When actress Olivia Wilde first decided she wanted to act, she moved to LA and worked at a casting agency. Because Wilde figured it was the best way to learn about acting.
In an interview with The Off Camera Show late last year, Wilde talked about being given advice by a family friend who was a film producer when she was thinking of moving to L.A. to act, and asked the woman about Hollywood, “How does it work?”
And the friend told her, “Work in casting”.
She went on to explain, “She again was saying it as a way of saying, “And then you’ll never ever want to do this”. It was like, “You want to eat a burger. Go work in a meat plant and see how they slaughter the cows”.
But Wilde followed through with the advice, and got a job with Mali Finn, one of the top casting agents (she cast Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential).
“And I was the person with the clipboard who would sit behind the camera in the auditions, and take notes for her. And then she would lean back after every person left and tell me ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ and why. I mean that’s a master class.”
Wilde also said Finn “did make it clear of the realities I was walking into’, and then went on to talk about what it’s like being a woman in Hollywood, how most directors treat women and how it’s “all about sex”.
Watch Olivia Finn talk about working in a casting agency in Hollywood, and how the experience she had there was invaluable when it came to creating her own acting career.
And you have to admit, it really is a brilliant idea. Just imagine seeing all those actors and actresses coming in to audition every day, and then hearing exactly why they would not be getting the part.
It probably saved her a fortune in acting classes too.