How to Get Cast on a Show Like ‘The Regime’

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Photo Source: Miya Mizuno/HBO

From “Succession” to “The Last of Us to “The White Lotus,” HBO produces consistently high-quality, award-worthy programming. The A-list cast of HBO’s new limited-series political satire “The Regime” promises to deliver another binge-friendly series.

But what does it take to land a role on a show of this nature? In this guide, we will examine what goes into casting a limited series like “The Regime,” including insights from the show’s casting director and advice from its talented cast.


What is “The Regime” about?

Set in a fictional European country, HBO’s “The Regime” follows an authoritarian government on the brink of collapse. The six-episode limited series takes a peek behind the palace walls to showcase the life of its dictator as her reign begins to crumble.

Who is in the cast of “The Regime”?

“The Regime” boasts an all-star cast, including:

  • Kate Winslet as Chancellor Elena Vernham
  • Matthias Schoenaerts as Colonel Herbert Zubak
  • Guillaume Gallienne as the chancellor’s husband
  • Andrea Riseborough as the palace manager
  • Martha Plimpton as the U.S. Secretary of State
  • Hugh Grant as the leader of the opposition

Kate Winslet

Who is the casting director for “The Regime”?

Leo Davis and Lissy Holm (“Three Pines,” “State of the Union”) of Just Casting are the primary casting directors behind “The Regime.”

Holm loves bringing people together and “putting together a sort of jigsaw puzzle of talent [and] trying to work your way through a bit of a maze, really, at the beginning,” Holm told Hello Actors. “At the end of it, you come up with something that works for everybody.”

The Regime

How did the casting process work for “The Regime”?

Holm frequently finds actors by going to the theater or visiting drama schools in the UK while also tapping into lists created during prior auditions. “We tend to just pull actors from plays that we’ve seen, from films that we’ve seen, from television—and it’s a case of trying to find the person who best fits the description [and] best fits what the director requires,” she explained.

If you find yourself in Holm’s audition room, be sure you’ve done your homework. 

“Learn your lines!” Holm emphasized. “If you are sent a text, the more you can learn it, the more you can familiarize yourself with those words, the more confident you will be in the audition. In a way, we don’t need the most perfect performance. If you stumble on the words a little, that’s not a problem. Just try to be in that character as much as possible, and if you have the words in your head, and you’re not having to constantly refer to them on the page, then it’s certainly a big help.”

Holm says it’s her job as a casting director to make actors feel as relaxed and at ease as possible to get the best performance from each person who walks through her door. Holm understands that most people come into an audition with nerves, so she recommends doing whatever you must to calm your jitters. She’s there to help, too: “We want the actor to do well,” Holm said. “We don’t want the actor to come in and do a bad audition. We’re there to try and help, and that’s an important thing for them to remember. We’re on their side.”

Martha Plimpton

Where can you find casting calls for similar series?

You can find the latest HBO casting calls here, and our comprehensive guide on how to audition for Max covers what goes into casting a variety of the network and its streamer’s hottest titles. For those looking for other HBO shows that are in production, check out these guides:

You can also check out these advice articles for HBO shows that have ended:

Andrea Riseborough

What are the best audition tips for landing a role in an HBO or Max limited series?

Never take success for granted: Although Winslet has enjoyed decades of success—she has not had to audition since starring in “Titanic” in 1997—the “Mare of Easttown” star gives each role her all. As Winslet’s dad, Robert, taught her at a young age, “You’re only as good as your last gig, babe,” she told us, noting it was “a great thing to have been told, because it means, ‘All right, that one’s done. On to the next.’”

She added, “I’ve still got to do the same amount of work. I never take it for granted. I’d never just ‘show up.’ God, the idea of that makes me feel slightly nauseous—I would never just wing it. It’s a terrible thought to even contemplate! Because you can never rest on your laurels. Never expect that the world owes you anything. You have to go out there and get it and make the most of the opportunities that come your way, and that’s what I’ve always tried to do.”

She advises up-and-coming actors not to “get caught in thinking that you’re supposed to be a certain way or do a certain thing or have prepared a certain amount.” Bringing your A game in everything you do will lay the foundation for continued success.

Trust yourself: After having starred in HBO’s “The Undoing,” Grant’s return to the network marks a renewed era in his career. Though Grant is regarded as a leading man throughout Hollywood, the charmer wasn’t always as confident as his onscreen personas. “I was so bad and so self-conscious, and I had no idea what was happening,” he told us.

Despite his awkward start, Grant established an approach that’s helped him break this cycle. “It’s a combination of technique and inspiration,” he said. “I probably sound very contradictory because I talk about intense preparation but I also talk about not being pre-rehearsed. … A ballet dancer, they are rehearsed to death, but they would say when they’re out there, they’re just listening to the music and trying to be as free as possible.”

Ultimately, Grant added, you must act with conviction. “On film, you have to mean it. Trust yourself to find it fresh. Listen to the other actor. Think a thought. Let the line play off that thought,” he explained. 

Make learning fun: For Plimpton, acting remains a constant learning experience. “I absolutely learned on the job. I learned from working with lots of different kinds of people and lots of different styles of filmmaker and styles of actor,” she said. “And I’m still learning.”

Despite her eager attitude, however, Plimpton noted that the industry isn’t always kind. “It’s the ebb and flow of this business. It’s a toughie sometimes, and it can do a number on your ego,” she added. “But if you can, just try not to take it personally, and remember that you love what you do, and it brings you joy, and you have fun doing it. There are all kinds of jobs we could be doing that are no fun at all, right? And we’re lucky enough to be doing this crazy thing where we wear wigs, and we dress in other people’s clothes, and we talk funny—and we get paid for it.”

Plimpton simply wants her fellow actors to love what they do. “Enjoy yourself. There were times when I took myself way too seriously. I took everything really seriously—and that’s normal. That’s a natural phase to go through,” she said, acknowledging that actors can find levity and life lessons at every stage. “I wouldn’t want anyone to deny themselves that period of total arrogance, because you learn a lot when you get knocked down.