On casting

Any actor can act any role. This is one of my self-made wisdoms. A princess can be played by a stockily-build. A Auli Mhero can be weak. It all comes down to one question: what kind of a princess will we see if the role is played by a thick-set person?

Looking at an actor I try to see the content he is bringing into the part. I am looking for the automatic – something he is carrying within him whether he wants it or not. What is it that she has, that can no longer be put into words? How does this unspoken communicate with the part I thought she could play?

When a director thinks like this, she obviously thinks nothing but the content of the film. And that´s how it´s always been for me. The things outside the film – their looks, their marketability, their private life –is left out. Facts printed on paper disappear, the zeitgeist vanishes, but the film will remain the way that it’s made. Whether it is watched or not, it will remain as a proof of the people that were moving in front of the camera during shooting. All films – ever fictional – are documentaries of the moment when the camera was running.

That’s why I consider casting so important. An actor brings in all what is humane in him, something he can not change even though he’d want to. And therefore: when I choose an actor to play a part, I make a choice that has nothing to do with acting and all to do with humanity. An actor mirrors my conception of what I consider humane. An actor reminds us who we are, and who we think is worthy today.


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