Film History Royalty: Jean-Pierre Léaud as Louis Xiv

The 400 Blows. Courtesy of ShutterstockFor many directors, casting decisions are a crucial part of the writing process. They set the parameters in which the character can develop itself. Fundamentally, a good casting decision can make a character transcend its own scripted ambitions into wonderful, unexpected territories. But bad casting, as we know, can cripple not just a character’s potential but the entire film. It’s hard to talk about casting choices as creative decisions since they are so ingrained within certain creative impulses—the decision of choosing a particular actor over another can be based on mere gut feeling, a hunch, or an intellectual response. But of course, it can also depend (as it often does in large budget films) on an actor’s status, reputation or his or her monetary value. As we get to know actors, we see them typecast or cast against type but sometimes

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