When you make movies about people, an eye for casting becomes an auteurist stamp. Richard Linklater knows his characters so well – their personalities, their movements, their sounds – that by the time he inserts actors into each part, the choices feel like absolutes. Take the “Before” series. It”s a war crime to fantasy cast alternatives for Celine and Jesse. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are too perfect. Just try. Nope. Not the same movie. Can”t do it. Impossible.
In a testament to Linklater”s knack for spotting talent, the Casting Society of America will present two-time Academy Award-nominee with their Career Achievement Award at the 30th Annual Artios Awards.
“Richard is a filmmaker whose work is both current and timeless. With BOYHOOD, he worked with casting director Beth Sepko to make casting choices, which sustained the film”s emotional truth over the 12 years it took to shoot. It demonstrates the power of making the artistically authentic choice and highlights how much can be achieved with quality casting. His career is full of such work,” Richard Hicks, President of the Casting Society of America, said in a statement. “It”s a special year for the Artios, our 30th, and it required an extraordinary honoree. We are thrilled to salute him.”
Let”s take a moment to admire some of Linklater”s casting choices: Everyone in “Dazed and Confused,” Robert Sean Leonard in “Tape,” the kids of “Bad News Bears” and “School of Rock” (including a young Miranda Cosgrove – good eye Rick), Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson in “A Scanner Darkly,” Christian McKay as Orson Welles in “Me and Orson Welles,” Jack Black in “Bernie,” and the entire “Boyhood” ensemble, who managed to be pitch perfect for 12 years of filming. A worthwhile prompt for this specific award.
The director will be honored alongside the previously announced New York Apple Award recipient, “Into the Woods” director Rob Marshall and Hoyt Bowers Award recipient, Emmy Award-winning casting director Ellen Lewis. The press release notes that the Career Achievement Award was last awarded in 2013 to then President, now Chairman, of CBS Entertainment, Nina Tassler.
Linklater's work on “Boyhood” makes him a likely Best Director candidate, but he didn't waste time basking in the glow of awards season. He's already hard at work on his follow-up, his spiritual sequel to “Dazed and Confused,” “That's What I'm Talking About,” which is currently in production with the perfect cast, if we had to guess.
The 30th Annual Artios Awards taking place Jan. 22, 2015.