CASTING DIRECTOR, LUCI LENOX, TALKS, ON THIS SECOND EDITION OF THE INTERVIEW, ABOUT AGENTS AND THE WHOLE CASTING PROCESS
The International Casting Director, responsible of “The Perfume’s” casting, directed by Tom Tykwer, or “The Cold Light of Day” directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, among others, shares with La Masia Reels her point of view about the process of casting and agents!
When you start a new project, where do you look for talent?
Usually, it’s a combination and it depends on the project. We work with all the agents, so we send them a brief asking them for suggestions. We also do a reflexion session, or brainstorm, on the studio, to create ideas, and we make a list of it. We are always adding new actors to our database.
Could an actor go “solo” or is it better to have an agent?
Definitely, I would recommend to have an agent. The better your team is, the better opportunities you’ll get, and agents will help you to manage contracts and negotiations. However it’s very important that the actors keep responsible of their own careers, and never expect agents to do it all.
Do you have any advice at finding agent?
It’s a very personal decision, that’s why it’s really important to find an agent who trusts you and believes in you. I recommend to do a little research and have personal meetings before making any decision.
Do you watch an actor’s showreel before calling him/her to casting or simply pick him/her for his/her picture?
This is a bit strange question. The showreel is an actor’s cover letter, but if I already know an actor and his/her performance I do not watch the showreel.However, if an agent presents an actor for the role, and I do not know him/her, of course I’ll watch the showreel.
When an actor enters a casting room, is there something you look at first?
Of all actors, there’s always a first impression, so it just depends on what the actor shows, and of course on what we are looking for. However, the most important moment is when the actor stands in front of the camera and starts acting. Is at that moment when we pay more attention.
Which advice would you give to an actor at a casting?
Be present! Be ready! And know that if you are at a casting is because someone really believes you are perfect for the acting role, embrace and cherish the moment.
Today, Netflix, HBO, Amazon or Apple TV are audiovisual platforms in constant development that offers a lot of opportunities to english speaking actors. Is it important for a spanish actor to speak english?
I believe it’s important for actors to have many skills as possible: languages, scene combat, driving, dancing, whatever gives them a more professional profile. Each actor is different, so they need to know what do they really want to offer and how do they want their career to develop. Obviously, because the job is mostly in english speaking productions.I’m very interested in actors that can perform good in english.
Frank Stein Studio offers the course “Acting in English”. Is it easy for spanish-speaking actors to act in english? Do they end improving their skills?
It depends on the actor: for some of them it results very easy, others find it very hard, because they spend too much time thinking on the language and they do not enter on the character. “Acting in English” is a course created for actors so they train in a relaxed and judge free environment, and I would say that the most part of the actors that do the course improve their skills, one way or another!I believe the results speaks for themselves.
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Photography by Fernando Pérez
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When you get into a new project, where do you look for talent?
It’s usually a combination and depends on the project. We work with all the agents so we usually send out a breakdown to them asking for suggestions. We also do a brain-storming sesson at the studio to come up with ideas and make a list. We are always adding actors to our data-base.
Can an actor fly solo or is it better to have an acting agent?
I would definitely recommend having an agent. The better your team, the better your chances and agents help to manage your contracts and negotiations. However it is very important that actors still take responsibility for their own careers and don’t expect the agent to do everything.
Do you have any advice on how to find an agent?
It is a very personal decision so it’s important to find an agent who believes in you and who you trust. I recommend doing some research and having face-to-face meetings before deciding.
Do you look at showreels prior to bringing them into an audition or do you just select them from head shots?
This is a bit of a strange question. Showreels are an actor’s introduction so if I already know an actor and their work then I don’t look at them first. However if an agent puts an actor forward for the role and I don’t know the actor, then of course, I will look at the showreel.
Is there something about someone when they walk into a room that strikes you first?
Everyone makes a first impression so it just depends on what the actor brings and of course what we are looking for. However the most important moment is when an actor is in front of camara and starts acting. That is when we are paying most attention.
What tips would you give actors when auditioning?
Be present! Be prepared! And know that if you are in a casting, it is because somebody genuinely believes that you are perfect for the role so make the most of that moment.
Nowadays Netflix, HBO, Amazon or Apple TV are growing streaming video platforms with loads of opportunities for english speaker actors … Is it important for Spanish actors to speak English?
I think it is very important for actors to have as many skills as possible, languages, stage combat, driving, dancing or whatever gives them a more rounded professional profile. Every actor is diffferent so they need to work out what they are interested in offering and how they would like their career to develop. Obviously as I work mainly in English language productions I am very keen on actors being able to perform well in English.
In Frank Stein Studio you offer an “Acting in English” course. Do actors find easy to act in English? Do they end up improving their skills?
It depends on the actor – some find it very easy and some find it very tough as they spend too much time thinking about the English and don’t get into character. Acting in English is a way for actors to train in a relaxed, non-judgemental enviroment and I would say that most actors who do the course, improve in one way or another! I think the results speak for themselves.
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