“It doesn’t have to be Broadway. It can be some little old dive theater in East Village or in Brooklyn” – Louie Casting Director Gayle Keller on finding actors
Casting director Gayle Keller — who is nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series for her casting of Louie — has been working in casting since the 1990s, but working on comedian Louie C.K.‘s FX series has been a career highlight. In an interview with Deadline, she spoke about casting C.K.’s unique series and how it differs from casting other television series.
Keller reveals that she travels all over New York in order to look for talent. She says, “And it doesn’t have to be Broadway. It can be some little old dive theater in East Village or in Brooklyn.” Her connections in the theater industry helped when she was casting for the Season 5 episode “Sleepover,” which features Louie taking his daughters to a Broadway play. Keller recalls, “Louie said, ‘I really want the top Broadway actors. I want to try and get them.'” The episode ended up featuring Michael Cera, John Lithgow, Glenn Close and Matthew Broderick.
One of the aspects of Louie that Keller enjoys is that because C.K. has full creative control of the series, she works directly with him on casting choices and not with the network. She explains, “That’s kind of a rare situation. It’s more like a movie in a way, where the director is the person making the decisions about cast. It’s just such a small show because our crew is so small, it feels very intimate—that you’re really creating something all together.”
Of all the actors she has cast on the show, Keller is most proud of casting Hadley Delany and Ursula Parker, who play Louie’s daughters. She says, “I think they turned out really well because when we cast the little one she was not even six years old. If you cast them so young, you think, ‘Are they really going to be good?’ To see them develop as young actresses and see how good they were and they’ve become, I’m very proud of that.”