Emmy Award-Winning Casting Director John Levey: Casting Fiona, Leo and George

Emmy Award-Winning Casting Director John Levey: Leo to Clooney; 
“Animal Kingdom” to “Shameless”
The Secrets of Successful Casting   

Los Angeles, CA (February 7, 2024): Hollywood at Home with The Creative Coalition’s latest episode features multi Emmy Award-winning casting director John Levey, who shares a rare glimpse into the world of casting and the intriguing dynamics that shaped some of television’s most iconic characters. Listeners will be treated to Levey’s firsthand accounts, including the inside scoop on casting Emmy Rossum in “Shameless,” launching George Clooney’s career through “ER,” and the unexpected journey of kickstarting Leonardo DiCaprio’s career. Tune in for an exclusive and revealing conversation with the bestselling author and the mastermind behind some of television’s most iconic casting decisions.

Hollywood at Home is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and more.

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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring John Levey: 

On casting Emmy Rossum in “Shameless”: “Emmy had heard about the script, and even though she was a very well known commodity, she insisted on auditioning…We took one look at the audition and said, ‘There’s our Fiona.’…I got the job of going out into the hallway and saying, ‘Emmy, would you please come back in?’ and she got all worried that she had done something wrong and had to do it again…She came in, and [when she heard she got the job] she jumped up in the air, and said something completely shameless.”

On helping to launch George Clooney’s career through “ER”: “He had an overall deal at Warner Bros Television. He was the thing that everybody wanted – a 35-year-old man with a sense of humor, sexuality, danger, intelligence – all of that. And despite the fact that Les Moonves, who was the president of Warner Bros Television, wanted George for something else, I was able to get George a copy of the ‘ER’ script, and he read it, and wisely understood…that Dr. Doug Ross was his ticket to movie stardom and superstardom, and where he is today in show business.”

Martin Sheen was not meant to be a regular on “The West Wing”: “He played a similar part in The American President, which was written by Aaron [Sorkin] as well…Originally, it was about the members of the West Wing, not about the president, and so the President was going to be a guest star in the pilot. Martin got a hold of it and expressed interest in it. And he just is such a great actor. I always used to think Martin thought he was the president of the United States.”

On kickstarting Leonardo DiCaprio’s career: “One of the feathers in my cap is that we cast Leonardo DiCaprio on ‘Growing Pains.’ He had done almost nothing. We were just looking for a young 17, 16, 15-year-old boy to be adopted by the Seaver family, because the lead was no longer young enough to play the sort of scampy teenager…Leonardo just emerged out of the process. He tested at the network…there wasn’t any question that he certainly had something. [And he was] absolutely funny…he hasn’t really had an opportunity to be terribly funny in his movie star career, has he?”

More about Hollywood at Home:
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.

Previous guests include Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Grace Caroline Currey (Shazam!), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency, “Luke Cage”), among others.

More about The Creative Coalition:
Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns, including #RightToBearArts, to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.

Media Contact:
Lauren Peteroy
Scenario Communications
C: 424-303-3861