Fans are not casting directors

By Lauren Wheeler,
Fans have no voice in creative decisions

Recently, there has been an uprising. Angry people have taken to the Internet, demanding the heads of those in charge. There have been petitions demanding firings and changes. People have tweeted and commented and panicked. The crisis at hand? Movie casting.

First, Ben Affleck was cast as Batman and the fans went wild. How could Ben play the dark knight? Sure, he was good in Argo, but did you see Daredevil? Then the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey was released and fans were angry. Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t skinny enough for The Hunger Games! Kristen Stewart, Twilight? No way. It seems that, no matter who gets picked, somebody is always angry.

It is great that there is such passion for the movies. People care enough about the material that it isn’t acceptable if the role is given to someone who doesn’t match the character in our heads. It is acceptable to be disappointed or confused. It is unacceptable for a fan to call out the hired actress or actor who received the role.

When casting a film, it isn’t just looking at a picture and deciding that so-and-so is the prettiest and looks like the character, so they deserve the role. There is a long process.

This process includes, but is not limited to, submitting a reel of previous work for the casting directors to see, auditioning, a second round of auditions, an audition with other cast members to see if there is chemistry, and even contract negotiations. The actors have to impress casting directors, directors, writers and producers.

It isn’t just picking randomly - these casting directors have to know exactly what they are getting into. It is only after they have picked the actors and signed contracts that the cast list is released. The decision is finished before the fans even have the chance to complain.

The online petitions are useless. If anything, they hurt the film. Can you imagine being excited, thinking you have the role of your life, and then a big group of people demand that you be fired because they don’t like you? It is incredibly hurtful. It may even affect your performance in the films.

Beyond that, the fans haven’t even given the actors a chance. How can you say that they do not fit their roles when you haven’t seen them try? If the fans claim that they don’t look like the character - the actors can change how they look. They can gain weight, lose weight, dye their hair, use makeup or simply wear a costume to look the part.

Unless a fan was literally sitting in the room when the actor was reading from the script, fans can’t know if the actor is suited for the job until the movie is released.

I understand that the fans could be fairly judging the actors based on their previous roles, and that is a fair statement. People could wonder how the cowboy from Brokeback Mountain could become the menacing Joker of The Dark Knight. How that girl from the canceled Fox show Ben and Kate fit the incredibly sexual role in Fifty Shades? It is a scary thing to wonder if your favorite character will be destroyed when some random person steps into their shoes.

The thing is, fans aren’t casting directors. They’re fans. And, while fans can tweet and comment about how angry they are, at the end of the day, it doesn’t make a difference. Fans should just suck it up and give the actors a chance. Or maybe skip the movie all together.

Honestly, fans really have no say in the creative decisions of the film. The fans are meant to sit in the theaters and watch the films. They’re meant to buy the books or read them. Fans are not there for input and there is not a suggestion box for casting. Fans are sitting in the backseat with duct tape over their mouths, waiting for the arrival.

Maybe the chosen actors will be terrible. Maybe the romantic leads will destroy any credibility and the movie will be terrible. I give you full permission to freak out on the Internet after the movie. But before, have a little faith - you may actually like the actors.

On the bright side, if you don’t like the characters, wait a few years - they’ll probably make a remake anyway.

image: NBC

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