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CASTING EMILY BRIDGES 06/11/2012

Posted by landfallprods in Purple Mind.
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The common wisdom is that if you want to make a successful film, you need to cast actors with recognizable names…  Hoffman, DiNiro, Streep, Sarandon, Bridges.  Bridges?  Why is that familiar?

As I was still working on the screenplay for “Purple Mind,” I was also thinking about casting.  We’d had an offer of $10 million in financing and I’d put together a package which included several BIG names to justify that kind of a budget, but as it turned out, the offer was from a film finance scammer who was running a very clever and dangerous con.

So, when the fantasy of big bucks and big names had turned into smoke and mirrors, I realized we were either not going to make “Purple Mind,” or it was going to be a low budget production, as in next to nothing budget…  and that I was going to have to do what I’d sworn I would never do again, namely everything.

On our earlier film, “Director’s Cut: Metalface,” I’d had very good luck casting excellent LA actors from a service called Backstage West.  Actors from all over the country religiously check for cool projects casting via Backstage West.

The Backstage West website allows users to browse through actors headshots and resumes organized by gender and age, SAG, AFTRA or non-union and whether they’re willing to work on “no budget” projects like mine.  So, as I started through a section of ingenues, I came across a familiar name.  What?  I had barely gotten through the B’s and there it was, staring me straight in the face.  BRIDGES.  But could it be THAT Bridges?

Jeff Bridges had just been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Crazy Heart.”  But no, as it turned out, Emily wasn’t one of Jeff’s daughters – she was Jeff’s brother Beau’s daughter, fresh out of Fordham University, the London Academy and the Moscow Art Theatre School.  EUREKA!  Even better, remember the part where actors indicate whether they’re willing to work on “no-budget” productions?  Well, the box marked “Will work for free” had a check mark next to it.  What unbelievable good luck!

Emily Bridges during shooting of “Purple Mind.”

So, how difficult could it be to attach Emily Bridges to our film?  Well, she had provided her contact information and it was a direct email link straight to – not an agent or manager – but direct to Emily herself.  So, I wrote, telling Emily about “Purple Mind” and the role I thought she would be great for.  And a few days later, wonder of wonders, she wrote back and asked to see a script.

More Tomorrow…

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