Toronto is known for many things — Drake, its art scene, and being “Canada’s Downtown,” to name a few. It’s also home to the Toronto International Film Festival, and for this installment of Productions Hubs, we’re going to focus on its status as a thriving local market. Films that have shot there include names like American Psycho, A Christmas Story, and Chicago. And the bustling city will be the production home to many upcoming projects as well, such as Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and season two of FX Networks’ What We Do in the Shadows. Keep reading to learn more about these projects and the casting directors behind them, as well as other need-to-know casting names in Toronto. Our list of top Toronto casting directors starts with those who have a strong foot in the commercial casting world and leads into companies that specialize in casting TV and film. Enjoy!
Shasta Lutz started this company by herself and has grown it into a thriving business that now has five other staff members listed on the Jigsaw Casting website. There, you can find out more about the team, as well as projects it has helped cast. Jigsaw Casting is a strong presence in the commercial world and has worked with clients such as Walmart, Nature Valley, Cheerios, and Neutrogena. Actors interested in connecting further with the casting powerhouse can check out the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, on which it regularly posts casting notices.
Tristan Abraham and Andrew Hayes are the casting directors to know at Powerhouse Casting. They have the impressive claim on their Vimeo page of working on 8,000 TV commercials. There, the company lists some of the clients with whom it has worked, which include names like Southwest, KFC, Macy’s and Kia. The company site provides contact information for both Abraham and Hayes, and casting notices are posted regularly on the company’s public Facebook group.
Stephen Milo is the name behind the casting company that “believe[s] in human storytelling that celebrates human moments and all the truth they encompass,” according to its site. The company does a lot of branded content casting and works with many big-name clients. It lists brands such as Nike, Google, Dove and Apple as just a few of the ones with which it has worked. On social media, the company is especially active on its Facebook page, where actors can find breakdowns of projects it is casting.
Steven Mann has been a casting director in Toronto for 15 years and has been involved in casting more than 2,000 jobs. Mann has cast Gold Lion-winning commercials and a number of Super Bowl spots. Previous clients with whom the company has worked include brands such as Walmart, McDonald’s, PlayStation and Spotify. Mann Casting utilizes Facebook as a tool to discover new talent, and actors interested in connecting can request to join the company’s Facebook group.
The Brunch Store
Besides having a mouthwatering name, this casting company also has casting powerhouse Sergio Alvarado. He has multiple film and TV credits that can be found on IMDb. The Brunch Store has a strong presence in reality TV casting, and according to its site, has helped cast more than 40 series in that genre. The company is also a commercial force and claims names like Ancestry, Uber, Kellogg’s and Under Armour as brands with which it has worked. Actors hoping to submit for projects that The Brunch Store is currently casting should keep an eye on its Facebook page, where it posts casting notices. The company consistently posts on its Instagram page as well.
Knight Sky Casting
Molly Jane Knight and Carly Granovsky are the women behind the cleverly-named Knight Sky Casting. They share some theatrical credits between them, as well as a long list of clients with whom they’ve worked commercially. Corona, ESPN, Walmart, and Verizon are among the many brands that have called upon the services of Knight Sky Casting, according to its website. The company is active on both its Facebook and Instagram pages, where it often posts information about projects it’s currently casting.
Brian Levy Casting
Brian Levy owns this company, and his company site stresses that clients will work directly with him. The busy casting director is a name to know in the commercial world, with campaigns and spots he’s cast having won Gold Lion awards. He also has a strong background in theatrical casting and helped cast the CBS series War of the Worlds. Recently, he cast the period drama Brotherhood. Actors looking for further points of connection to Levy can check out his LinkedIn page.
RDC & Associates Casting
Robin D. Cook owns this casting company. Cook has cast some big-name features such as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Room and The Shape of Water. She’s listed as the casting director for Nightmare Alley, del Toro’s star-studded remake of the 1947 film. Cook has also worked in TV and has helped with Canadian casting for shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Designated Survivor and The Umbrella Academy. Actors interested in learning more about the busy casting director can check out her public Instagram page. RDC & Associates Casting also has a Facebook page that includes more information on the company and its other casting team members.
Stephanie Gorin Casting
Stephanie Gorin is the person behind this casting company, and she has an extensive number of theatrical projects under her name. TV credits include titles like Taken, Black Mirror, and Fargo. She’s also a force in the film world and has recently helped cast It Chapter Two, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Shazam!. Gorin has an impressive amount of upcoming projects to which she’s attached. One example is the first season of FX Networks’ new drama series A Teacher, which will star Kate Mara. She’s also on the casting team for the yet-untitled horror flick from Lionsgate that IMDbPro describes as “a re-imagining of the horror film Saw.” Gorin’s LinkedIn page is a good place for actors to connect with and find out more about the Toronto casting director.
Buchan Knight Casting
John Buchan and Jason Knight are the casting directors who make up the company’s moniker. They share many film credits and recently worked together on Ready or Not, The Lie and Flatliners. Between the two of them, they’ve helped cast a number of series, including Titans and American Gods. It may come as no surprise that the busy casting duo has a plethora of projects in development to anticipate. One example is the upcoming remake of the 1996 horror film The Craft, with this iteration starring Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny. Actors interested in learning more about the casting directors may have a hard time finding Buchan on public social media pages, but they can find facts about Knight’s educational background and mentoring work on his LinkedIn page.
Tina Gerussi Casting
Tina Gerussi is the executive of her casting company, and she is a force in both TV and film casting. Gerussi has helped cast series like The Romanoffs and Suits. Her film credits include big names like Suicide Squad, Hairspray, and The Boondock Saints. Those interested in learning more information about Gerussi might not find any public accounts for her on social media, but they can glean some fun facts from her IMDb page. For example, the casting director is not the first in her family to work in the industry, and her brother has a number of directing credits under his belt.
Lisa Parasyn Casting
Lisa Parasyn is the name behind this company, and she’s a tour de force when it comes to casting TV series in particular. Her TV credits run long, with titles such as Schitt’s Creek, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Star Trek: Discovery, Good Witch and Reign. Parasyn also has an impressive number of features and TV movies under her belt, and her name is attached to multiple upcoming projects within that latter genre. Actors can find out more about the casting director on her LinkedIn page, which includes her award nominations and wins. Jon Comerford frequently casts alongside Parasyn, and those interested in finding connection points to him can check out his public Instagram page.
Larissa Mair Casting & Associates
Larissa Mair is the person behind this casting company, and she has extensive theatrical credits to her name. A few examples include her casting work on both seasons of Hulu’s Holly Hobbie and her casting contributions to George Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. She has a strong presence in casting TV movies, with many upcoming projects in that genre currently in production. Another upcoming project that she’s cast is the upcoming movie from Disney+, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, which is slated to release in 2020. More information about the busy casting director, as well as her associate, can be found on the Larissa Mair Casting & Associates site. Actors can find further connecting points to the company on its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Lewis Kay Casting
Jenny Lewis and Sara Kay are the names behind this appropriately-monikered company. They have an abundance of film and TV credits between them that can be viewed on their casting resume, found on the Lewis Kay Casting site. The company is one that actors should keep in mind, as it has many upcoming projects it’s casting. Both Lewis and Kay are on the casting teams for upcoming seasons of the series The Boys and What We Do in the Shadows. They also helped with the Canadian casting for Stardust, a bio-drama about David Bowie that is slated for U.S. release next year. Those who want to connect with the dynamic casting duo can follow the Lewis Kay Casting page on Twitter.
Ron Leach Casting
Ron Leach is an award-winning casting director, and actors interested in learning about his vast number of theatrical credits can check out his company’s site. Leach has a particular niche with both holiday and TV movies — he recently cast for Hallmark names such as Love You Like Christmas, Winter Castle and Christmas Festival of Ice. The casting director works behind the camera in other ways as well and holds directing, producing, writing and editing credits on IMDb. To find out more about Leach, actors can follow his Twitter and Instagram pages.
Kim Hurdon Casting
Kim Hurdon is one of the top names to know when it comes to voice casting. She has a number of impressive credits under her name and has recently cast Blue’s Clues & You, The Magic School Bus Rides Again and D.N. Ace. Hurdon owns the casting company, but it includes many other team members. They can be found on the Kim Hurdon Casting site, which provides more information on the faces behind the company. Its Facebook page provides tips for voice actors, as well as opportunities for them to ask questions. The casting company also has an active presence on its Instagram page for actors interested in connecting on that platform.
Actors who are lucky enough to find themselves on set in the city frequently referred to as “Hollywood North” should take advantage of everything it has to offer. The provincial capital of Ontario is known for its food and art scenes, as well as a number of attractions you can only find in “Canada’s Downtown.” And if you time it right, you never know whom you’ll bump into while there. Should Nightmare Alley be filming, maybe you’ll spot del Toro himself. Or perhaps you’ll run into Drake on a visit to his hometown. Here’s hoping!