With original programming such as “Louie,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” FX president John Landgraf is redefining the limits of basic cable. Giving more creative control to the actors, writers, and filmmakers who work with the network has been a big part of his success.
What is your approach to working with actors?
I like actors. I’m married to an actor. An actor forced to work to the limits of his or her craft by a part that’s really challenging often results in the most spectacular performances. We’re inherently in the business of taking risks and trying to do things that are new, with actors who are willing to reinvent themselves and take big risks.
Does FX have one person in charge of casting?
We do hire independent casting directors, but we don’t have any executives who work for the company who are in casting. We really consider it to be job one for programming executives as well as for the writers and directors who work with us. We try to make it as personal as possible because you don’t want to cast people who are good at auditioning—you want to cast people who are good at acting.
Why do you believe in giving artists at FX such creative freedom?
If you have really good writing, good storytelling, and good direction, and you can create an environment where people are encouraged to do their best, you’re going to find incredible ability and talent in the most obscure places.