Thursday, October 15, 2015

El Casting

La producción y el aspecto técnico de las telenovelas es fascinante. Tanto se une para crear los momentos perfectos de las telenovelas. Un elemento de la producción muy interesante es el casting. Hay tantos  factores en el proceso de escoger los actores: necesitan aprobación de los autores, que sí pueden representar los personajes como visualizar a los autores; necesitan aprobación de los directores, que sí pueden crear la visión; y necesitan la aprobación de los ejecutivos, que sí pueden vender la novela a la audiencia. Y otra consideración es si es el proceso es de arriba hacia abajo o el opuesto. Si el contrato existe para un actor antes de que la historia sea conocida, otros elementos pueden ser pasados por alto por necesidad.

Un ejemplo de eso, que a mí me interesa mucho, es el proceso de encontrar y escoger los actores de para el niñez, juventud o tercer edad. Algunos programas priorizan el ambiente y la realidad de relaciones que pueden imaginar la audiencia. Si la audiencia no puede creer que el padre e hijo son relacionados, la audiencia puede sentir que más de la telenovela no es realístico.

Lorenzo (izq.) y su hijo, Martin
Vanessa (izq. y su hija, Vicky)
Los actrices en 13 Going on 30

Eso es especialmente importante cuando necesita considerar el proceso de envejecimiento. Siempre estoy asombrada cuando el actor de niñez parece exactamente como su contrapartida mayor, y si no parece exactamente lo mismo, por lo menos espero una relativa semejanza. Un ejemplo perfecto de eso es 13 Going on 30 con Jennifer Garner.  La actriz joven En Aurora, no es así. Los actores al comienzo de la telenovela, de los protagonistas en 1990, actúan como los hijos de estos personajes cuando la telenovela esta en 2010. Además, los actores jóvenes y los actores mayores no son parecidos por nada. Solo necesitan ver bajo para evidencia de eso.

La evolución de Lorenzo
La evolución de Natalie
La evolución de Vanessa
Nina, Vicky y Martin, los hijos de Natalie, Vanessa y Lorenzo

Eso presenta para mí la idea que eso no es una prioridad para las telenovelas, o por lo menos que los actores importantes (y costosos) son más importantes que la fluidez de esta realidad que construye la telenovela.

Compañeros, ¿es un fenómeno que pase en sus telenovelas también?


  1. I can't answer your question perfectly, Sophie, because I haven't had any time jumps in my show so far that required different actors to play the same role. However, my telenovela involves the protagonist entering a family's household (they think she's her long-lost twin, of course), and your post got me thinking about how the family doesn't really look that much like a family. Now, I understand the need to balance talent and chemistry with visual cohesion, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that Carlos Daniel, the male protagonist, doesn't look any more like his brother Rodrigo or his grandmother than he does the household nanny.

    Honestly, I think we've all gotten used to suspending our disbelief when it comes to things like this. I mean, it's just TV. But after our class discussions about casting and the politics that are often involved, I have to wonder how much my show's casting directors focused on putting together a cohesive family versus getting the best names or talents in there. For instance, Libertad Lamarque, who plays the family's matriarch, was incredibly famous by the time she was cast as Abuela Piedad. The actor who plays Carlos Daniel's brother had previously held an antagonist role in Marimar. Was he already typecast as the villain and decided to go along with it? Did they want to add more Mexican actors to the cast since the protagonist is Venezuelan? How much of the families we see in these shows are casting politics in action?

    1. That's a really great point, Erin! I think that it is a balance of the actor's past history and the roles they typically play and the environment in which the show is being watched. It may be a more "American thing" to expect a realistic family. I always think back to the Cinderella with Brandi as the protagonist--the prince was Asian with a white father and black mother--and I definitely still loved that movie. I wonder in what areas/themes this really does matter?

  2. I'm going to agree with Erin about the fact that we've grown used to suspending our disbelief in many situations like this. Like you said, I expect some level of similarity between the actors that play the same character at different ages...but at the same time, I don't expect THAT much of a similarity. I think it's typically enough for me that I'm informed "Hey, this is the older version of that character," and I accept it. In fact, when they look especially similar, I'm typically like, "WOAH! They did a good job casting this one!" and I'm pleasantly surprised...whereas, when they don't look similar, I'm just like, "Okay. Sure. I'll go with it."

    It is interesting that you've noticed it being a little bit less convincing in the telenovela world compared to the film world.

    Interesting that you bring up the Cinderella with Brandi as protagonist in your reply to Erin. I've never seen this version, but that's a surprising cast! It reminds me of theater where they do "colorblind casting" for a lot of productions. You don't see it a lot in film/t.v..

    You asked what areas/themes this matters...I think it's a bigger deal when a storyline depends on how a character looks. For example, Relaciones peligrosas has an arc about racism, and I think that made it important for them to cast an actor who was actually from the Dominican Republic like the character. As far as needing related characters to look alike, I think it's usually enough for the audience to just be informed about the relationships.

    I don't know how familiar you are with the Harry Potter series, but a lot of people were bummed out about Harry and his mother not sharing the same eye color - so clearly there are situations where people get super picky. But obviously those films still worked out okay haha.

    Sorry that got way off-topic! But yes interesting observations about casting!

  3. Sophie, like Erin, my telenovela has not had time jumps in the adult characters themselves, so I could not truly answer your question… BUT in my telenovela, the entire beginning episodes are of Nina and Jorgito’s childhood, when they were each about 6 years old and a little older, and then it jumps to many years later when they are both adults.

    I do wonder how they pick each actor based on their looks, etc. when sometimes they look NOTHING alike! But I kind of know the process- I have been acting with an agency in Atlanta since my freshman year of high school- so I know ALL TO WELL what it’s like to get type-casted as well as needing to look a certain way to fit the role. My very first commercial I had a “stage family”. I had a mom and a dad- and since I was the leading role, they casted these actors off of something that would match me- and you would be SO SURPRISED at how perfect it was!! They looked more like my parents than my own parents did!!!!

    Anyway, I understand that side of it, and how picky it is here in American television. I’ve missed out on a lot of roles because of it… but as for telenovelas.. I was SO in love with Rita (little girl version of Nina) and either I am BLIND or I saw NO resemblance between the two except for their tiny adorable noses! Rita has the most beautiful long curly hair, and then adult-nina gets introduced and the FIRST thing I noticed was that her hair was thin and NOTHING like Rita’s gorgeous locks.

    Not only do these telenovelas need to focus on looks, but also the acting, and the way both actors can portray the same character! Now, that I am clueless about- except I know it takes an exceptional actor to pull it off! But I know for the basis of my Avenida Brasil, it was pretty good- I would only say adult-Nina was wayyyy more intense than child-Rita.. but two different people WILL give you two different things.