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Olivia Wilde didn’t have trouble finding a diverse cast for her high-school comedy “Booksmart.”
“It turns out when you see all actors and you just hire the best people, you actually end up with a really representative set. The problem is most people don’t look at everyone. If we keep drawing from the same pool, it becomes this recycled pot of inspiration. There’s nothing new if you don’t take a step further,” she said at a screening of her film at the Film Independent Forum on Friday.
Wilde - Actors - Feature - Debut - Victoria
Wilde even had a couple first-time actors in her feature directorial debut. Victoria Ruesga and Nico Haraga, who play classmates of the hilarious leading duo, Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, are professional skaters and had never acted in a film before. However, their lack of experience on screen didn’t stop Wilde from hiring them.
“In order for casts to become more diverse and representative –– the same goes for crew behind the camera –– you have to look beyond resume. You have to hire people based on their talent, their skills, their ideas, their passion. If we keep hiring based on resume, we will just continue this paradigm and everything will be the same as it’s been. We have to break the mold, we have to change the way we hire people. Maybe you could be a little bit nervous to hire an actor who’s never been on a film set and has a pretty sizeable role, but I found that pretty exciting,” she said.
Film - Independent - Weekend - Screening - Booksmart
Film Independent kicked off its weekend of programming with a screening of “Booksmart” and a Q&A with Wilde and writer Katie Silberman at the Harmony Gold theater in Los Angeles. Feldstein and Dever lead the side-splitting, coming-of-age tale as two top students who realize they missed out on partying and having fun...
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