How to Get Cast in an A24 Movie

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Photo Source: Christopher Moss/Gabor Kotschy/A24

Founded in 2012 by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges, A24 originally specialized in film distribution; now it stands as one of the foremost independent production companies in the industry. In 2022, A24’s sci-fi feature “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and its drama “The Whale” swept awards season. And with top-notch talent in every project—such as Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White, who will star in Sean Durkin’s highly anticipated sports biopic “The Iron Claw”—there’s no denying that A24 has earned its stellar reputation.

Hoping to one day land a role with this buzzy production team? We’re here to help. In this guide, you’ll learn what to expect during the casting process, how to impress A24’s leading casting directors, and the best audition tips from the company’s biggest stars.


What are some of A24’s biggest movies?

A24 has cornered the independent film market, bringing an array of titles to the masses, including:

  • “The Iron Claw” (2023)
  • “Priscilla” (2023)
  • “Past Lives” (2023)
  • “Talk to Me” (2023)
  • “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (2022)
  • “The Whale” (2022)
  • “Midsommar” (2019)
  • “Uncut Gems” (2019)
  • “Hereditary” (2018)
  • “It Comes at Night” (2017)
  • “Lady Bird” (2017)
  • “The Florida Project” (2017)
  • “Moonlight” (2016)
  • “Dark Places” (2015) 
  • “Room” (2015) 
  • “A Most Violent Year” (2014)
  • “Obvious Child” (2014)
  • “The Bling Ring” (2013)
  • “The Spectacular Now” (2013)
  • “Spring Breakers” (2012)
  • “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” (2012)

How does the A24 casting process work?

Though A24 has produced and distributed dozens of movies since its inception, there’s no standard approach to its casting. The process varies from project to project. However, insight into how the company’s top teams have created memorable casts over the years can provide a great basis for what you can expect during your experience.

Jennifer Venditti, who served as casting director on Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie’s “Uncut Gems,” said constructing the perfect ensemble meant learning about the world in which the film was set. “My team and I go and meet some of the people in [that] world. In this instance, it was meeting people in the Diamond District and getting a sense of who they are, what they’re about, and what their extended life is about beyond work,” she told us. “We went to some of their homes and met their extended family. And then we spent time on the block to see what the world we’re depicting is about so that we can understand it.”

Through this process, Venditti developed a cast that was equal parts established actors and street talent. “When we’re street scouting, we’re looking for someone who has a cinematic quality; you want to look at them, and after you talk to them, there’s something they give off that this character would have. You see them being able to bring that to fruition in a scene,” she explained. “We’re not looking for someone to be something other than who they are. We’re looking to bring out what we see in them. The first thing that attracts me to them is the visual. We might find a lot of amazing character-looking people, but they can’t bring the performance. We have to see how they talk, if they’re comfortable with themselves, and how they tell stories. You still never know until you get them in the room.”

For the biopic “Priscilla,” Sofia Coppola revealed she cast Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley (née Wagner) thanks to Kirsten Dunst’s high praise. As Coppola’s frequent collaborator and friend, Dunst recommended the young star after the two worked together on Alex Garland’s upcoming movie “Civil War.” “Kirsten is like a sister to me, and when she recommended Cailee, I paid attention,” the director told W Magazine. Coppola invited Spaeny out for breakfast in New York City and offered her the role.

“Sofia pulled out her iPad and showed me some photos of Priscilla,” Spaeny told the outlet. “She said, ‘I think you could do it!’ I felt like Kirsten had passed the torch to me.” Spaeny also told us she found filming “Priscilla” without auditioning to be “slightly terrifying.” “I’m like, ‘You haven’t seen me try to do it.’ But [Coppola] had faith in me from beginning to end, which obviously made a huge difference,” she said.


Where can you find A24 casting calls and auditions?

A24 is currently casting extras for an upcoming feature. The film’s production is seeking background actors, aged 18 and older, to play cult members. A24 also cast with us for extras in “The Iron Claw.” 

Actors can check out our roundup of similar feature film gigs that are casting now. You might also want to bookmark our main casting page for the latest A24 auditions. However, having an agent remains the best way to get inside an audition room as agents have their finger on the pulse of the industry. If you don’t have representation yet, here’s how you can find an agent.

Along with our resources, you should keep a close eye on the production company’s website, as it issues casting calls on its own. For example, in 2022, A24 sought extras for the third installment of Ti West’s “X” franchise, “MaXXXine.” Hopefuls were invited to reenact the “final standoff between Pearl and Maxine” in a provided clip. (Yes, actors had to play both roles, just like Mia Goth.) With the audition in hand, actors were then required to post the video to TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram using the #XCastingCall hashtag—an innovative approach to casting. 


Who are the top A24 casting directors?

  • Susan Shopmaker (“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Enchanted”) cast “The Iron Claw.”
  • Laray Mayfield (“The Social Network,” “Gone Girl”) cast “Spring Breakers.”
  • Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu (“Looper”) of Betty Mae Casting served as CDs for “The Whale.”

For those who wish to learn what goes on behind the scenes when casting, Shopmaker’s advice is “to get an internship or try to be a reader for a casting person, because you get a sense of the pressure that’s on casting people.” As she explained, “Sometimes, casting directors are doing two or three jobs at once; there are a lot of moving pieces, and we’re trying to put pieces into a puzzle or paint a picture. There are a million metaphors for it. It would be nice if actors understood that we’re painters. There is a process.”

Mayfield, on the other hand, recommends young actors do all they can to learn their craft. “If somebody really wants to be an actor, they should take acting classes,” she said. “They should go to school for it. If you’re a young person who is interested in it, you should perform in school plays or musicals. It’s a training. It’s like dancing; it’s like painting; it’s like playing football; it’s like playing guitar. You don’t just decide one day you’re going to be an actor, and then you just start auditioning. The more training you have, the more background you have, the more you know about acting, the more likely your auditioning is going to be successful.”

The Iron Claw

The best tips for auditioning for an A24 film

Treat every moment as a learning opportunity: Bree Elrod, who starred in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket,” always struggled with doubt, as actors often do. But the late Alan Rickman (“Harry Potter,” “Die Hard”) taught Elrod to perceive her frustrations as opportunities, telling her, “ ‘Bree, don’t you know how lucky you are? The roles you do book, the people who do get you—it will be worth it.’ ” And she has since used these words to fuel her career.

Elrod said she channeled her life experiences—“the pain, the heartache, and the joy”—to bring her character in “Red Rocket” to life, further confirming Rickman’s theory. “As you grow as a person and artist, you will become more aware of who you are in this world and in this business, and it won’t be neatly defined,” she said. “It most likely will be messy, and that’s awesome. Time will lead you to the people who ‘get you.’ Until then, you have to shine bright on your own.” That includes putting your talent on display despite the risk of failure.

Focus on doing your best at all times: Florence Pugh, who starred in Ari Aster’s “Midsommar,” is a critical darling, but before hitting it big in Hollywood, she endured the anxiety that often comes with the casting process. However, she learned even failed auditions can set you up for success, as being wrong for one role isn’t an indicator of your overall talent.

“The more you [audition], the more you realize it’s not the end of the world. If you can impress someone, it doesn’t need to be for that project,” Pugh told us. “As long as you’re impressing them in the way that you work and the way that you perform, then ultimately something will come around, either from them or someone they’ve spoken to. For a long time, I would get really depressed about the fact that I didn’t get that role, or I didn’t hear anything back from that project. But most of the time, if you do a good job, it’s going to come back around and meet you somewhere else. And that was a nice thing to realize: It will matter if you’ve done a good job.”

Don’t forget to live your life: For Steven Yeun, acting has come with a lot of responsibility. As an Asian American, Yeun felt he needed to represent the Korean experience, but that ultimately ended up hindering his ability to convey the given story. “I spent most of my early career trying to pick at the process [in] a very literal way,” Yeun told us. “But while I was busy doing that, I was never getting to the intrinsic feeling of why this person exists and who they are in an intangible way. So when I look back at a lot of my early work, I cringe—because I feel like I’m missing something, like I’m performing a vision or idea from a third party of who I think I’m playing.”

It wasn’t until he landed his role in Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” that Yeun realized giving himself to one character can convey a truth that, while representative of one individual, can transcend the immigrant experience. “I’m just in service of this singular character, of the truth and the honesty of this one person,” he added. “If I can access [it] through that person, it will do the rest of the work for itself.” From this, Yeun derived his best piece of advice: “I wish I’d known that the journey continues to be the most interesting part of all of it,” he said. “The life you live really gets to inform the work that you create—not has to, but gets to. Don’t forget to live a life.”

“The Iron Claw” Credit: Eric Chakeen, “Priscilla” Credit: Sabrina Lantos, “X” Credit: Christopher Moss

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