Sunday, December 7, 2008

'The Unit' News

'The Unit' is in reruns the next couple of weeks, but TV Guide provides a few news updates on the CBS TV series:

Sharon of Sharon Bialy/Sherry Thomas casting has been moving in warp drive trying to cast David Mamet's up-coming script that requires 21 guest actors before the first day of shooting. She's used to the challenges of casting for The Unit. Like finding an actor who can speak Pashto, an Afghanistan language, and who can also ride a horse. This was needed in "Shadow Riders," which followed the Unit's quest to deliver a bride to a groom in order to barter a truce between warring Afghanistan tribes...

Sharon says that shooting The Unit is like shooting an eight-day movie. "The thing I'm proud of is the level of excellence that's sustained on the show. Editing to writing... every department is on a level of excellence sustained over four years. It starts at the top with Shawn and David. There is a level of trust with them. They treat you as artists. You are valued. You want to pay them back by doing a great job. If you bring up an actor they've never heard of before and you vouch for them, they will listen." When they needed someone with authenticity and weight to play the African dictator in the "Force Majeure" episode, Sharon tugged on the vast fishing net of her photographic memory and pulled up Isaach De Bankole. De Bankole, little known in the States, is a French speaking Ivory Coast-born award-winning actor in France.

Sharon's keenness in finding the right person for the right part often comes back to her lesson's from repertory theater where you can see an actor in a wide variety of roles in the course of seasons, where you can " see his depth and range". This is what led Sharon to suggest Michael McKean for last week's episode, "Misled and Misguided." McKean beautifully played the official from the Department of Defense who believes tech intelligence trumps field logic.

And Michael McKean (pictured above with Dennis Haysbert) is the same guy who played Lenny on TV's Laverne & Shirley.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very cool blog. It's great to hear from the casting people! It can't be easy to cast for this show and they get it spot on every time.