For its rich culture, music traditions and cuisine, many seek out New Orleans as a travel destination. But the Crescent City is also a sought-out filming location with claims to an impressive list of high-profile projects, including Green Book and 12 Years a Slave. Besides these Oscar-winners, a number of upcoming projects will soon call New Orleans their production home. Given its long history as a production hub, the city is home to a flourishing community of casting directors. We’ll take a look at some of the top casting names to know there as well as their upcoming projects in this latest installment of our Production Hubs series.
Meagan Lewis is the casting director behind the company, and her name may as well be synonymous with “Oscar.” Lewis has been on the casting teams for both Green Book and 12 Years a Slave, respectively the 2019 and 2014 Best Picture winners. Both filmed in New Orleans as did another project she helped cast, the 2016 Best Picture nominee The Big Short. Lewis’s casting credits on Oscar-nominated theatrical features are as impressive as her track record casting for TV. She’s helped cast multiple seasons of NCIS: New Orleans, which shoots in the city as well as previous seasons of the award-winning HBO show True Detective. As the recipient of five Artios awards and an Emmy, the casting director is an oft-honored fixture of the city’s casting scene.
Her success makes her highly sought-after as Lewis is on the casting teams for a string of upcoming features including Greyhound, Irresistible, The Banker, Breaking News in Yuba County, The Glorias, Fonzo and the new HBO series Watchmen, which stars Oscar winners Regina King and Louis Gossett Jr.
Actors interested in connecting with Lewis can request to join the RPM Casting group on Facebook. Lewis posts tips and notes there that can help actors in their careers. And while the casting director keeps her Instagram page set to private, dog-loving actors can find some common ground in her bio, where she cites her soft spot for canines.
Elizabeth Coulon runs the show here, and with an impressive list of credits of her own, she is definitely a casting luminary to know. Coulon did location casting for films like Get Out, Logan and Girls Trip. And recently she helped cast two Netflix films, The Perfect Date and Tall Girl, which were both shot in New Orleans. Coulon has a string of new projects to keep on your radar as well. One is the upcoming feature Think Like a Dog, which she cast with Eyde Belasco. The family dramedy was filmed in New Orleans and will feature a star-studded cast that includes Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and Kunal Nayyar. In the works at Coulson Casting is Craftique, the comedy feature currently in development and with Danny Trejo attached. Many cities near New Orleans are listed as its filming locations.
To learn more, check out the Coulon Casting site, which shares the company’s impressive claim of being in the business for more than 15 years. Actors can also connect on Instagram where you’ll find the company active as @couloncasting.
The Casting Office
Tracy Kilpatrick and Blair Foster are listed as casting director and casting associate respectively on The Casting Office’s IMDbPro page. They have a long list of shared film credits that include Jacob’s Ladder, An Actor Prepares and Billionaire Boys Club. The latter filmed in New Orleans as did another of their shared credits, Sundance TV’s Hap and Leonard. Kilpatrick also has 2014 Best Picture nominee Dallas Buyers Club listed under her name, a project for which she and the rest of the casting team won an Artios award. The Artios pairs nicely with the Emmy Kilpatrick took home in 2008 for her contribution to casting the HBO miniseries John Adams. Upcoming projects for her include The Secret: Dare to Dream, an adaptation of the self-help bestseller The Secret, which lauds the power of positive thinking. The film is slated to release in 2020 and will star Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas and Jerry O’Connell.
While The Casting Office doesn’t have a big presence on social media, those interested in connecting with Kilpatrick and Foster can find both of their profiles on LinkedIn. In fact, Kilpatrick lists her LinkedIn profile as her official website on IMDbPro. From their LinkedIn profiles, actors can glean the considerable track record that Kilpatrick and Foster have in casting as well as note the wide array of industry-based skills on Kilpatrick’s profile.
There are many casting professionals to know in The Big Easy, especially those involved in upcoming projects. Casting director Matthew Morgan of Morgan Casting is attached to multiple projects in development, including the action feature The Convent which shoots in New Orleans. Ryan Glorioso of Glorioso Casting did much of the New Orleans casting for the current, second season of The Purge as well as for the upcoming thriller Unhinged and the upcoming comedy The Lovebirds. Brent Caballero of Caballero Casting is attached to a plethora of films that are in both development and production, including Walkaway Joe. The action drama was filmed in Laplace, outside of New Orleans, and will star Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
With so many casting directors active in the area and new projects filming there year-round, New Orleans is a production hub that actors need to know, regardless of where they call home. And if you want to take a trip to scout out the scene in New Orleans, you might time it so that you experience Mardi Gras too. At the very least, if you do make it to glorious bayou country, be sure and try a beignet.