Business21 July 2021
Casting is a crucial part of the creative process. It’s about casting the widest net possible and finding the perfect person for a role. At Netflix, we’re always thrilled to champion new talent from around the world to introduce to our global audience, from Orange Is the New Black to The Old Guard and Bridgerton.
We want to discover new and authentic voices from underrepresented communities, and help our existing talent find their next great opportunity with us.
This commitment to diverse talent is why Netflix is creating its first-ever in-house casting department, with the three of us as the first hires serving as the heads of casting for film, unscripted and scripted series, respectively. On the animation side, Shiondre Austin is manager of casting for series and Cymbre Sklar is manager of casting for film. Our goal is to provide additional resources to our creative team as they seek to cultivate the largest talent pool for our productions while continuing to work with outside casting directors.
Some of us, like Cesar, were already doing this work at Netflix on our non-English series and films. Others, like Rich and Brittany, are casting veterans who come to Netflix from other studios and production companies. But we all share a common goal: matching great talent with great projects and helping more people see themselves on screen.
Over the years, some of our talent have been able to seamlessly move across Netflix projects -- think Never Have I Ever’s Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who is starring in our upcoming film The Netherfield Girls and Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo, who hosts and executive produces Prank Encounters.
Our new casting department means that we will have more time and resources dedicated to identifying these kinds of opportunities - finding breakouts like Alejandro Speitzer, who has worked on three of our Mexican local language series, El Club, Dark Desire and Someone Has to Die and Pearl Thusi, who’s gone from our South African series Queen Sono to our upcoming film Wu Assassins: Fists of Vengeance. (See below for more of these connections from around the world.)
Representation has always been important to Netflix, and we’re excited to continue and expand on this vital work. For us, there is nothing more gratifying than discovering the next breakout star.