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Tenant Spotlight: Baily/Thomas Casting

IMG_8658This month’s Tenant Spotlight feature is Baily/Thomas & Associates. This highly sought after casting agency have been long time tenants at our Gower location. You will find their casting prowess on Hulu’s critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale, AMC’s Better Call Saul, AMC’s heavy hitter The Walking Dead and Fox’s hit show Gotham. Ariana caught up with co-founder Sharon Bialy on a warm Friday morning to talk about the agencies beginnings and everything in between.

  • Walking Dead Question: Which are you: a survivor or a walker? Survivor
  • You ladies receive all sorts of gifts, does that ever help with making or breaking a decision? We get really weirded out or uncomfortable when we get a gift from an actor we interview. It absolutely does not help, it might hurt because it’s not appropriate. But we are comfortable when an actor wants to say an extra special thank you, if it’s a huge role or if they know we went out of our way to help them.
  • Have you received anything that was strange? Oh yeah, we got a bloody bat in the mail when we were casting “Negan” for The Walking Dead we were at Sony at the time and Sony took that very seriously. They called the police and it was pretty scary.
  • In the lobby we get a lot of actors who drop off their headshots and resumes for you two. Do you ladies every look at those? And have you ever cast someone who’s dropped those off? I look at every piece of mail that comes in and I appreciate when they drop them at the front with you ladies ::chuckles::

But yes we have cast from drop offs, more than once.

  • Do you accept actors that don’t have proper representation? What could or should an actor do to get through to you two. We’ve hired actors that don’t have agents but if they want to get through, they should be in a play or be in a web series. The reality is there are thousands of actors so you can’t focus on getting into our office. They should stop worrying about that and go out and start doing work – we read the trades, we read the reviews on plays. We’ll find you.
  • Is there a movie that inspired you to be a casting director growing up? I have a lot of movies that I loved growing up and they’re so diverse. From Revenge of The Nerds to James Bond movies to Gone With The Wind. When I was young it was Gone with The Wind. When I was an adult already casting, it was Shawshank Redemption, that was a perfect film.
  • How did you meet Sherry Thomas? Sherry and I met through Debi Manwiller  – a former partner and still a best friend. I was looking for an associate after I was on my own for about six months. I called Debi to see if you she knew of anyone because I had a big job and needed an associate. She recommended Sherry Thomas who had worked with her on 24. We met at a Starbucks and I had four people lined up to meet with and she was the first one and I canceled the others. I was like, ‘That’s it, we’re on!’
  • You have two have worked together for over 16 years. The first two – three years she was my associate and then I made her partner.
  • Why do you think you two work so well together, what clicks with you guys? Complete and utter respect and trust in each other. No competition ever.
  • What are some of the ways studios and showrunners, convey what they’re looking for? At beginning of a project we’ll get on a concept call, and really discuss the character with the creator. Sometimes with the studio or network people involved but usually with the creator of the project because it’s their vision that we’re serving. That’s where it starts – sometimes they will mention an actor that they have in mind. But really, we don’t like to work that way. It’s more so, what are the qualities they’re looking for in a character, so that you we a complete blank slate to really use the casting process the way it should be used –  to really find something exciting.
  • Do you have a database you use? Yes we have a database, we have these books ::points to a wall of five tiered bookcases packed with big binders with shows labeled on the spines::  that I’ve been compiling since I’ve started, with notes on all the actors we’ve ever seen. We use a service called Breakdown Services, where we send out to all the agents and managers and we get ideas and we go through them all.
  • Some actors on your shows, I don’t see or hear of them coming in, do you interview remotely? Well some people self-tape because they’re not in LA, so we’ll get their tape and Skype with them. If it’s a big role, we’ll have to do a test at the studio. It also may be someone that we’re offering to, or maybe for example- Elizabeth Moss came on The Handmaid’s Tale before we did.
  • I’ve spoken to some of the parents that come in for casting for other agencies in the building and they’ve expressed that their kids may or may not get cast based off their social media following. Does Bialy Thomas practice this? It’s definitely very common, but we do not do that at all. Someone’s social media following is not a factor in our casting decisions.
  • You don’t have to tell me who it was obviously… But what was the most horrific casting session you’ve ever had? I’ve had a knife pulled on me once. We were in session and this actress had a knife and got really close to me. This was for a feature, so the next actor, I asked if they had a knife or gun and I said OK you need to go put that back in your car! That was the most horrific.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale has been nominated for 13 Emmy’s. Congratulations! How did you two find out about the nominations? I was at home and Sherry text Russell and I. She told us and I couldn’t find it, so I think Russell text her back asking “Are you sure??”::laughing:: But yes, Sherry told us the great news.
  • Is there a show on air right now that you watch and think I could have done that better? Not better, but more of, I wish I could have cast that, it’s more out of respect. The Night Manager was so well cast and I’m like, damn I would have loved that job!
  • Where do you see Bialy Thomas & Associates in the next 3 years? I think I can speak for Sherry and myself. We’d like to continue to do work that we really believe in and we’re really passionate about- like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Last Tycoon, Barry, or Alan Ball’s Here, Now. When the work really resonates with us, we do better work. We want to work with the people that respect what we do and keep our incredible staff in this beautif
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Hollywood News Movies/Television Celebrity News

Walking Dead Renewed for a Sixth Season!



It is only a few days before “The Walking Dead” kicks off its fifth season on October 12 at 9PM, but that didn’t stop AMC from announcing that the show has been renewed for a sixth season.

The hit zombie apocalypse show, “The Walking Dead,” is the top-rated series among adults ages 18 to 49 and the highest-rated series in cable television history.

“We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of The Walking Dead with fans around the globe,” said AMC President Charlie Collier in a statement. “In advance of Sunday’s season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There’s plenty more Dead ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort.”

The network also recently announced a pilot for a potential companion series for “The Walking Dead” based on a new story and new characters from Kirkman.

We can’t to see The Walking Dead season premiere this Sunday to see what drama happens! We heard there will be more dramatic deaths this season. We hope one of them isn’t Daryl!

Read more at: latimes.com

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Movies/Television

‘The Walking Dead’ to Debut Off-Net on MyNetworkTV


The Walking Dead’s zombies are spreading, but this time in the very best way possible. The AMC cable television channel that has been running The Walking Dead since it first premiered in 2010 just gave the broadcaster, MyNetworkTV an exclusive off-net debut of the show. The number 1 show on television among adults 18-49 is extending its reach by allowing viewers the chance to watch on primetime. The Walking Dead will be aired with back-to-back episodes on broadcast television for one night a week.

This will be The Walking Dead’s first off-net deal, and it comes as they are wrapping up their 4th season. Fox International Channels are already distributing this zombie series worldwide. MyNetworkTV airs in the majority of the country, on Fox Television Stations in several markets.  The famous cable network will be adding the hottest television show to their lineup, and most of couldn’t be more excited to see more zombies, drama and Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) fighting off ‘walkers.’

The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010 on AMC. They opened to 5.35 million viewers, and have since then aired the season 4 premiere episode to 16.11 million viewers. The series is based on the series of comic books by the same name. In the midst of their 4th season, The Walking Dead fans can expect 16 episodes this season, with the finale to premiere on Sunday, March 30.

View full story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Glendale News Movies/Television HPC News

‘The Killing’ to Return for a 4th Season on Netflix

'The Killing' will be returning for a 4th season, but this time exclusively on Netflix.
‘The Killing’ will be returning for a 4th season, but this time exclusively on Netflix.

HPC News – The Killing cannot be killed. Hollywood Production Center’s longtime tenant will be continuing their work on their popular television series The Killing from our offices. The hit television show first aired in 2011 on AMC, and continued to air three seasons until the cable network announced the show’s cancellation earlier in 2013. However, Netflix recently announced that they would be picking up the series and continuing the 4th season. This 4th season will air 6 episodes and will be considered the “final season.” The series’ stars Joel Kinnaman (who plays Stephen Holder) and Mireille Enos (who plays Sarah Linden) will be returning to the show to explore a new police case.

The Killing has gained a lot of popularity on Netflix’s streaming service, which helped it grow its audience for three seasons. The show had originally been cancelled after two seasons, but Fox TV Studios later announced that it would be returning after all due to a unique deal with AMC and Netflix. In this deal the streaming service, which had already built up an audience from the first 2 seasons being on its service, would stream the 3rd season 90 days after the finale aired on AMC to offset costs. When AMC announced that they would be pulling the plug for good in 2013, Netflix stepped in to pick up a 4th season to be aired exclusively to Netflix users. The wildly popular streaming service believe this show is perfect for on-demand viewing, so they have given Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder the chance at a proper goodbye.

Production for the 4th season of The Killing  is set to begin in February.

View the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Hollywood News Movies/Television

Breaking Bad Fans Welcome “Better Call Saul”

"Better Call Saul" will officially be the "Breaking Bad" spin-off with the lawyer, Saul Goodman.
“Better Call Saul” will officially be the “Breaking Bad” spin-off as the series wraps up its final season.

While many fans mourn the imminent end of Breaking Bad, AMC has offered a way to ease the pain. AMC has announced that they are moving forward with their Breaking Bad spin-off that will be based on the ever-meddling lawyer, Saul Goodman. The show has been announced with the working title Better Call Saul and will be a prequel that focuses on the Saul Goodman character before he became Walter and Jesse’s lawyer.

Bob Odenkirk will be the star of the show as he returns as Saul. Vince Gilligan, the mastermind and creator of Breaking Bad will stay tied to this new project, which he expressed enthusiasm for. The series has not been formally ordered by AMC, but they are expecting to finalize soon.

The news comes as Breaking Bad airs its final episodes this month. The series finale is set to air on Sunday, September 29. AMC has a lot going on with the recent news of Mad Men finishing its 7 season run in 2014. It was also announced that The Killing, which just wrapped up its 3rd season this August, has been cancelled. However, AMC is ready to launch two dramas next year, which we hope will be a hit.

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Music/Concerts Hollywood News Movies/Television

CityWalk’s 20th Birthday Bash

CityWalk celebrates its birthday in true Hollywood fashion with events going on all summer.
CityWalk celebrates its birthday in true Hollywood fashion with events going on all summer.

Universal CityWalk is turning 20 and bringing it in with a bang. In true Hollywood fashion, CityWalk will be throwing a huge Birthday Bash that lasts all summer. CityWalk will be providing free live music all summer long at the 5 Towers through September 2nd. They are also offering $2 parking when you go to the nearby AMC to watch a movie, and with so many great summer blockbuster hits this is hard to resist.

The first summer concert kicked off on Saturday, June 29 and featured The Ready Set and Kelsi Luck. This Saturday, August 3, Hollywood is in for a treat with Chris Rene, and on Sunday, August 4 the long list of performers includes Angel & Khriz, Sensato, Henry Santos and Maffio. Saturday concerts start at 7PM and go until 10PM, while Sunday concerts can be enjoyed from 6PM to 9PM. The final performance will take place on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd and will feature The Summer Set and Echosmith.

For $2 summer movie parking, pay for general parking at the CityWalk toll booth, then present your parking stub at the AMC box office to receive your rebate on parking. This offer expires September 2nd. August’s movie releases include 2 Guns, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Kick Ass 2 and One Direction: This is Us.

City Walk is located at Universal Studios Hollywood at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. For more information, please visit http://www.citywalkhollywood.com.