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CASTING Qs: The Straight Scoop

is is an excerpt. For the full story, look in the Member's Area or in the Dec. 7--13 issue of Back Stage West.Meeting Hal Hundley comes with a warning: He's a real piece of work. He'll say so himself! A former actor and former agent who has spent most of his 50 years in the business directing major theatrical productions, Hundley sees casting as a lost art. He is attempting to revive this lost art through working on low-budget SAG films using "good, solid actors."From his history-filled "old Hollywood" office, Hundley expressed his desire to direct another musical and shared his sometimes unpopular opinions on how casting should be done. "I've been told, 'Oh, you're a bastard,' and my response is, 'You're right. I am!'" First Casting Job: Hundley's background as a theatre director gave him much experience in casting. He had a major voice in casting each of the plays he directed (36 musicals in eight years, to be exact). Isle of Lesbos, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, was the first feature film he cast. Since then, he's cast a dozen films, including Dumped, Eating L.A., and The Black Rose.Coolest Casting Gig: "I don't have a favorite project," Hundley said, noting that the coolest gig is always the one he's working on at the moment. "Then I go on to the next one."Key Things He Looks for in an Actor: "Professionalism," he summarized. "And I can't tell you how little I see it. Two thirds of the actors in Hollywood aren't ready yet." In fact, Hundley has taught a workshop titled "How Not to Piss Off the Casting Director." He doesn't agree with the idea of casting director workshops for which actors pay to audition. "This is a seminar on the biz," he insisted, and something every actor needs to learn. He also insists that an actor should always look nice and neat. "You could get an audition standing in line at the post office," he said. "I want to throw actors out when they come to an audition all grungy."He looks for that spark, that level of energy so many CDs describe. However, "Don't give me attitude," he added. "And don't let your agent be a pain in my ass."Hundley continued, "I look for theatre on a resume. If theatre's not on there, I wonder!" This is an excerpt. For the full story, look in the Member's Area or in the Dec. 7--13 issue of Back Stage Wes

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