Casting director Carmen Cuba is responsible for bringing muscle men Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, and Joe Magianello to the big screen in the “Magic Mike” franchise.
As the founder of Carmen Cuba Casting, based in Los Angeles, she has also hired actors for movies like “Contagion,” “The Butterfly Effect,” and the upcoming Matt Damon movie “The Martian,” among many other projects.
And while it may seem like all fun and games to spend her days looking at hunky men to cast in “Magic Mike” and its sequel, Cuba says a lot goes into hiring an actor for a role.
Cuba recently sat down with Refinery29 to explain what exactly a casting director’s job entails:
The short answer is that when I start on something, there is a script (or just an outline) with either a famous person attached or nobody attached and by the time I’m done, every single speaking role in the project has a corresponding actor playing it. It basically involves a lot of brainstorming, listening to pitches, lots of auditioning, helping to structure and negotiate deals, and strategising about all of the above.
When it came to casting “Magic Mike XXL,” Cuba tried to broaden her horizons outside of Hollywood.
Channing Tatum was always attached because it’s based on his own real story, but then I filled every single other speaking role. Some of it was traditional auditioning, and some of it was Googling ‘actors with six packs’ and then bringing the ones who had the best abs in for interviews. I also did a big search in the world of WWF and interviewed lots of wrestlers. I love research and I love people’s stories, so both of these things usually find their way into my work, no matter what the project is.
Once the cast was set, Cuba knew she had chosen the right people to fill the roles, telling Refinery29:
The group of guys bonded so quickly and really had such joy for the projects that it was contagious. Having Joe Magianello tell me about his pre-acting Captain Morgan gig (where he had to dress up as the pirate and sell shots) and Amber Heard telling me about her teenage life ditching school to see old movies in Austin, Texas, were very helpful to me in knowing they were right for their roles.
Read Cuba’s full interview with Refinery29 here.
Despite being anticipated as the best sequel of the summer, “Magic Mike XXL” opened to just $US11.6 million during it’s opening July 1 weekend. 2012’s “Magic Mike” made $US39 million opening weekend on a $US7 million budget.
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