Brittainy Roberts talks to Entertainment Business students on campus
Panel Moderated by Entertainment Business Instructor, Donna Loyd. Watch here.
Brittainy grew up in the mountains of Tennessee knowing she wanted to work in entertainment. Acting piqued Brittainy’s interest early on, but she later shifted gears and pursued casting instead. After getting her bachelor’s degree at Emerson College in Boston, Brittany moved to Los Angeles and started working as an intern at a casting company. She currently works as the VP of Casting at FOX.
Brittany doesn’t spend her time auditioning actors. Rather, she oversees all the shows for FOX and has a birds-eye-view of the process. Brittainy works with an independent casting director on every project. Each casting director works to actively cast people for a certain series. Below are a the highlights from Brittainy’s Q&A with our students.
Q&A with Brittainy Roberts
What is the casting process like?
I’ve worked on both the feature side and now the TV side, and they’re obviously different in their own ways. From the development process, which right now at FOX we’re very involved in and work closely with our development teams getting the scripts. For me, I’ll read a script and automatically start thinking of people. It’s who pops in your mind when you read something. I think that happens a lot when people read a book or anything. Once we greenlight a movie or pick up a TV show, we immediately go to work with the producer or the writer and start talking about prototypes and who their wishlists include.
With FOX being under the Disney umbrella, how does the casting work for both entities?
The easiest way to explain it is the FOX TV Studios, the Networks, the Sports and the News were all owned by the Murdochs. Rupert Murdoch sold the Studios and FX, but he retained control of Fox Network, Fox Sports, and Fox News. I’m still at the Network. We have nothing to do with Disney. We are a Rupert Murdoch company, lean and mean because we sold off the majority of our assets. Disney now owns all of the FOX Studios, which in television, the Studios are the ones who own the content. Disney ultimately did that so they could have all the content available on their streaming platform. I still work on those shows with the studios that were preexisting before the merger. For example, Empire and The Simpsons had pre-existing deals. Once those deals come to an end, which one of the first ones will be The Simpsons, I don’t that there will be a new deal to be made. And I don’t know if it will be on FOX anymore. This is being hypothesized all over town—is Disney now going to let us air The Simpsons? That is the big question.
How is FOX working toward diversity in it’s casting of lead characters?
I think now, studios and television networks have to be prepared for the pushback if they aren’t casting authentically to the character. I think it’s a great time to be a diverse actor. We just cast a trans actor in our new show that’s premiering in January called 9-1-1 Lone Star. I think it will be the second trans series regular on a broadcast network show ever. It was hard to find somebody, to be honest. It’s a small pool of people who are being submitted and it’s an even smaller pool of people who can handle the roles and what’s required of them in terms of acting. It’s a good time to be a diverse actor. I think agents are signing them rapidly.
Thank you, Brittainy!
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