Originally posted on Variety:
The characters comprising this year’s SAG-nominated ensembles are based on either real people or memorable stage characters. So it’s safe to say casting directors had shoes of epic proportions to fill.
Rich Delia, who cast “Dallas Buyers Club” with Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee, says the fundamental challenge was finding actors who felt authentic. “When you’re playing people that are based on real people in such intense circumstances, you really want to cast people that have an understanding and a respect for that,” Delia says. “We really don’t want anyone to pull you out of the story.”
Similarly, “12 Years a Slave” — based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery — also tells a harrowing tale of historic significance. “When you have a story that means so much to so many people, it’s daunting,” says casting directing Francine Maisler.