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Hello. I have a bit of a dilemma. I'm casting for my next short film and typically cast people based mostly on their acting skills, direct-ability and a general assessment of their personality. I always have a solid idea of what I'd like the characters to look like; however those thoughts are always a bit flexible (sometimes enough to even change sexes).


I'll start by saying I'm casting for a 1940s crime drama so it hasn't been easy to find talent who can manage the acting style of that time period (a strict requirement). I completely understand that and I've tried to be as helpful as possible. I know it must be very difficult for many to do. My issue is this...for the first time, I have an actress who was able to deliver the audition scene as needed, able to take direction well and has a great personality... but has a physical feature for some reason I just can't overlook. She's so thin, I can't get past it. I want to but it's so distracting, I'm finding it impossible.


I was requesting 135lbs at least for female talent but that was a bit flexible as well. Her stats are listed as 5'7" and 108lbs and to be honest she looks thinner than that. I do believe she would be a great addition to the cast. I just don't feel ok with putting her in the role she auditioned for.


I thought I'd get some thoughts from the community in case, I'm just in a "stuck" place and need another perspective.

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You are the Director. It is your place to determine what is more important...an actor "looking the part" or an actor "being" the part.


It is a tradeoff and one that is not uncommon at our low level of filmmaking. If you had Hollywood resources, you could import no-name girl from Prague who fits everything and can have a vocal coach to clean up her accent. But this is reality and you and you alone have to determine what is more important.

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If it was me, I'd go for performance over physical any day of the week. If money was no object, you could airbrush on 40 pounds. I'd cover it in wardrobe.


Keep in mind:



People were a lot thinner in the 40s. School lunches were introduced just after WW2, because so many people in the US were malnourished to the point they couldn't meet the draft standards.

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