How to Audition for Apple TV+

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Photo Source: Courtesy Apple TV+

A relatively late entry in the streaming wars, Apple TV+ is now a formidable challenger, with hit series like “The Morning Show” and “Severance”—not to mention its best picture–winning film “CODA.” With so much star power behind the tech giant’s fledgling platform—including A-listers like Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, and Tom Hanks—it’s no wonder actors of all experience levels are drawn to its diverse projects. But what does it take to audition for and land a part on an Apple TV+ project?

In this in-depth guide, we’ll outline what to expect from the streamer’s casting process, from how to impress the leading casting directors to the best audition tips from the platform’s top talent.

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How does the Apple TV+ casting process work?

Will Pullen and Hailee Steinfeld in 'Dickinson'Will Pullen and Hailee Steinfeld in “Dickinson” Courtesy Apple TV+

Because production companies employ their own casting directors, there’s no standard approach behind Apple TV+ auditions. So each project will vary based on its team’s vision for the project in question. For instance, Karen Pittman, who plays Mia Jordan on “The Morning Show,” told us that she got the role via self-tape and Skype. 

“I was one of those actors who made self-tapes. I’d send out thousands and thousands of self-tapes. This was one self-tape that ended up coming back,” she said. “My callback [for ‘The Morning Show’] was with [director and executive producer] Mimi Leder, [showrunner] Kerry Ehrin, and [executive producer] Michael Ellenberg, and it was a Skype callback. I’d never done that before. I was cast on this TV show without ever having sat in a room with the people who were creating and producing the show—but they knew my work. Michael knew me from ‘Disgraced’ [on Broadway]. He knows [playwright] Ayad Akhtar quite well. I certainly knew Mimi Leder from ‘The Leftovers,’ and I was very familiar with Kerry Ehrin from ‘Bates Motel.’ I felt super lucky and tried to bring my A-game on Skype, and that’s how I got cast in the part.”

When it came to casting “Ted Lasso,” on the other hand, CD Theo Park, co-creator and star Jason Sudeikis, and the show’s other creators worked together to develop an ensemble that could realistically portray a soccer team. “The boys on the team had to play football to a good standard, so we made them do little videos of their skills, which were really great,” Park told us. “Cristo Fernández, who plays Dani Rojas, had one of the best self-tapes I’ve ever seen in my life. His football skills are fantastic.”

Park also noted that, because many of the show’s actors have roots in comedy, she looked to the U.K. standup scene to find actors who could nail comedic timing and improvise with the best of them. “Just looking outside of people who already have agents is really good and really exciting,” she said.

Which Apple TV+ shows and movies are currently casting or filming?

Maya Rudolph in 'Loot'Maya Rudolph in “Loot” Courtesy Apple TV+

With tons of new projects on the horizon—“Sunny,” starring Rashida Jones; “Shrinking,” starring Jason Segel; and “Hijack,” starring Idris Elba, to name a few—Apple TV+ has something for everyone. To stay up-to-date on which series and movies are casting or filming, check out our in-depth guides on how to get cast on the platform’s latest projects:

Where to find Apple TV+ casting calls and auditions

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Killers of the Flower Moon'Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Killers of the Flower Moon” Courtesy Apple TV+

Apple TV+ projects often cast with us. Most recently, Roman Candle Casting turned to us for white male talent, aged 18–30, to play rock musicians and goth high schoolers on upcoming series “City on Fire.”

The platform’s need for both veterans and newcomers is continuing to grow. Recently, returning series “Truth Be Told” and “Physical” have added Gabrielle Union and Murray Bartlett, respectively. Meanwhile, new series “The White Darkness” has attached Tom Hiddleston, and “The Big Door Prize” has brought on Chris O’Dowd. 

If you want up-to-date information on Apple TV+ auditions, bookmark our main casting call page for opportunities.

Who are the top Apple TV+ casting directors, and how can you impress them?

Lauren Ambrose and Rupert Grint in 'Servant'Lauren Ambrose and Rupert Grint in “Servant” Courtesy Apple TV+

Apple TV+ might be relatively new on the scene, but its top casting directors have years of experience finding the talent that has made your favorite films and TV series must-see mainstays. Here are just some of the CDs leading the charge:

  • Victoria Thomas (“Insecure,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Straight Outta Compton”) cast “The Morning Show,” which stars Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, as well as “Shining Girls” and “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.”
  • Rachel Tenner (“Fargo,” “The Tender Bar,” “Maid”) put together the ensemble of “Severance,” plus the upcoming “High Desert.”
  • Theo Park (“Master of None,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”) cast the Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso.
  • Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein (“Yellowjackets,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “Six Feet Under”) cast “Truth Be Told,” starring Octavia Spencer, as well as “For All Mankind.”

What does it take to impress these CDs? For Tenner, actors who bring their own personality into auditions stand out from the crowd. She told us, “What makes it exciting to watch is when people come in with a real, specific point of view. Whether it’s the right point of view is one thing; but that’s why we’re there, right?”

She also told Daily Actor, “I always say that it’s great if an actor just comes in with a choice, you know? Just something really specific. And even if it’s not right, if it’s the wrong choice, obviously we can adjust. I just appreciate the specificity that people come in with, and I think that’s kind of what can elevate an audition from [just] seeing groups of actors.” 

For their part, Lowry-Johnson and Goldstein want actors to know that there are certain things they should avoid in the audition room. “There is a list of the do’s and don’ts for actors that I’m pretty sure everyone knows, so I am just going to remind everyone that in an emotional scene to remember that you do not have to cry…. If you can’t cry, then don’t. You only have to make the audience cry, and those are two different things,” Goldstein advised. Lowry-Johnson added, “Don’t be overly chatty or ask questions just for the sake of asking a question. Don’t give excuses as to why you are not prepared. Don’t come in a hostile state if you are not prepared or ready for the audition for any reason.”

Tips for auditioning for Apple TV+

Denzel Washington in 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,”  Courtesy Apple TV+

Do your homework

Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway, star of “WeCrashed,” told us that she’s “a big believer in preparation.” She said, “For me, it helps keep me steady. I think that performers always have doubts; performers always have fear and anxiety. And there’s nothing I can do about that; there’s nothing I can do about what my adrenal glands do other than breathe and try to motivate. But one of the ways I do keep myself steady is by knowing that I’ve done my homework. Even if you’re feeling insecure, just knowing that you’ve worked hard can pump some worth into a moment.”

Christopher Walken, who plays Burt on “Severance,” echoed the sentiment. “Acting is a bit like being an athlete. You spend all your time getting ready to do something for two minutes,” he told Casting Frontier. “All the things that made my career in the movies happen took two or three minutes, which is the time that it takes for a take. In that time, something happens. That’s what people know you for—just like someone running the 100 meters.”

Gain casting experience

For those wanting an inside look at how CDs approach auditions, Thomas suggests working in the field to understand what goes into the decision-making process. “When actors work in a casting office, they learn a lot and are surprised by being on the other side,” she explained. “They have a better sense of how to come into a room, or that when you’re coming into the room, we want you to be good; we’re not against you. They also have a better sense of why somebody gets picked over someone else, and that it doesn’t have to do with a bad audition. Actors are [often] surprised at what they learn from casting.”

Take chances

Pittman, who transitioned from stage to screen, knows it’s important to embrace any and all opportunities that come your way—even if they don’t seem that glamorous. “As far as breaking into TV is concerned, I would say: Say yes to every single opportunity,” she told us. “It doesn’t matter if it’s not the biggest guest star [role] or the biggest recurring role. Take all the opportunities you can to figure out what it feels like to have the experience of being on set, because that really is part of the technique of working in television: being able to focus and concentrate with a bunch of things going on around you.”

Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, who plays Harmony Cobel on “Severance,” notes that taking chances is a part of living life to its fullest; and ultimately, actors must learn that with pleasure comes pain. “This life has many facets; your work is one of them. Have fun with work,” she advised. “But be open to the joy of the birth of the creative spirit—and the pain! ’Cause you know what? I’ve had a child at home with no painkillers, and I’ll tell you: As beautiful as it is, it is ugly and bloody and painful, too. So, it’s alright. It’s a ride.”