How to Get Cast on Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’

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Photo Source: Ed Miller/Netflix

Space-set science fiction and the ever-looming possibility of an apocalypse are major TV trends right now, and Netflix’s latest much-hyped project, “3 Body Problem,” proves these storylines aren’t going away anytime soon. Based on Chinese writer Liu Cixin’s award-winning book trilogy—“The Three-Body Problem,” “The Dark Forest,” and “Death’s End,” the new series premieres on March 21 and is bound to be another binge-worthy hit for the streamer. 

Want to learn how a Netflix sci-fi project gets cast? In this guide, we’ll explore all you need to know about the “3 Body Problem” casting process, including what its CDs are looking for during an audition and advice for those who make it into the room.

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What is “3 Body Problem” about?

Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” spans decades as scientists work to protect humanity from an alien threat across space and time. After an astrophysicist makes an irrevocable decision in response to the Cultural Revolution in 1960s China, a group of her modern-day counterparts must race to save the world from the consequences of her actions.

Who is in the cast of “3 Body Problem”?

Season 1 of “3 Body Problem” features:

  • Marlo Kelly as Tatiana
  • Saamer Usmani as Raj Varma
  • Jess Hong as Jin Cheng
  • Jovan Adepo as Saul Durand
  • Rosalind Chao as Ye Wenjie
  • Sea Shimooka as Sophon
  • John Bradley as Jack Rooney
  • Eiza González as Auggie Salazar
  • Benedict Wong as Da Shi
  • Liam Cunningham as Thomas Wade
  • Alex Sharp as Will Downing
  • Avital Lvova as Ramanujan
  • Jason Forbes as Omar Khayyam
  • Jonathan Pryce as Mike Evans
  • Russell Yuen as Emperor Zhou

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Who is the casting director for “3 Body Problem”?

Nina Gold and Robert Sterne of Nina Gold Casting served as CDs on Season 1 of “3 Body Problem.” As casting directors on hits like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” Gold and Sterne have cast countless roles for today’s hottest shows. Thus, they know how tough the pressure can be—so only go into acting if you can handle the heat. “Only become an actor if you absolutely have to because it’s pretty difficult to do,” Gold said. “You have to get ready to put up with a lot. There must be incredible highs but also lots of disappointments and rejections, and learning to accept that is part of the whole of the job.”

And if you so choose, make sure to remind yourself that rejection typically isn’t a personal attack against your talent or promise. “If [actors] don’t get the part, it’s [rarely] because they did something terrible or wrong or they were bad. It’s normally not that. It’s just such a delicate, hard-to-define thing that makes one person more right than the other nine people,” she added. “There are certain factors about the way that the part and the actor are right for each other.… The fact that you didn’t get the part is not because you’re not talented or great, it’s because there was someone else that was more of a perfect fit.… Each situation really is unique.”

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How does the casting process work for “3 Body Problem”?

When finding new talent, Gold looks to live theater and drama schools. “I go to the theater a lot and I see people in mainstream theater as well as weird small-scale fringe theater. I also go to drama schools and shows by drama groups a lot as well,” she said. “I’m looking in all sort[s] of different places for people, trying to see people actually doing some acting.”

But when it comes time to stand before her in the audition room, actors will take comfort in knowing that she creates a welcoming environment where anything goes. “I guess it’s a kind of safe space to try stuff out, so, theoretically, everything is fine really. As long as everybody is respecting each other, it’s the time to try different things out,” she explained.

Of course, that relaxed approach could be due, in part, to the fact that her casting partner, Robert Sterne, was once a performer himself, so he’s experienced the audition process from both sides of the table. But how does he apply his history to the casting process now? 

“You’ve got to be open to whatever the actor wants to bring in. The whole process of auditioning, there’s no relation to when you’re actually doing the job,” he shared. “When you’re doing the job, you’ve had your preparation, you’re doing it with an actor, it’s so much to do with what happens between people, and the chemistry you get from the other actor coming back at you kind of informs what decisions you make. You’re going into a completely false environment where you’ve got a camera pointing straight at you, you haven’t got another actor opposite you, and you’re kind of under a microscope.

“You have to do it, it’s part of the process, but it doesn’t bear much relation to what acting is about at its finest and free,” he continued. “I try and be as open as possible. At the same time, you’ve got to feel that they’re going to be brave in terms of offering up something that you have to accept and respond in kind. It’s about facilitating people to do what they need to do in that situation. I think having been on the other side of it really does help that. I just know what they’re going through.”

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Where can you find “3 Body Problem” casting calls and auditions?

Currently, there are no open casting calls or auditions available for the next season of “3 Body Problem.” In the meantime check out our roundup of Netflix gigs that are casting right now and bookmark our main page of Netflix casting calls for the latest openings. Also, explore our guide on how to audition for Netflix so you’re prepped and ready when opportunity comes knocking.

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What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “3 Body Problem”?

Take chances: Cunningham didn’t enter his adult years knowing he would become an actor. As he wrote for SCMP, Cunningham moved to Zimbabwe at 22 and worked with high-voltage electricity during his four years in Africa. Finding himself bored upon his return home, he found an acting school ad in the back of a newspaper. But instead of simply finding a hobby, Cunningham found his passion. And now he refuses to proceed with caution. 

“You know the old saying, ‘There’s no man lying on his deathbed saying, “I should have spent more time in the office”’? I try and live by that,” he wrote. “I’ve found that the older I get, the more spontaneous I become. I don’t want to look three, four, five years down the line and go, “Why the hell did I say no to that?… I’m trying to wring the neck out of life. We’re here once, there ain’t a rehearsal. I’m not going on to do other things, I’m doing other things now.”

Embrace who you are: González has already made her mark on the American film and TV industry, but as a Latina who began her career in telenovelas, she knows how hard it can be to transition from one market to the other. For others who are looking to do the same, González wants them to know it will take patience and persistence—but it’s worth the effort.

“[Latinas abroad should] really embrace who they are. What I feel has been working for me right now is just the fact that I embrace who I am. I embrace my culture and where I come from,” González said. “You have to be very patient and very positive and never lose your hope. It's hard. I know a lot of people who just bail on their careers. If you really analyze it, there are so many people in the world, and only a couple make it as actors. You just have to focus on the positive.” Instead of trying to be what you think CDs want, show them what only you can bring to the table. 

“I went through a phase where, when I got here, I was terrified of auditioning in English because I always thought I wasn’t good enough,” Gonzalez explained. “My insecurity of coming from soap operas was predominant, so I was like, ‘How can I blend myself into being that version of what America thinks that I could be?’ When I started gaining more confidence I was like, ‘I’m going to do something weird.’ When I auditioned for ‘Baby Driver,’ my audition was off. I was chewing gum the whole time, playing with my shoe, and I wasn’t paying attention to the other actor at all. I realized if I approach auditioning like an opportunity to act, then I can play with it and approach it with curiosity.”

Ignore the naysayers: Like Cunningham, Pryce hadn’t planned on becoming an actor at first, but in the years since discovering his passion, the once-aspiring art teacher learned tuning out negative feedback might just be the greatest weapon an actor can wield in the battle for success. “I think that’s the only advice I can give: Get rid of the naysayers around you,” Pryce noted. “Don’t just listen to people who say you’re good, but learn from that negative energy and turn it into positive energy.”

But when it comes to offering his younger self advice, Pryce added that he would never want to get in his own way. “I think any good advice, any sound advice would mean I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you now,” Pryce told us. “I would have said, “Work harder at school. Do your exams.” If I’d done that, I wouldn’t be here. So…stay naughty!”

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