I wrote a post a few years ago entitled But Would You F*ck Him? using a scene from James L Brooks' film I'll Do Anything to relate some of the harsh realities of the casting process...but Ken Levine takes the same topic and hits it out of the park in a recent entry entitled, not coincidentally, Guys Are Not Going To Want To F**k Her.
Your agent submits your name. The casting director may not think you’re right or not be a fan and you’re dead. Assuming you’re over that hurdle you’re invited in to read. There usually are a hundred or more actors reading for every role. Great odds, huh? In these initial sessions you’re usually reading for a committee – the writer/producers, the pod producers, a couple of studio representatives. All you need is one of them to not like you and you’re toast. And by “not like” that could mean “too tall”, “good but we’ve seen him in things”, “he was my waiter last week at the Daily Grill and was terrible”, and “guys are not going to want to fuck her”.
It gets better. Or worse, depending on your prospective.
You can hit it out of the park and still not get the part. The network president may be partial to a name on his golden list. He may have no ability to judge talent. He may not want to fuck you.
By some miracle he likes you. But there’s a hang-up. He still wants a bigger name. So you hold your breath while the producers make an eleventh hour plea to Paula Marshall. She passes. They settle for … I mean “cast” you.
You’re in, right? Not so fast.
During the week of production there are network table readings and runthroughs. You could get fired at any one of them. And it’s not necessarily your fault. The material could be awful, the director gave you bad direction, they never really wanted you in the first place.
Yeow. The line that resonates the most with me is..."They settle for - I mean *cast* you." With just about every writing or directing job I've gotten I've felt like they *settled* for me. Maybe we creative types always feel that way. Or maybe 'they' always do settle. Who knows.
Anyway go read all of Mr. Levine's post HERE. It's a classic.