Theatre and TV stars including Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer and Gemma Arterton have called for an Olivier award for casting directors, who they argue are “infuriatingly overlooked” by the industry.
Others to advocate that casting directors deserve categories at major awards ceremonies also include Russell Tovey and Richard E Grant.
They were speaking at the inaugural Casting Directors’ Guild Awards, which took place in London on February 12 and were set up to celebrate achievements in casting across theatre, film and TV.
Dormer told The Stage: “They should have a category at the Oliviers, at the BAFTAs, at the Oscars. They should have their moment at all awards ceremonies, they are an integral part of our industry.”
She added: “It’s absolutely absurd that they’ve not been recognised before this point. They’re our lifeblood.”
Arterton said: “[Casting directors] are so overlooked in the film and theatre industry, and it’s always really perplexed me, and actually it’s infuriating.
“Absolutely [they deserve a category at the Olivier Awards]. I believe they deserve an award at the BAFTAs and Oscars,” she said, adding that casting professionals should be celebrated when awards are also given for work on special effects, sound, hair and make-up.
Grant said he “owed [his] entire career” to casting directors and that he felt “very strongly indeed” that they should be recognised at major awards ceremonies.
Tovey added: “[Casting directors are] the magic makers, they’re the ones who keep everything moving and draw the talent and they’re the ones bringing fresh new talent into the world.
“They’re tirelessly seeing shows, including school shows, going out of London or to other countries and finding people. They’re the broker to what ends up on screen. Without them, you’re not going to get a mortgage.”