Clay Pecorin and Justin Zackham on Casting 'The Big Wedding'

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Photo Source: Shiloh Strong

How did you go about casting this ensemble comedy?
Clay Pecorin
: The way we put together a film is based on a foreign sales model, so to some degree, you need to have names in the film to offset risk. It just so happened that Justin was able to get not only famous people but very talented people.

Justin Zackham: We were under schedule and under budget on this film, not because I’m so good but because of this cast. I think I averaged two-and-a-half takes for the whole thing because they’re that good.

Pecorin: We were also under budget because De Niro signed a bunch of “Raging Bull” posters I could auction on eBay.

What advice do you have for auditioning actors?
Zackham: Go and volunteer to read for a casting director. Be the person reading the script with other actors, because you can tell the difference just by the way someone walks in the room. It’s all about confidence and knowing that your confidence affects the people in the room.

How have you managed to stay friends while also being business partners?
Pecorin: We made a conscious decision at the beginning that our friendship would always come first, and it always does. We get in fights like any business partners do, but five seconds later, we’ll have a beer and a laugh about it.

Zackham: We’re incredibly lucky to have complementary skill sets and the same point of view on the world and what’s important to us. We’ve known each other for so long that there is no business problem that is ever going to mean more to us than the fact that we’re family.

Best friends since high school, Clay Pecorin (left) and Justin Zackham run Two Ton Films, jokingly named after their waistlines. Together they produced “The Big Wedding,” which was written and directed by Zackham and stars Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton.

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