How to Get Cast on a Show Like ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’

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Photo Source: Courtesy Marvel Studios

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five enters its final years, the Multiverse Saga still has plenty of ground to cover in its upcoming projects. One such series, in particular, is returning to a world established in Phase Four. “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries” is a new spinoff that has every Marvel fan on the edge of their seats. (The series was originally titled “Agatha: Coven of Chaos.”)

Following the success of Disney+ and Marvel’s “WandaVision,” MCU confirmed that Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness would get to shine in her own villainous spinoff. However, the new series has caused a lot of buzz since it was first announced in 2021. From title changes to production delays due to MCU’s schedule conflicts, it’s safe to say the spinoff is conjuring up a lot of questions. While plot details have been kept under wraps, we can provide insight into the casting process and updates on the series' new release date (and any other title names). So, for those interested in landing a role in an upcoming Marvel project, or if you’re just curious about the status of “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries,” this guide covers it all.

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What is ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’ about?

Fans of Marvel’s “WandaVision” know Agatha Harkness ended her reign of terror when she found herself trapped in Scarlet Witch’s spell. But as she breaks free in “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries,” the titular character finds she’s been stripped of her powers. Determined to return to her murderous ways, Agatha starts off on a journey to regain her powers while making some interesting, witchy friends along the way. The series is rumored to launch in the fall of 2024.

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Who is in the cast of ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’?

The cast of “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries” sees Hahn return as the titular role, which she originated on Marvel’s previous Disney+ hit “WandaVision.” She is joined by:

  • Patti LuPone as Lilia Calderu
  • Emma Caulfield Ford as Sarah Proctor/Dottie Jones
  • Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Hart
  • Brian Brightman as Sheriff Miller
  • David Lengel as Harold Proctor
  • Kate Forbes as Evanora Harkness

Ali Ahn, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Maria Dizzia are also slated to appear in as-of-yet undisclosed roles. Several actors are also rumored to play certain roles: Miles Gutierrez-Riley as Hulkling; Aubrey Plaza as Rio VidalIsabelle; Isabelle Fuhrman as Nicole Harkness; Joe Locke as Billy Kaplan; and Sasheer Zamata as Jennifer Kale.

Who is the casting director for ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’?

Keeping with Marvel tradition, “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries” was cast by none other than Sarah Halley Finn, the franchise’s go-to casting director. Finn began her Marvel journey with the first film of Phase One, 2008’s “Iron Man.” Since then, she’s cast for every film in the MCU as well as series such as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Loki.” And, of course, she also worked on “WandaVision,” where she first cast Hahn as Agatha.

Authenticity is key if you hope to stand out in Finn’s audition room. “There are many things, but I think overall the most important quality is that they honor their own authentic voice,” Finn said when asked what makes an actor memorable. “An actor should always follow their instincts and follow their impulses because as long as an actor is drawing on their own life experience and connecting with what’s real in them and bringing that to what’s real in the character, it’s going to be unique. It’s going to stand out. I think the most important thing is to bring their own original inspiration and creativity to anything they’re doing and to the role. That’s what makes them stand out. There’s really no way to try to guess what someone’s looking for or to try to figure out how to do it right. There’s no right. There’s only making it your own and bringing it to life.”

How does the casting process work for ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’?

As Finn told us, much of the Marvel casting process remains the same whether it’s film or television. “Centrally, it’s always the same job,” Finn said. “We’re always trying to focus on every single role, the role that we’re concentrating on at that time, to find the best possible actor. Having said that, there were challenges because the scope of these shows was so different, the pace at which we needed to work was so different, and just the volume of roles.”

However, as Finn noted, “ ‘WandaVision’ was…basically the first Marvel foray into sitcoms, so we were able to look at a wealth of amazing actors who were new to Marvel. Also, we had the fun of exposing people to a whole new material, property, story, and characters, from the ones that actors had been more familiar with.”

And this includes Hahn, who has historically taken on more comedic roles. Finn said casting Agatha was a challenge: “It was one we talked about a lot. I’d also known Kathryn’s work for a very long time and I’m a huge fan of hers. To find somebody who has not only the comedic ability to pull off pink spandex and sort of time travel through all of these different eras, but then have the dramatic turns and the weight to pull off the twists and the turns and take us through the story and the darker aspects of it, really, she was perfect. We were so excited that she was willing to come in and join the cast.”

As Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said, casting Hahn seemingly happened very quickly. “It was a rare general meeting, which we don’t usually have a lot of time to do, but Kathryn came in and sat down with [co-president] Louis D’Esposito,” he said. “She was a fan of what we were up to and we’re fans of hers. At exactly that same time, we were sitting in that writer’s room trying to think of who to play [Agatha]. It probably took five seconds for somebody to say, ‘Wait, what about Kathryn? She was in yesterday.’ We don’t usually cast like that. It’s not usually like, ‘Who came in the other day? Let’s cast them.’ It’s almost never like that, as a matter of fact, but it’s usually never as perfect as this.”

Hahn was more than excited to join the MCU. “[Playing Agatha] was really out of left field. It was just so ambitious, so fun, and so not what I thought when I thought of Marvel in such an awesome way—that there were so many women at the helm, that it was a superhero story about grief, and there was a witch. I mean, it was all of it!” Hahn said. “I had just done this chapter of playing pretty complicated, vulnerable, kind of messy women. There was something about rage that I was excited about tapping into. So this [role] kind of checked all those boxes for me.”

Where can you find Marvel or other superhero casting calls and auditions?

While “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries” has been classified as a limited series, much like “WandaVision,” the show will essentially serve as a second season to its predecessor. As Rupp, who’ll reprise her role as Mrs. Hart in this new series, told Berkshire Magazine, “It’s the second season of ‘WandaVision’ for Marvel. It’s very much like ‘American Horror Story,’ where each season is a whole new kind of a thing.” Thus, while there does not yet appear to be another “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries” season in the works, it might ultimately come to be under a different name.

While no casting calls or auditions are currently available for “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries,” we recommend checking out our roundup of superhero gigs that are casting now. Bookmark our guide on how to get cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for in-depth insight into the process. You may also want to sign with an agent if you have not already, as most MCU auditions are not made public and require inside intel to get your foot in the door.

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What are the best audition tips for landing a role on a show such as ‘Agatha: Darkhold Diaries’?

Embrace the chaos: As Hahn explained, the entertainment industry is inherently uncertain and chaotic. Thus, actors must persist if they hope to achieve their goals. “It’s all bananas; it’s all just luck of the draw. I have a lot of heartbreak under my belt, but I have a lot of gratitude under my belt,” she said. “I read this thing about life being a Ferris wheel. The top of the Ferris wheel could be at any moment, and then it’s always gonna go down. You never know where that basket is going to be. You never know what is going to be at the top. You have to be in a place of gratitude all the time because there could be a high coming, and the high could leave at any second. You just don’t know. Getting into this business, especially as an actor, I didn’t really start doing the work that I love doing until I was in my mid-30s…. If it is in your DNA, if it’s just in who you are, then you will just know, and you’ll just keep going.”

Honor your talent: A legend of both stage and screen, LuPone has decades of experience to draw from, so it’s no wonder she wants actors of all levels to know that “the universe is unfolding, and everything is as it should be.” As she told us, you must know yourself, you must acknowledge your talent, in order to convey your confidence. “You have to know why you’re doing it,” LuPone noted. “The reason you are onstage—it has to be that you’re honoring your talent. You have to acknowledge you have it; you have to protect it. If you know yourself, you can be confident. It’s not arrogance to know yourself. Arrogance is fear. It has to be: ‘This is what I need in order to give you everything I have to the best of my abilities.’ But you have to know what that is.”

Preserve your energy: For years, Zamata spread herself thin, saying yes to every opportunity that came her way. With that fatigue in mind, she wants her younger self and other young actors to know that it’s OK to relax and only take on projects that further your career goals. “You know what? You can just focus on the things that really excite you as opposed to stretching yourself thin and doing all these things for other people,” Zamata told us. “I would do shows or videos because I was like, ‘I’m supposed to be busy! Right? I’m supposed to take all the yeses!’ And sometimes, you’re supposed to say yes, of course; you’re supposed to say yes [to] all the opportunities. But also, ‘no’ is a really important word, and knowing when to take care of yourself and preserve your energy and just be picky with what you want and need in your career.”

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