug. 28, just months before the anticipated production based on the TV show and Hasbro toys “Jem and the Holograms,” out October 2015. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up five films originally born from the imaginations of toy designers! “Transformers”The first of the live-action films based on the ’80s-era Hasbro robot toys debuted in 2007. It was the year that pushed Shia Labeouf out of the Mickey Mouse wheelhouse and into the series that would solidify Michael Bay’s status »

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Watch: Michael Caine Plucks Your Heartstrings in ‘Youth’

26 August 2015 7:56 AM, PDT

As Cannes Film Festival favorites continue to roll out wider releases, the awards season race is slowly but surely coming into focus. “Youth,” a poignant and whimsical new drama from Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino, may become an important contender. The film follows the two friends, Michael Caine’s world-weary composer Fred and Harvey Keitel’s spirited screenwriter Mick, as they contemplate life and retirement at a high-end spa in the Alps. As Fred’s daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) urges him to continue his music career, Mick’s screen muse Brenda (Jane Fonda) arrives to check in on the status of his latest film. Disrupting the tranquil Swiss mountains is some surprising news: Queen Elizabeth II has invited Fred to conduct his music again. With its operatic filming and beautiful score, “Youth” had Cannes critics proclaiming it a masterpiece, praising in particular Caine’s thoughtful performance and Fonda’s blazing supporting turn. »

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6 Websites Atlanta Actors Should Bookmark

26 August 2015 6:47 AM, PDT

Atlanta’s film, television and theater industries are booming, which means plenty of opportunities for local actors. But finding these opportunities can sometimes be a challenge without a little bit of guidance. With more and more online resources for actors emerging on a regular basis, here are some websites that might help actors find just the right opportunities. SAG-aftra AtlantaThe Atlanta page of the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is a wealth of information for union members and non-union members alike. Of course, members can log in for access to casting notices and other upcoming local events. But click on the Local Resources tab for a listing of some local casting directors, even if you’re not yet a member. Atlanta Area Theatre Mailing ListThere are numerous Yahoo groups geared towards those looking for casting opportunities in local film, television, and theater. This group »

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12 Broadway Choreographers All Actors Should Know

25 August 2015 10:00 AM, PDT

Do you know the choreographers behind your favorite Broadway shows? From the early days of the Great White Way to the greatest hits of the past ten years, here are 12 legendary choreographers who have (literally) given shape to Broadway as we know it.  Bob AvianA frequent collaborator of Michael Bennett’s, Avian began his career as a dancer in shows like “West Side Story” and “Funny Girl,” and later became a choreographer, producer, and director in his own right. He shared 1976 and 1979 Tony Awards with Bennett for their work on “A Chorus Line” and “Ballroom,” respectively, and was nominated for his solo choreography in “Miss Saigon” (1991) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1994). Michael BennettThis great choreographer debuted on Broadway with (very) short-lived musicals “A Joyful Noise” in 1966 and “Henry, Sweet Henry” in 1967, before hitting it big with the Jerry Orbach-starring “Promises, Promises” in 1968. He partnered with Stephen Sondheim in the early 1970s for “Company” and “Follies, »

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Must Watch: Marissa Jaret Winokur on ‘Playing House’ Tonight!

25 August 2015 8:48 AM, PDT

Bodies be bangin’ all over Pinebrook—and on the set of “Playing House,” where creators and stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham aren’t shy about showing them off. After letting Lindsay Sloane strut her stuff last week as Bird Bones, tonight’s episode finds Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur’s waitress—the very one who loves being motorboated in the freezer—flaunting both her boobs and her belt when it comes time to wish a customer happy birthday. What can we say? She runs hot! Catch the full episode on USA tonight at 10pm Et—or watch it now online! (And just try to get that song out of your head. Shoop shoop!) Inspired by this post? Check out our television audition listings! »

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Texas Now Casting ‘Austin Nights’ and Upcoming Auditions

25 August 2015 7:19 AM, PDT

Talent is currently being sought for the independent short film “Austin Nights.” “Austin Nights” is about living in Austin and the characters you might encounter in day-to-day life. Several roles are being cast for this production, and submissions are being sought from Austin, Texas. This is a paid gig! For more details, check out the casting notice for “Austin Nights” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our Texas audition listings! »

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Now Casting ‘Looking for Alaska’ and Upcoming Auditions

25 August 2015 7:17 AM, PDT

Talent is currently being sought for the film “Looking for Alaska.”  “Looking for Alaska” is a Paramount Pictures production based on the Ya novel by “Paper Towns” author John Green. Hundreds of extras are being cast, according to the CDs, and pay will be provided. At this time, auditions will be held Aug. 29 and 30 in Farmington Hills, Mich. For more details, check out the casting notice for “Looking for Alaska” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our audition listings! »

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Watch: Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry Teach Us Microsoft Windows 95

24 August 2015 2:11 PM, PDT

Microsoft Windows 95 turns 20 years old today, and to celebrate, a truly bizarre guide video featuring “Friends” stars Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston has surfaced. Because why wouldn’t they star in a guide video? The almost hour-long video, which you can watch in its entirety below, is a sitcom of sorts, and teaches everything from right-clicking to desktop themes to how to send an email. Oh, how far we’ve come.  Happy birthday, Microsoft Windows 95! Thank you for this beautiful video.  Like this post? Check out “48 Famous Actors Who’ve Guest-Starred on ‘Friends’ ”!  »

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Nominees for the 31st Annual Artios Awards Announced

24 August 2015 10:59 AM, PDT

The Casting Society of America (Csa) is kicking off its 31st year right with an exciting list of TV, theater, Web series, and short film nominees for their Artios Awards, set to take place at the height of awards season on Jan. 21. Recognized in the comedy TV series category are last year’s winner Jennifer Euston (“Orange Is the New Black”), who was also nominated in the TV pilot comedy category for Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”; Jeanne McCarthy, the CD behind “Silicon Valley” who also cast the five–time Oscar nominated “Foxcatcher” and landed Amy Adams her Golden Globe–winning role in “Big Eyes;” Eyde Belasco for the groundbreaking Amazon original “Transparent,” starring Jeffrey Tambor; and others. In the TV drama category: Debra Zane for “Bloodline”; Leah Daniels Butler for “Empire”; Nina Gold for “Game of Thrones”; Mark Saks for “The Good Wife”; and Laray Mayfield for “House of Cards” were all recognized. »

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