Casting By (2012) - full transcript

This documentary focuses on the role of the casting director in movie making and particularly on Marion Dougherty. She began work in the late 1940s sending up and coming young actors to be cast in the then new medium of television. It wasn't until the 1970s that the contribution on casting directors was recognized in film credits and even today there is no Oscar awarded for that role in filmmaking. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
More than 90 percent
of directing a picture

is the right casting.

I've gotta thank
Ellen Lewis for her casting,

and so much of this
belongs to the cast.

Ellen is like
the main collaborator.

There's no way I can make the
film without working together.

There's an honesty
and a trust there

as to what I need.

It's gonna be
a good summer.


My job is to have
a rapport and a creative rapport

with the director.

Try to create their vision.

When I've directed,
I've relied very much

on the casting director's input.

Amanda's always out there
with the feelers

for new actors that I never
even might've heard of.

I can't hear.

My job is to find
the right people

to tell the story,
to embody the story.

Juliet I've had a chance
to work with closely for years.

She's always looking
and not settling.

You know, I'm quick to settle.

Casting directors are
counted on to have

a point of view,
to really participate

as sort of partners
in the process.

In the old studio days,
casting was very different.

Casting directors were just
sort of organizers.

They would just come in
with long grocery lists of ideas

with no particular
point of view.

My whole organization thinks
I've gone a little nuts

to sign you.

Studios had actors
under contract.

So they used their
own contract players.

Doris Day was under contract.

Whether this part
was right for her or not,

that's the way it was.

Casting directors didn't
have agency or power.

It was not the way
it is today at all.

Marion Dougherty raised
the stock of casting directors

in the film business.

She took an existing profession
and made it her own.

There's so many things
I picked up from Marion

that have been passed on
from generation to generation.

Everything about what I do
came from part

of that lineage.

I learned from Marion
to trust my instincts.

That was just a great gift.

You can not separate
the work of somebody

like Marion Dougherty
from what the final outcome

of the film is.

It's just impossible.

It's staggering
to look down that resume

and just go film
after film after film

that are seminal pieces
of American culture.

She owned that position
of casting she was in.

She set a standard

for a certain quality.

She had a very clear idea
about things.

She was right about
an awful lot of things

that people couldn't see.

She could see what
people couldn't see.

You're humbled by someone
who sees something in you

before you even see
it in yourself.

When people say,
"How do you cast?"

I always tell them,
"Gut reaction."

I just feel somebody
is right for a part,

and it has...

fortunately worked out
very well.

This was Christopher Plummer's
first job in the United States.

This is
"The Dashing White Sergeant."

There's Christopher.

And this is our friend
Jimmy Dean

who was pretty relaxed
in my office one day.

Most important for
a casting director

is for them to love actors
and be interested in them.

In college,
I got a taste for acting,

but I heard stories
about how hard it was

to get a job acting.


I didn't know what to do.

I decided to come
to New York.

I got a job designing
windows for Bergdorf Goodman

until a friend of mine
from college got a job

as the casting director
on Kraft.

He hired me
as his assistant.

I knew nothing
about casting at all

or anything about Kraft.

In the late '40s,
TV was just getting started.

Mostly it was based
in New York.

Kraft was one of the first,
dramatic, live anthologies.

They were taking plays,
and they were turning those

into hour-long dramas.

They could be done live.

They didn't need a lot
of elaborate production.

After about four months,
I took over casting the show.

I went to the theater
to find actors.

It was the beginning
of the Off-Broadway

and the Off-Off-Off-Broadway.

The New York actors
were trained actors

who had worked
with the right teachers.

They were developing
a new kind of acting

that stressed inner being,
emotional truth.

I went under the GI Bill
to the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Meisner only believed
in the imagination.

I'd just wake up
and just go on stage

with that I had
from the day.

Marion Dougherty
was finding great theater actors

used to creating characters
as opposed to the star making

system that existed
in Hollywood at that time.

Hollywood had no idea
what casting was all about.

They looked at the list,
and they would pick

one from column A
or column B

and seeing who had played
a good doctor before,

so we'll have him
play a doctor again.

The old Hollywood
was always about typing.

You looked for type,
because type was money.

Then they could use it
in film after film.

They used what
people looked like physically

to define the characters.

They gave them
a good looking over.

"Can we fix the nose?"

"Can we fix the teeth?"

Last on the list,
"Can we teach them to act?"

They were looking
for movie stars,

movie stars,
not actors.

I was under contract
with Universal

for $75 a week.

Actually, you could buy
things in those days for that.

I was there for
a year and a half

and did a lot
of bit parts.

My name is John Lucas.

For the last time,
I don't want your mail service.

They had a little school
that gave you dancing lessons,

elocution lessons,
took photographs.

I'd go to drama
classes at night,

and you could
ride horses.

That was the great
part of it.

I had a dance teacher.

It was fun.

And then they gave you
a report card.

Thinking back on it,
it was kind of hysterical.

There was always
a distinction between

a New York actor
and an actor out in LA.

If you went to New York,
you were more serious about it,

and you wanted to do plays.

And those were the kind
of actors Marion

would've been looking for
and finding in those days

for live television.

Introducing Warren Beatty.

Warren Beatty was
22 years old

when I put him
in a Kraft show.

It was early on
when the Actor's Studio

was very hot,
and everybody was trying

to sound like Brando.

His agent called me up
after and said,

"How did he do?"

I said, "Well..."

I tell ya, this morning,
I'm just flying.

Roy Nicholas,

Gee, I can imagine.

Pull her up, Mrs. Hardwick,
we'll fill her up

compliments of the house.

I could understand
about every third sentence.

Well, did you ever
know anybody that

smelled this nice,

I would say, "He should
forget Brando and do

his own thing."

And I really thought
they would tell me

that I shouldn't be
a casting person anymore.

We all were beginning
to learn our craft at that time.

They had new writers
and new directors.

Television really was
the training ground.

It was a terrific pressure,
because what went out

on the air was it.

It was like opening
night of a play all the time.

See, you have
to prepare the actors,

prepare the cameras.

Give me the wide shot,
give me the wide shot!

Compose it, compose it!

Come into three!

That's beautiful.

I would be casting
one show while the next show

was in rehearsal.

And I was always afraid
that I might send

the actor to the wrong place.

It was a very exciting time.

And Marion gave
a lot of very important actors

their first jobs.

I thought James Dean
was very talented

and very right for this part.

And the first day
of rehearsal,

the director called me,
and he said,

"He was late and inattentive.

Get me somebody else."

And I said,
"Oh, can I talk to him first?"

So, I had him come
in that day.

Sat him down.

And I gave him
my Dutch uncle talk.

I know I did something
that was very wrong.

I know that.

And I'm not excusing
myself for it.

I said, "I'll call the director
and tell him not

to recast this part."

The next day,
the director called me.

He said, "He was just fine.

And you're right,
he's very talented."

It was the beginning
of guiding people

towards the right
actor for the job.

There were few doing
what Marion did,

very few.

This is Jimmy Dean's head.

And I really did
get this many pictures.

That's Jack Lemmon to the left.

That's Anne Francis
and Rod Steiger.

All of 'em got their
Hollywood contracts

through being
on a Kraft Television show.

In the eight years
that I did Kraft,

I never got a credit.

And I did over
500 pictures, I guess.

There was never
a word about casting.

Marion Dougherty
was responsible for bringing

a lot of wonderful
New York actors

to the series.

It's better than
being a passenger, Joey.

I am a passenger.

I was like a kid
in a candy store.

I was so frightened,
I nearly went out of my mind.

You had your choice
of all these wonderful actors.

Jackie had the feeling first.

He's my kid brother,
so I...

I dismissed it.

Because it was shot
in New York

in real locations
on the streets,

exactly the same
aesthetic was applied

to the actors.

The looks didn't
matter so much.

It was just about
having that sort of spark

or that talent.

She was once a great woman.

She was gonna be in opera,
and she used to take lessons.

And we used to go
to her house and listen to her.

Robert Duvall was
not handsome,

but he was attractive.

He could be a bad guy.

He could be a good guy.

Once upon a time...

there was a type.

Marion was aware
of what actors could do,

their range.

Now, could we agree
on that at least?

She would engage
in casting against type.

Ah, you've only got
to look at me, miss.

After all, I'm not
growing any younger, you know.

She also cast for chemistry.


What did you do
this to me for, George?

I must say,
in terms of bringing in actors,

I just say,
thank you, Marion, thank you.

When I would
meet actors,

I would bring them in
and talk to them.

I would ask them
where they learned acting.

What their animals were.

If I thought they were
right for a part,

then I would read them.

I would keep
the three by five card.

I would put down
anything that hit my mind.

I'd put down,
"has eyes like Aunt Reba."

And I knew what that meant,
because Aunt Reba

was very elegant
and sort of snooty.

"He was 6'2".

Saw him Off-Broadway."

My city editor told me
distinctly that there was

a wall in there,

in between us.

"His reading was nothing.

But I believe he could
be very good,

especially as a gentle,
big, dumb, nice guy."

Marion understood
that even if they give

a bad audition and maybe
don't do well in a role,

you have to see
their potential.

Well at one point,
Marion said,

"I'll get you
a job, Jon.

I'll get you a job."

Well this is...

I hadn't done anything
very much in film,

so it'd have to be somebody who
took a chance really.

Who would do a thing like that?

She had this "Naked City."

It wasn't a big role.

But I had
a big emotional scene.

And by the time they
came in for my close up,

I had nothin' left.

I was completely dry.

It don't make sense.

I didn't understand
protection of your performance.

Didn't know how to do it.

Where were the police?

They're probably out
taggin' some guy

who was five minutes
over parked.

Come on.

It wasn't real.

It was forced.

He was pushing,
and it wasn't there yet.

He was an actor in training.

I thought, "This is it.

It's the end of the road.

You know, I'm never
gonna get another job."

I was so bad, I got almost
physically sick watching it.

So, I sat down to write
Marion Dougherty a letter

saying, "I'm sorry, Marion.

You believed in me,
and I let you down

and all of this.

And please don't stop
believing in...

in young people."

I felt this responsibility
to a generation,

and not only just
for myself.

I must've written
several--six letters, maybe.

But I ripped them up,
I couldn't send them.

Dusty and I had a place.

He had the bottom floor,
I had the top floor.

I told Marion about him.

I said, "This guy's got talent.

He's gonna be something."

Robert said he had been
in theater for seven years,

but he'd never been
in front of a camera.

So, Dustin came in one day,
and I gave him

about three pages
of the script.

You know, any guy
that gets his jollies

out of wearing
a cop uniform

needs a new head,
if you ask me.

Get him outta here!

I said, "You have the job."

And he said, "Oh, well now,
who do I have to see?"

And I said, "You don't have
to see anybody."

After that,
Marion came up to me

and she said,
"In your off time,

maybe you'd like to become
a casting director with me."

She offered me the chair, 'cause
I brought her good people.

Now, Marion had
the two television series,

one in New York and another
all over the country.

So, the logistics
of casting these two shows

was incredible.

Marion was in New York
finding the actors.

She had control
over that process.

Did anyone bring
the Pacific to Balboa?

Never even laid
a hand on her,

but she started running.

What do I care?

Go head and clobber
him with an ax

if you feel like it.

I arrived in Boston,
and the cast had been set.

I arrived in Baltimore,
the cast had been set.

You know, you just don't
look at a script

and all of a sudden
an actor is there.

You have to start negotiating,
find actors that will work

in the price range.

So, casting two shows
was remarkable,

but delivering the kind
of people to the set

that she did was sensational.

Marion Dougherty understood
what was happening here.

There was a vacuum,
and she was filling it.

There was a job to be done,
and she was doing it.

She took control
and made herself the key player.

[typewriter clicking

The Director's Guild said
you can not be called

casting director,
'cause you're not a director.

You can't use that word.

The reality is,
you're not a director,

and we take exception
to being called directors.

You're a casting person.

You're casting by, but I do not
call them directors,

'cause they're not.

[phone ringing]

I'll be right down.

The director was always
the person that led

a collaboration of talents.

In the beginning,
nobody was giving

any respect
to this process,

and so, the directors
got together and said,

"We need to form
a guild to protect everybody."

They were basically saying
there's one director

on the set.

The director of photography's
not a director.

He's a cinematographer.

The casting director
is not a director.

They're working in conjunction
with a director.

That fight happened,
and you still called

the DP the DP.

Although, I don't accept that.

They're not directing anything.

I believe that a director
has the creative vision,

and that if you wanna
share that title

with someone else,
they should be running the set.

Those other people don't.

In the 1950s,
the studios were beginning

to undergo
their ultimate collapse.

They were dropping
all the contract players,

myself included.

It changed the whole...

dynamic of the business.

Now, the casting director
wasn't provided by the studio,

so there was suddenly
an opening there

for a profession.

In the mid-50s,
I decided to open

my own independent
casting office.

I would spend the days
just meeting new actors,

all of these great talents.

Like Marion Dougherty
in New York,

I was casting hit shows.


They were the number
one and two shows in television.

I was really turned on by

bringing a fresh look
to characters.

[phone ringing]

One day,
the phone rings.

"Mr. Stalmaster, I'm calling
for Mr. Robert Wise."

Mr. Robert Wise.


He edited "Citizen Kane."

He's one of the great
directors in Hollywood.

He says, "How would
you feel about casting

a film where you'd
show me actors who looked like

the actual characters
in the true life story

of Barbara Graham?"

And I said,
"Oh, that'd be a dream."

He says, "Let's do it!"

Susan Hayward was already cast.

But everyone else
were all new faces to film.

I'd like to spread you out
and stamp you into the ground.

So, it had a verisimilitude.

The truth that
he wanted to achieve,

it was powerful.

Now, that opened
the door to United Artists,

and from there,
I bounced from one

Academy Award director
to the next.

All right, now, steady.

We all liked to work
with United Artists

simply because they
left us alone.

That's your new arrival?

What is it,
a boy or a girl?

You're not goin' out there.

Well, to look it,
I'm not.

United Artists
funded independent filmmakers.

They had total control
of the movie,

had final cut
of the movie

as long as they stayed
within the budget

and didn't change
the content of the material.

And it enabled us
to attract, you know,

the best filmmakers.

"The World of Henry Orient"
was submitted to us

by George Roy Hill.

As always,
Marion Dougherty

was the casting director
on George Roy Hill movies.

It represented
the kind of independent,

creative filmmaking that Marion
was very much a part of.

By that time,
television went west.

Then I went
straight into film,

and I ain't never been back.

For the movie "Hawaii,"
Marion spent

a year in Asia casting it.

And the lengths she went
to to get that right

was really kind of

George Roy Hill was
directing the picture,

and he wanted true Polynesians.

It is blessed, everyone,
we serve God.

I went to all the islands,
Tahiti and Tonga.

I was living in Hawaii.

Marion and George Roy Hill
came to the community theater.

A bunch of us were asked
to go sign up for it,

and so we did,
and we were very young.

I think I must've been
about 18 or 19,

somethin' like that.

I said, "Bette,
you're not very Polynesian.

And there aren't
any parts left

except for the missionaries."

It was open auditions.

And I think my girlfriend
and I sang a song for them,

and I think they kinda
perked up.

And I said, "If you'll wear
a bonnet so that it sort of

covers your face, and you
don't look too Jewish in it,

which would not be right
for one of the missionaries,

I think we can do it."

I will bring evil
on these people,

because they have not
harkened unto to my words

nor my law.

It was a huge show.

Julie Andrews was there.

Max von Sydow,
and I met Gene Hackman.

It was hard work.

They were shooting
way, way, way out

in the middle of nowhere.

And, you know,
I was very poor.

So, we were living
hand to mouth,

we hardly ate anything,
just so we could save our money

so that we could
make the big break,

and we could get off
the rock,

and we could go
to New York City.

But, it was not easy.

They had the premiere.

And George and I
were walking the red carpet.

All of a sudden,
this girl took me

by the sleeve and said,
"I'm in New York!

What you paid me
for the movie

is how I had enough
money to come to New York!"

If it hadn't been
for that job,

I don't think
I would've made it.

I have Marion Dougherty
to thank for that.

And it was...

I never forgot her.

I found a brownstone
on East 30th Street.

It was a total wreck.

We redid the whole house
and had it just charming.

I remember how proud
she was of it

and how sweet it was.

It was interesting,
because it was a house.

It was a home,
I should say.

It was a warmer feeling,
because it was that setup.

In 1968,
I got a job

as Marion's assistant.

She only would hire women.

It's a nurturing element.

We're there, in a way,
to serve, often a man.

I mean, I'm kidding
around a little bit,

but we're really there
to help somebody else's vision,

to make it right.

Marion was very generous
spirited to the girls

that worked for her.

We were all young.

She gave me
the responsibility to cast.

She did not have
an ego like that.

She ran this townhouse
in such a gracious way

that we often used
to liken it to a brothel.

It was beyond belief
what was going on in that house.

It was this vortex
of the movie business.

It was a charming place
to do casting,

a far cry from
the casting we would do

in offices prior to that.

Marion had bedrooms
upstairs that she

would lease out.

There was some would-be

He was living
in my office

on a couch that pulled
out as a bed at night.

He'd leave his bike
right in this narrow hallway

which drove me insane.

He turned out
to be Steve Tesich,

and he was writing
his first screenplay,

"Breaking Away,"
which won an Oscar.

And we had Tom Spratley
who was an ancient

character actor living
in the furnace room.

There was a cat
that Marty Scorsese

was allergic to.

It didn't bother me too much.

I got--I had very
bad asthma at the time.

There was a manager
downstairs in the basement

who had these whacky clients,
Carol Kane,

Christopher Walken,
Sissy Spacek, Diane Keaton,

and they were all kinda
floating around the house.

I mean, it was madness.

But the directors loved it.

Marion got all the phone calls.

There would always be
a little article or two

about films that were
going to shoot in New York.

And usually we would get that,
"I'm sorry.

Marion Dougherty's
casting the movie."

This woman was
the goddess of casting.

A little contribute, no.

A big contribute, yes.

I only knew I wasn't white.

And you wouldn't
let me be black.

America, man, you know,
it's so beautiful.

I wanna eat it.

The patient in the holding room,
you want his Blue Cross number,

you go in, and you get
his Blue Cross number.

Marion was extremely
instrumental in creating

what they called
the New York look of movies.

She would use actors
that had a very kind of

a bold look
or personality.

I'm Mr. Mansfield,
your father.

Now, where's he at?

A very distinctive,
off-beat thing that would

give you a sense
of the location.

Let me have a double
on an onion roll,

half brisket, half pastrami,
pickles, sour tomatoes,

no sauerkraut, my stomach's
acting up today.

I began to notice
Marion Dougherty's

beautifully cast films.

She introduced so many
New York actors to film.

Many of them,
I was able to bring and do

a film here in California.

For God's sake,
can you imagine my parents?

Can you imagine what
they would say if they

just saw us here
in this room right now?

for the role of Benjamin,

we brought in all the young
actors who met

the description in the book.

They're thinking
for this lead they might

like really good-looking,

sort of movie star types.

We imagined everybody
big and blonde.

You tested Redford
and Candy Bergen.

God, you noticed
they were beautiful.

It was more blonde
than a human should

ordinarily be asked
to accept.

But, nothing worked.

Mike wasn't happy.

I wasn't happy.

So I experimented.

Fortunately I matured
with my neuroses intact.

That's what makes me
so fascinating.

I was supposed to see
Nichols the next day,

But then I heard,
"Mike can't see you tomorrow

because he's
flying to New York

to meet an actor
named Dustin Hoffman."

Oh no.

I said to Nichols, "I did not
think I was right for the role."

He's kind of Anglo-Saxon,

tall, slender,
good looking chap.

And he said,
"And you're Jewish."

And I said, "That's right."

Short and Jewish.

He says, "Well,
inside Benjamin Braddock

is short and Jewish."

I warned you about that.

I'm 29 years old.

I came here at the age
of 21 with great hope.

Mike said, "Dustin
has a sweetness...

that I want
in the character."

He knew to not
get locked in

to what is written
on the page.

You have to be open-minded

and not...thinking
in a stereotype,

but what will be honest

in this character?

Dustin is a different
kind of leading man.

Everything was shifting
in American culture.

Finally, the studio system,

with all its glamour

had really collapsed
and it was gone.

People wanted
something different.

I remember watching
"The Graduate" thinking,

"How did all of this
come together?"

Mostly watching the actors.

-Shall I get the cops?

I'll get the cops.

My wife and I are
getting divorced soon.

Yes, I mean you.

[hysterical laughing]

I don't believe it.

It is chock full
of interesting actors.


After "The Graduate",

everybody knew
Lynn Stalmaster's name.

And he was sort of
famous after that.

There was my name

in the main title
on a separate card.

"Casting by Lynn Stalmaster"

It was just one of the most
moving moments of my life.

Well, you deserved
a separate card.

Well that appreciation,
though, is--

Well, you contributed so much.

You start to see
"Casting by" as a credit.

It was suddenly
a creative role

that needed to be recognized
and acknowledged.

Every well-known
casting director said,

"Well, I should
get one too."

I don't know how
many people got that

but everybody wanted it.

Listen, I don't mean
to be a sore loser

but, uh, when it's done,
if I'm dead, kill him.

Love to.

Marion and George Roy Hill
had me up

for "Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid"

and because I'd done
a comedy on Broadway,

they had me up
for Butch Cassidy.

And Paul Newman
was gonna play Sundance Kid.

I met George and we were
sitting there talking.

I said, "I would
like to do that

but the part I feel closest
to is the Sundance Kid."

He said, "Really?"

George and I
talked and I said,

"That would work okay
for Redford to play that part."

And he said, "Fine."

He called Newman
and Newman said, "All right."

Just one clear shot,
that's all I want.

-Come on, we got to.
-No, get away from me.

-I want to fight him.

I will always be
indebted to her

for a chance to break
into another kind of role.

Bob is a tremendous
acting talent.

He's also a very independent,
hard-nosed mick

who goes pretty
much his own way.

These were qualities that
worked very well for Sundance,

including a genuine warmth
under a very cool exterior.

[car horn beeping]

I'm walking here!

I'm walking here!

"Midnight Cowboy"
was very difficult to cast

because of the contrast
of the two lead characters.

You had Joe Buck.

Where's that Joe Buck?

This tall, lanky
rural-type character.

Hey, come on.

And then Ratso Rizzo,

this skid row bum
who limped when he walked.


The director,
John Schlesinger,

was a distinguished filmmaker
from England,

so he lacked the knowledge
of all the actors

who were available here.

He hadn't seen their work.

So Marion's role
as the casting director,

was even more
important than usual.

Marion took an incredibly
proactive role.

She said, "Don't expect me

to bring in ten actors
for every part.

I'll, maybe,
bring in two or three.

And each of them might be
very different from each other.

They'll each be a different
way to play the part.

Will each bring a different
dimension to the role."

I said to the producer,
"See a play named 'Eh'

because there's
your Ratso Rizzo."

I went downtown and there
was this young guy

kind of hunched,
stooped posture.

I thought, "My God, he looks
so much like Ratso Rizzo."

Dustin was very interested
in the part.

But then
"The Graduate" came out.

And my agent said, "Well,
you can't take that part.

Not only is he unattractive--"

She was telling me

I could be the next
Jewish Cary Grant,

I think, was
the way she put it.

At any rate, I said,
"I want that part

if I could
at least try for it."

One day I see this guy
walking up the road

and it's this fellow who I knew
from the Shakespeare Festival.

I said, "Hey, Keal,
how ya doin'?"

He said,
"I'm up for a big part:

Joe Buck
in the 'Midnight Cowboy'."

I said, "Who's casting it?"

He said, "Marion Dougherty
out of New York."

Who would do
a thing like that?

I said, "Marion Dougherty's
casting, huh?"

So I called my agent
up and I said,

"Could you call
Marion Dougherty

and tell her
I'm on my way to New York

and I'd like to see her?"

I don't know what Marion's
response is gonna be

because the last time
she did something for me

it was a disaster.

I'm driving in
from the airport,

"Just let her see me."

I walk in the office

and we almost bump
right into each other.


You know, I said, "Marion,
before you say anything."

I said, "I--listen,

I'm so sorry for what happened
with that 'Naked City.'

It was so terrible."

"Jon," she stops me;
she says, "that's the past.

How would you like to meet
John Schlesinger?

That was it.

Schlesinger and I weren't
considering Jon Voight.

In fact, we had arranged
to test six other actors.

Where are you going?

Including Michael Sarrazin.

What do you mean?

Well, I mean, a person
like you, with your average,

your leadership abilities.

When I heard
about Michael Sarrazin,

I thought, "That's wrong."

And I think that
would, sort of, ruin it.

Marion Dougherty
kept insisting

and pushing Jon Voight's
name in front of us.

So John and I
felt, well,

we've gotta
test this guy.

We did this improvisation

and I'm nervous,
of course.

What makes you think
you got something

that you can
sell to women?

You don't know what--

that's what I--
that's what I got.

That's what I got on you.

Afterward they said,
"Well, what do you think?"

And everybody said,

"Oh, of course,
it's Michael Sarrazin."

I was so upset.

Then the studio

that Sarrazin
was contracted to

would not allow him

two weeks' rehearsal.

It caused Schlesinger
and I to go back

and look at the tests again.

They were watching my screen
test with Michael Sarrazin

over and over and over again.

Schlesinger said,
"Marion, what do you think?"

I said, "John,
you know what I think."

And Marion Dougherty says,

"Jon Voight."

And that was it.

I was completely unknown
to the film world

and Marion,
who had chosen me

for another role
and I'd failed,

well, she had a lot of guts.

I'm Joe Buck from Texas.

Enrico Rizzo from the Bronx.

And I'm gonna buy you a drink,
what the hell you think of that.

Don't mind if I do.

Jon Voight's performance
is totally real,

totally believable.

He just hit all the bases.

Marion's recommendations

were tremendously
important in the film.

Why don't you and me

get right down
on our knees right now?

No, no.

No, don't take my watch.

Please don't take it.

You think you
can come up here

and pull this
kinda crap up here?

It was Marion's castings

and Schlesinger's
brilliant direction

that added up
to the film.

The fact that I did not
get a casting credit

is probably the worst thing

that's happened to me
in my career.

The first time
I saw the picture,

my credit was on a card

with my assistant's.

I said to Jerome,
you have to change it.

Marion said she wanted

a one card
100 percent credit

for herself
and nobody else on it.

And I said, "Well, I didn't
think that was right."

I said, "Well,
then if you can't change it,

I think you should
take my name off."

And, uh, he did.

I fully expected that
one day she'd come back

when she'd cooled
down a little,

and talk to
me more reasonably.

Because, on reflection,
I must say it was clear

that if ever
a casting director

earned a single card credit,

she had on "Midnight Cowboy"

and I've regretted
for 45 years

that I hadn't
given it to her.

Marion was very
specific about the way

she saw characters
in casting.

There's a lot
of sort-ofs and maybes

and yeah,
they could possiblys,

but there's very few
yeah absolutelys.

And I think Marion

was always
looking for that.

Marion used to say
that every actor

has one quality
to bring to the screen.

♪ Don't you let me be young

♪ That's what I am

I went to the public theater.

That's where
I saw Diane Lane.

When I met Marion,
she'd look at you.

And you knew that
she was seeing something

that you didn't see
about yourself.

I went back
to George and I said,

"I saw somebody that
I think you'll love."

You in love?

You don't fall in love
with a boy you just met.

My essential essence
that Marion saw

was that I had a good
amount of innocence.

A good amount.

With some actors you sense
an intangible quality.

You cannot explain it.

You just feel there's
something special,

there's something
magical here.

It doesn't come
along every day.

When I arrived in L.A.
at 18 years old,

I knew that Lynn Stalmaster

was a very important
casting director.

So I was hoping
he liked me.

I was casting
"The Last Detail",

so I brought
John in to read.

I said, "Oh my gosh,

this is such
a significant movie.

Hal Ashby,
one of the greatest directors,

with the hottest actor that
had hit Hollywood in years,

Jack Nicholson.

What am I gonna do
if I actually get this?"

We did some reading

and we did
some improvisation.

They brought me back
and Lynn fought

and pushed the limit
as far as he could.

I kept on getting reports.

It looks
like it's gonna happen.

And then along
came Randy Quaid.

He was kind of big
and out of step.

And I was portraying that,

but it wasn't my essence.

Lynn pulls me
in with Hal Ashby.

He said, "Now look,
there's no doubt

that you would just be
phenomenal on this.

But we have this other
boy that came along

and he kind of is the part.

But we don't
want you to leave

without knowing
how great you did."

I was broken-hearted.


Every actor

can be rejected
at some point.

I would encourage them,

because they probably
have reservations,

"Can I do film,
am I ready?"

The pressure is staggering.

I wasn't sure if
I wanted to be an actor.

My father was so gung ho

about all his kids
going into show biz,

he loved it so much.

But, like a lot of kids,
they don't want to do

what their parents
want them to do.

I have a long history
with Jeff's family.

I've known his father Lloyd

and his brother Beau,

who also is
an exceptionally fine actor.

Lynn cast me
in my first film,

"Halls of Anger"

and it was the antithesis
of what I was expecting.

I've had it.

-You won't graduate!
-I don't care!

-Then what?
-I don't care, I tell ya!

No, you listen to me.

I had the climactic scene
with Calvin Lockhart,

and I had just been through

a terrible love affair
in my real life

and I was able to, kind of,
tap into all that emotion

from this heartache
I was going through

and make it
work for the story.

♪ Trying to touch your hand

Cut to the premiere
of the show.

My brother's
on one side of me

and my father's
on the other side.

I said, "Wait'll you guys
see this scene."

I've had it.

-You won't graduate!
-I don't care!

And here comes the scene.

No, you listen to me.

You've never understood why
so many black kids give up.

You must stick with it.

And you've only had a taste
of what they've had

to live through
all their lives.

And I was like,
"Cut to me, guys."

Maybe now you understand why
they're so full of anger.

And it stays on Calvin.

You can hear me
sobbing a little bit,

but you don't see me.

Sure, they're not gonna throw
their arms around you.

Finally, they cut
to me and my face.

All they saw--


I guess, and the entire crowd
burst out laughing.

And I just about had
a bowel movement, man.

And I didn't feel
like making a movie,

maybe, ever again.

You don't often
get second chances.

But I would go strictly
with instincts,

and feelings I had
about the actor.

And Jeff has
an innate sense of truth

which is the important thing.

So I thought I should
consider him for another role

with a host
of great film actors.

I thought to myself,
"Do this part.

This'll be the nail in
the coffin of my acting career

and I can move
on to other things."

So I went in it
with a, kind of, reluctance.

I'm sorry for riding you.

But you get my goat
when you act as if

you didn't care a damn
what happened to me.

And you keep your door locked

so I can't talk to ya.

It was a big crossroads for me.

I had such
a wonderful experience

working on that film.

I was hanging
out eight weeks

and just learning
from these old masters.

And that was
a turning point for me.

So thank you, Lynn.

As soon as I didn't get
the part in "Last Detail",

I wanted to go back
to New York and do theater.

And Lynn begged me
not to go.

My manager told Lynn,

"He wants to stay
but he can't afford to stay."

Lynn said,
"Give me a few days."

So Lynn calls
his ex-wife Lea Stalmaster.

And Lea is casting
this awful movie

called "The Devil's Rain".

Lea gives me
the opportunity

to be in
"The Devil's Rain".

You, my brethren,
found the book.

You may now bring
down the vessel.

That subsidizes me
long enough

for Lynn to get
another idea.

I was engaged
to cast the pilot.

♪ Welcome back

And the lights went on.

He said the part

would be a good
segue into movies.

And to not be afraid of it
because it's television.

All right, who are you?

I'm Barbarini.

Eddie Barbarini.

This is my place.

And these are my people.

Lynn said,
"I'm really pushing for you."

He had to get
a lot of approvals

from three very
powerful people.

Vinnie Barbarino.

This is my place.

And these,
these are my people.

And he won.

When John was finally cast,

it fulfilled all
my creative juices.

Lynn's support
gave me the confidence

where I wasn't afraid
to play anything.

♪ Dancin', yeah

♪ Dancin', yeah

Actors need confidence

that somebody out there,
in the know, wants to help you.

What's better than that
in this kind of world,

in this business?

It's known as one of my favorite
words, which is encouragement.

And Marion Dougherty
was full of it.

I've never seen
anything like it.

I went down in the Village
to see a play.

And that's where
I saw Al Pacino.

He was so good,

the hair on the back
of neck rose up.

This has happened to me,

maybe, three or four times
in my life.

I knew then

this was somebody
very special.

The first thing Marion cast
Al Pacino in was "Me, Natalie",

which he had one scene.

He had to dance
with Patty Duke.

And I remember him practicing
his line in the waiting room.

"Wanna dance?"

"Do you wanna dance?"

"Do you wanna dance?"

"Do you wanna dance?"

Marion was always trying
to get me in everything.

She understood actor's plight.

It was, in a sense, the step
up to step into another world,

the step up
into commerce, really.

An actual job
that paid you money.

You know, you could
actually eat.

Pay your rent.

I know a guy down the hall.

In one of the rooms.

And he told me.

He said, "There's this terrific
looking chick in room 424."

So I thought I'd come
in and take a look.

My agent gave me the script.

When I read it,

thinking of Al
as the character,

I thought he's perfect
for this film.

But when we finally went
and made a deal with Fox,

they didn't want Pacino.

That was disastrous for me.

Marion was really,
sort of, hell bent

on Al getting that part.

We got together and decided
let's put on a charade.

Let's go through casting
and then at the end

we tell 'em, "Well, Pacino's
got to be the one."

We interviewed
some really great actors.

One of 'em
being Robert De Niro.

I felt he was doing
a beautiful job,

but I had my mind
set on Pacino.

Ah, I'm the greatest.

Fox finally said, "Okay."

Marion would say casting
is a painful process

for a lot of actors
and directors.

So she made it the best
possible experience for them.

I don't like casting,
it's always uncomfortable.

I don't like to meet
people in any area.

Marion introduced me

to all those people
on "Bananas".

She would say hello to the
actors to put them at ease.

While I was writhing

in the background.

Woody would sit in
a rocking chair in the corner

and really
actually never speak.

He was, like, painfully shy.

Actors come in.

They're either
formidable stars I'm in awe of

and I don't wanna make a fool
of myself in front of,

or there's six people

that could all do the job
just as well

and I have to pick one of them
and I feel bad about it.

I'm not suited to this job.

I never had to shake
any hands or tell any lies.

Not to mention
the Purell bill, you know.

You talkin' to me?

I remember the very,
very civilized way

of meeting an actor,
talking to him or her.

We are the people is not
the same as we are the people.

The actor is being
brought in the room

in such a way
that you feel comfortable.

God, it's good so close.

Because the audition process
is so disturbing.

-Hi, Jacy.

I'm glad you could make it.

For "The Last Picture Show",

Peter Bogdanovich
wanted to make sure

that Cybill Shepherd
looked good in a bathing suit.

She was a "Seventeen" model
and she was absolutely gorgeous.

But she had that,
kind of, wonderful rosy

slightly plumpish
quality to her.

So it was like a question mark

about how great she was gonna
look at the swimming pool

in "The Last Picture Show".

We had to check that Cybill
didn't have all the scars on her

because she'd have
to take off her clothes

in one scene.

Marion brought her
over to the hotel.

I was at the Essex House.

Cybill came in.

She's very tall, big girl.

And Marion checked her out.

You gotta get undressed up
there on the diving board.

Marion said, "I'm embarrassed
to ask you to do this,

but can you possibly
wear a bikini?"

That's the rule.

Yeah, I did it
last Easter.


She said, "I'm sorry,
they just wanna make sure

that you didn't have
any unsightly scars."

She seemed to poke fun
at what she was doing.

"Isn't this silly
we have to do this?

It's ridiculous, I told
'em you're beautiful."

She was so kind.

There was a kind
of a gruffness to her.

She wasn't gonna lie to you.


Marion was tough to get in.

She had this sepulcher,
a majestic dynasty that was,

like, you know, Fort Knox
trying to get in there.

And I said, "What am I gonna--
how'm I gonna get in there?"

I was doing a show.

I was supposed to be,
like, a security guy,

but I looked like
a New York City postman.

So I sent a certified letter
to myself.

And then when I got it with all
the certified stamps on it,

when I got it,
I covered my name over

with Marion Dougherty's name.


So a crack opens up.

Are you Marion Dougherty?

"No, no, she's back--"

I said, "She's gotta
sign for this."

"Oh, oh come on in."

I walk in and say,
"Jesus, I'm in."

Finally she gets
off the phone.

I said, "Marion, I'm not
a postman, I'm an actor.

I'm trying to get
in to see you."

She says,
"I don't believe you.

I'm very busy here,
you know,

you can't just come in.

But you know what, that was
very inventive of you.

I'm gonna remember you."

Actors were not freaks to her,
they were people.

Marion got behind their eyes

and saw what made them tick
and who they were

and would use that
personal quality on a role,

which would make the role pop.

-What's your name?

Mine's Audrey.

It's really not,
it's Doris,

but I like Audrey better.

Mr. Hart,

that is the most intelligent
thing you've said today.

Do me a favor.

Please don't call me "man."

What did you
tell Wilson, Tom?


Fabulous, fantastic
Mary Beth McIllhenny

the "It Girl" of the skies!

[bell tolling]

"Willy Wonka," my idea
was to make it

so that you wouldn't
know anybody very well.

I didn't want it
to be a star turn.

So I really had
to depend on Marion.

One day she sent
over Gene Wilder.

Gene had done
"The Producers"

and had a small part
in "Bonnie & Clyde".

I'm from Wisconsin originally.

Where the cheese comes from.

But he still wasn't a star.

He read from the script.

Very please, we have so much
time and so little to see.

Wait a minute.

Strike that.

Reverse it,
thank you.

I said,
"You've got the part."

Then a woman walked in to play

the mother of Mike Teevee.

I said to myself, as soon
as she read a few lines,

"She's got it.

She's got 'it'

and I must have her."

She said, "I've got
to think about it."

Well, why do you
wanna think about it?

This is a feature.

The next day
she said, "I'm sorry.

I'm gonna turn
down the picture.

I've got an offer
for a television series."

♪ Boy, the way
Glenn Miller played ♪

♪ Songs that made
the Hit Parade ♪

Her name was Jean Stapleton.

She was right.

She took the series
and good for her.

We cast "All In The Family"

out of Marion Dougherty's

Marion had brought
Jean Stapleton

in for the first time
for an audition

for "Cold Turkey".

It's my sixth slice
of salami, sixth slice!

I just fell
in love with her.

So in "All In The Family",
I knew I wanted her.

You know what I think
we oughta do?

What do you think?

I think we oughta eat.

It was Marion Dougherty
who said,

"You gotta talk
to Carroll O'Connor."

If your blacks
and your spics

want their rightful share
of the American dream,

let 'em get out there and hustle
for it just like I did.

Carroll O'Connor read
three lines

and that was it.

Casting is a high art

when you run
into a Marion Dougherty.

All we need
is a couple of days

and we can get the son
of a bitch and nail him.

For "The Sting", I didn't
have to bring anybody

but one person
in for each part.

Name's Lonnegan,
Doyle Lonnegan.

Lieutenant Snyder, Punko.

We got some business
coming in before hours.

That's the ultimate experience
of a casting director

who is so equipped

in their knowledge of actors

and their understanding
of the material

that they're able
to make a single choice

and have it
completely succeed.

"The Sting" did very, very well.

It got nominated for seven,
I think, Academy Awards.

It won Best Director,
as well as Best Picture.

When George won the Oscar,

he said,
"How could I miss?

I had Newman.

I had--I had Redford.

I had Dougherty."

I thought that's wonderful.

I've never heard of a casting
person being mentioned.

Marion taught me the importance
of not just the movie stars,

but every single person
that speaks in the film.

If a little tiny part doesn't
come across as believable,

it ruins the whole frame
of the film for me,

the tone of the film.

When I cast "Deliverance",

John Boorman said to me,

"I want you to look
for an albino boy

for the scene
with the dueling banjo."

And when I arrived
in Clayton, Georgia,

the man assisting me
down there,

he kind of owned the town,
little town,

he took me over
to the schoolroom

and I looked in the window

and sitting there
was a kid.

He had a very odd look
and manner.

It seemed to belong
in the environment of the film.

I ran out to the phone
and I called John Boorman

and I said, "I have found
the answer, I believe."

He said, "Lynn,
is he an albino?"

And I said, "Well, no--"

"No, I told you
I wanted an albino.

I want you to keep looking."

I remember the day
that Billy Joe Redden came in.

Nearly all of us were saying,
"This is the kid,

I mean, it has to be."


Finally, John said, "All right,
let's go with that boy."

Talk about genetic deficiencies.
That pitiful?

He couldn't speak
very well.

He had a kind of strange

When he tried to talk,

[stuttering gibberish]

John said, "I think we're not
gonna be able to use Billy.

I can't really connect
with him."

I begged John,
I said,

"Let me spend some time
with Billy."

At first, we'd spend
the afternoon

of him looking off
in the woods

and he sort of--

But I sort of remember
the day he was telling me

about these kids.

He said, "They all
call me Squinty Eyes."

Said, "Next son of a bitch
calls me Squinty Eyes,

I'm gonna kill
that son of a bitch."

He put his arm around me
and he said,

"Except you, Ronny,
you can call me Squinty Eyes

if you want to,"
said, "I like you good."

From then on,
we were like best buddies.

It was so...


That scene is one
of the most exciting scenes

I've ever seen on film.

God damn, I could play
all day with that guy.

Marion said,
"Well, don't tell anybody,

but I'm moving
to California,"

which was surprising to me

because she was such a New York,
salty, salty dame.

I was having troubles
at home.

I thought it was
a good time

to have a vacation
from my husband.

As a matter of fact,
I wanted a divorce.

We made an arrangement that
I would stay in the brownstone

and I would continue
to cast.

Woody said,
"What am I gonna do?"

And I said, "Well,
you'll hire Juliet."

I have this sudden impulse
to turn the wheel quickly,

head on into
the oncoming car.

Marion put me with Juliet

and we looked up three pictures
later, five pictures later,

and we had a strong

And then we look up
40 pictures later, you know,

and been doing it
for years, decades.

The ability to have Marion
at the studio

as part of a creative team
was an asset

that was very valuable
to the studio

and I think the filmmakers
who worked with her

felt that way too.

Magazine or a book?

Where's English?
What'd they do?

Give a nigger
a nigger of his own?

I knew of Marion
by reputation.

She was so much fun,
kind of a special character

in her own way.

She'd talk about
the new set of suits upstairs

and she'd, "Eh, those
junior G-Men upstairs,

you know, they think
they know everything."

Eisner came in
as president of Paramount.

Marion wasn't as simpatico
with Eisner.

Michael Eisner and I
didn't see eye to eye.

When Marion
would recommend somebody

like Meryl Streep to him,
he would dismiss it.

He would say, "We've got to get
something for Suzanne Somers."

And I'd say, "Why?

I don't think--
she's not a good--no!"

He didn't like that.

And then, somebody told me,

"Eisner, I think,
is gonna fire you."

I said, "Oh really?"

Well, just after somebody
asked me

if I would like to meet
with the Warner Brothers people,

and they wanted me,

then I got called up
to Eisner's office.

He got down on the floor,
took my hands and said,

"Please don't leave us."

Well, I knew as soon
as I said no to Warner Brothers,

he would fire me.

So, I left.

Marion's taste
was impeccable.

I love the fact that
she was no pushover.

She always had opinions,

and I must say,
almost all of the time,

her opinions
were spot-on.

Mr. Holm, you have a daughter,
I have a son.

He's a fine boy,
he's a good wrestler--

He's also full of lust.

I can spot it
a mile away.

He's lusting
after your daughter.

Marion Dougherty
is the reason

why I was cast
in my first movie.

I had only done theatre.

George Roy Hill and I
went to see "Barnum."

Up in the box
overlooking the stage

there was this woman.

I was so impressed
how quiet she was up there

in that box.

I would come out about 15
minutes before the play started

and I would knit
in that box.

I was working really hard
to give this woman

three dimensions
and have her sexy.

I worked my ass off
in that part.

I said, "Why don't we
read her for Jenny Fields,

the mother of Garp?"

Yes, what is it
you want?

What the hell did that
bastard son of yours

do to my dog?

Garp bit Bonkie.

I think they had said
it was like

a young Katharine Hepburn

I went in to the audition
and I was doing

a very bad Katharine Hepburn.

And George told me later
that it was

one of the worst
auditions he'd ever seen.

She gave a terrible reading

but there was something
about her

which was quite wonderful.

I wonder if George
would have cast me

without Marion whispering
in his ear.

I got a call
from my agent saying,

"They're making a film
of 'World According to Garp'

and George Roy Hill
wants to see you."

I thought, "Great,
but for what?"

My agent's assistant said,

"Well, I don't know which role,
there's a typo.

It's for a character
named Roberta."

And I thought,
"Oh my God!"

and I immediately saw it.

I immediately saw it.

He's young,
he's handsome.

Such a brilliant idea
of Marion's,

because here's this
big, hulking guy

but he does have this gentle
sort of high timbered voice

for a guy of his size.

I was a tight end
with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Number 90,
Robert Muldoon.

I went in to meet George.

He ruled me out

because I was 6'4".

He thought me standing
next to Robin

would be absurd.

Marion knew it would take
months to persuade him.

Literally eight months later,
they came back to me,

and three other actors,

and one by one
we did a screen test.

By some quark of fate,

I had read a book called
Conundrumabout a year before

by Jan Morris,
the transsexual.

So George asked me
these questions,

and I answered in
the character of Roberta.

Deeply informed about this,
you know, he was floored!

And Marion was off
in the corner, thinking,

"These fucking New York actors,
they are so smart."


Forty-three, twenty-nine!

The best moment of all,

George wanted
to be persuasive

that I had been
a football player.

He had me take a hike,
fade back,

and deliver a pass
in full drag.

He caught it, and I leaped up
and down like this.


My name's Roberta.

I'm Garp.

Marion described
George turning around

and looking at her like,
"You were right all along."

Marion's judgment is present
in the 500 movies that we made

during the time that
I helped run Warner Brothers.

When she said, "I love this
person for that part,"

I often just
listened to Marion,

and just went
down the track.

Gun, gun!

I had never done
an action film,

and when I read "Lethal Weapon"
for the first time,

it seemed I had a reason
to make one of them

because there were
great characters.

Marion Dougherty said, "What
about Mel for this guy, Riggs?"

I said, "Oh, fantastic."

It was about '86.

I was in Australia,
and I was on the farm.

I had been in like three films
in rapid succession.

Good films, but they didn't
actually break through.

They weren't sort of
poppy enough.

They were a little off.

I thought, "You know what, I'm
gonna walk away from this game."

So I just decided
to drop out,

and raise organic vegetables
and beef cattle.

Dear Marion got
Mel on the phone,

and she arranged
to get the script to him.

I read the script.

It had your archetypal,
two-dimensional hero.

But this one was different

because the script admitted
to the man's insanity.

He was flawed, really flawed,
he was suicidal.

He was, and I thought, "Oh,
that's interesting."

So I came over
and took the gig.

I said, "Oh, fantastic."

And I said,
"What about Murtaugh?"

And Marion said,
"Did you see 'Color Purple'?"

I done fixed that mailbox so
I can tell if it be mess with,

you understand!

She said, "What about
Danny Glover for Murtaugh?"

And my reaction was,
"But he's black."

Not funny, pretty
friggin' frightening.

It wasn't written, "a black
character plays this role."

Marion looked at me, she said,
"He's black, so what?"

I shrank.

Marion thought, "Danny Glover
is a sensational actor,

this a good opportunity to play
the other end of the scale."

I remember coming up
to Dick's house,

Marion was there,
Mel Gibson,

and the major executives from
Warner Brothers were there,

and Mel and I read the script,
read from cover to cover,

we read the script.


Now don't worry,
you know, I was drivin'

before you were an itch
in your daddy's pants.

Danny has a good sense
of comedy.

There's a scene where his
daughter comes down the stairs.

This is my New Year's Eve

don't you like it,
isn't it cool?

He's sort of noticing
that she's dressed

and becoming a woman
for the first time.

And he sorta does this
double take, and he goes.

He does this
Jack Benny thing.

He actually looks
like Jack Benny.


That's interesting
'cause I love Jack Benny.

There was something about Jack
Benny and his use of silence.

I'm the one who's
giving the party.


He was able to capture
the moment,

and elongate that moment,

so, uh, there's a little bit
of that I guess.

I'm not crazy.

I know.

Oh, good,
let's eat.

After we all finished reading,
there was a moment's silence,

and someone said,
"Let's go make a movie."

I said, "Marion, you
just made the greatest team

that's ever happened since
Abbott and Costello."

This script said "Riggs"
and it said "Murtaugh".

It didn't say color.

And when Marion
said that to me,

and I answered her
like that,

it was like a nail
in my heart to think

I'm bigoted,
I'm narrow,

I--if it's not on paper,
I don't see it.

Dick Donner said, "Well,
Danny Glover's black,"

and it'd been
left at that.

But in some way
the fact that she said it,

that this great
casting director said,

"This team is going to be
something special,"

it opened up some kind of space
for him, inside of him.

It changed my life in casting,
but more important,

it changed my life
in reality.

That's a casting lady,
that's a casting director

who if you're all out here,
you understand,

this is a woman that
really changed my life,

and I, uh, one of the reasons
I thank you all.


Time Incorporated
and Warner Communications

announced they've
agreed to a merger.

Another giant chunk of the
American entertainment industry

fell into foreign hands today.

The industry was changing.

Coca-Cola is swallowing
Columbia Pictures.

After the 70s, it became less
of a personal business,

and more of a corporate

Sold for more than $6 billion.

Valued at $18 billion.

Studios are just
sort of clearing houses now,

they're not really
studios anymore.

It's not at all
the business it was.

Now, casting decisions
are made corporately,

instead of creatively.

In the late 90s, television
actors were being assigned roles

in some of our feature films

whether they were right
for the part or not,

because the studio decided
that it could make money.

So that's who
they would push.

That was very frustrating
to Marion.

Their scripts weren't
getting any better.

Sometimes they were
getting worse.

I'm gonna be you,
a big stupid dog.

Marion called me one day
from the office.

She said, "They've offered me
this movie

called 'See Spot Run'."

I could chase my tail.

I'm chasin' my tail,
I'm chasin' my tail.

She started crying,
"How do I have a career

with 'Midnight Cowboy,' 'Butch
Cassidy,' and 'See Spot Run'?"

I was a little unhappy.

I saw things changing.

Most of the directors
that I had liked,

and had been happy with

were not doing much anymore.

It was different.

She began to feel
a little bit pushed aside.

This is not a community

that's very forgiving
about getting older.

I always felt her opinion wasn't
listened enough to at that time.

The insight she had,
the intuition,

you know, her history.

This is sort of the disease
of Hollywood,

is the whole younger, hotter.

You know, younger
filmmakers emerge,

and young executives emerge,

and they want younger,
hotter casting people,

like they want younger,
hotter actors.

To cast a movie full
of character faces

is more difficult than it has
been at times in the past.

It's all about a physical
quality, how you look.

Romance me with a nice dinner,

and, uh, maybe you
can get that bonus.

It's not about one's interior,
it's not about training,

it's none of those things.

And those were
all the things,

particularly coming
from New York,

that we all
cared about.

The president at the time said,
"Do you want a job here?"

and I was like," Well, yeah,
but Marion's here."

And he's like, "Well,
she's gonna be leaving."

And I'm like, "Okay, well,
have you talked to Marion?"

"Yes, we've talked to Marion."

And then Susan Smith
called me and said,

"Yeah, she doesn't know
what's going on."

And I was like,
"Oh fuck."

I remember opening the trades,

and like the second or third
page was a big blurb.

Lora Kennedy, new SVP of future
casting at Warner Brothers.

So I walk into the office,
and I said, "Marion,"

I said, you know,

"it looks like they made
an announcement today that,

you know,
I'll let you read it."

She reads it,
and she says, "Well,

I figured that was
gonna happen, honey,

we just move on."

Well, 50 years of casting,

that was the end of that.

I think it's
a lack of respect

for casting directors
in general, and what we do.

I think it's indicative of that,
it's not indicative of Marion,

it's indicative of what we do,
and how we're perceived.

Coming up live on The View.

I also hope that

the casting director for
Grey's Anatomy is nominated.

Is there a category
in the Primetime Emmys?

Oh, because the casting
on that show is amazing.

Then we get out of hand,

then the garbage-collectors
have to be nominated.

They're not exactly
the same job.

The caterers.

My hundreds of colleagues
and myself would not be that,

we'd be hurt
by that comment,

but we wouldn't be
shocked by it.

I think, um, there's
a common misperception

and there's a common

of what casting directors do.

If that's true, there's
no--there's no, uh...

is their an Oscar for--no?

Is that correct?

I think it's crazy.

Well, I th--it's surprising.

We do, we get an Emmy Award,
which is fantastic

that the the Television Academy
has acknowledged us.

There's a reason
why casting directors

are not nominated for Oscars,

it's because the DGA obviously
doesn't want that to happen.

Every year, saying the Academy
Award for Casting,

I totally, completely
disagree with it.

I'm ultimately making
those decisions.

And I will inevitably make
those decisions as a director.

But isn't the costume
the director's decision?

And isn't makeup and hair,
and location, and...

isn't everything
the director's decision?

Maybe it should
end here instead.

The editor sits at the editing
bay, cuts the movie,

and then the director comes in,
and says, "Now, my cut."

The production designer designs
the set, the director walks in,

he goes, "I don't want
a wall there."

Hi, Mia, welcome.

The casting director
brings in the actor,

but of course it's
the director's decision,

because it's always
the director's decision.

But the process of casting,
you are never gonna know about.

Casting takes place
in a room

between myself
and my casting director.

So giving a casting Oscar
would be a real misnomer.

I'd say you'd have to
take some Oscars away

from some editors then,

because a really
good editor

bring an enormous
amount to a film,

but it's hard to know.

Maybe that DP
did everything,

and maybe it was
the director

who said, "No, no, we're
shooting towards the light."

You don't know.

And so you don't know what
a casting director has done,

of course you don't,
it's all a collaborative art,

but, my god, they
certainly deserve it

as much as the--
as anyone else.

At the Academy, David Rubin
and I made a presentation.

We wrote this speech, and David
read it to the board,

and it was so eloquent.

I said, "They can't say no."

But once again,

the Academy turned down
the casting directors.

I think there's
an old guard there

that perhaps started in the days
when Marion started,

that still sees us
as secretaries,

and that we don't really
serve a function.

Giving casting directors Academy
Awards was discussed often,

but, you know, you can't
give everybody,

and there were--I don't wanna go
into all the discussions.

The time is coming for this
to be re-examined and rethought.

It's a wonderful recognition,
and they deserve it.

Mark Rosenberg, the head of
production at Warner Brothers

was a huge Marion fan.

So I said to Mark,

"Why don't we try to get
Marion a special Oscar?"

She certainly is a remarkable
woman and an absolute genius,

and there's such
a history here,

and a new way of looking
at casting.

And a generosity of spirit

in terms of passing it on
to other people.

And also a very strong female
part of the industry.

I talked to Julia and a lot of
the women who'd worked with her,

and said, "What do you think,
let's try to do it."

They started a campaign,

and there were some
pretty wonderful letters

from some pretty
wonderful people.

"Dear Board of Governors,

I've long felt the department
of casting

to be overlooked
in acknowledgement.

Marion Dougherty
is one of the few

who has pioneered
a new path in this area."

"She's always been
deeply committed,

and very wise in casting.

She's been a great influence on
many other casting directors

who learned the pursuit
of excellence from her."

"Ms. Dougherty is respected
and admired by her colleagues.

She is a corner stone
in the film industry,

and her achievements should
not go unrecognized."

"She has a sensitivity
to understand

what directors want and need,

sometimes more than they do.

She is a joyous risk taker,

and one of the golden
ladies of Hollywood."

"She's a dedicated
casting director

with a special talent for
finding the right personality

to fit the right part.

I support your effort
to present Marion

with this great achievement."


A casting director
with one really good idea

can fundamentally readjust
an audience's understanding

of what the story is,

what the impact is
on the culture.

That's what they do,
and if we're lucky

we get the benefit of those
moments of inspiration.

I think all the great
directors are very grateful

to the really gifted
casting directors

because I'm sure

they were forced to cast people
that they didn't know,

and might have been
nervous about,

and the great casting
directors have good reason

for taking the risk,

and I think the movies
are better for it.

I just wish you were back,

I wish you were working.

I wish you were doing
what you always did.

You know, because the actors
need you, we all need you.

Marion, I love you.

You know, I remember you told me
a story about a boat you loved,

a dingy you had
at your house that was in...

Way Up Island,
maybe even Maine.

I loved you for that.

And then over time,
I loved you for much more.

God bless.

I'm just another
piddling actor

who benefitted greatly
from your ministrations,

and I'm here today,
sitting on my fat ass

in this cushy office...

delighted to say "Thank you."


if you've forgotten me
it's okay.

I haven't...

I never will forget you.

Thank you.

You're great, Marion,
it was a great privilege for me

to have worked with you
all those years.

So thanks, babe.