by Erin K. | | 5 Comments | Tags:

We’re in the final week of this month’s Online Book Club discussion! Make sure to check back on our other entries if you’re just joining us.

The second half of this book deals with the production of the 2012 movie, The Butler. As someone who knows very little about the film industry, I was interested to see all of the work that goes on before a movie can even begin filming. Laura Ziskin, the Hollywood producer who worked so hard to see the movie to fruition, really stood out in this last section. Ziskin was tireless in her efforts to get investors for the movie, realizing the importance of getting the story of Allen’s life out to the public. Because she was such an influential person for the creation of the movie, I was shocked to read that she passed away before she could even see the movie made!

I was also really interested to read about how hard it is to find the perfect actor to play each role. I can’t imagine how someone can watch an audition and just decide that that actor would be perfect for a part. Do any of you have any insight in that process and could explain it to me? Do you know what casting directors look for or what actors do to get a particular role?

Like the book mentions, the movie is full of big-name actors and actresses. Do you like it when there are a lot of famous actors or actresses all in one movie? Because celebrity culture is so pervasive these days, I find it a little hard to watch movies with really famous actors, just because I have a hard time separating the movie character from the actor. It’s hard to really allow yourself to imagine an actor as another character when you have recently read an article about their shopping habits in People magazine.

Before I go, I’ll leave one more video clip with you. It’s an interview with director Lee Daniels. Check it out if you’re interested in getting more behind the scenes information about the movie!


I hope you enjoyed the book this month, even though it was a little different than what we normally read. Make sure to check back next month as we read The Giver, by Lois Lowry.


5 Responses to “The Butler: Week 4”

  1. Jane Engle

    .This link has a good description of what a casting director does and what they expect from those auditioning for parts: What Does a Casting Director Do? | Huffington Post

    What Does a Casting Director Do? | Huffington Post

  2. Jane Engle

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-mcclanaghan/what-does-a-casting-direc_b_9799558.html

    • Erin K.

      Thanks, Jane, for that interesting article. That really helped me understand what casting directors really do. And, it made me know for sure that I was not meant to be an actor! I don’t think I could handle the pressure of bringing my own imagination and voice to the table–I think I would need some sort of direction.

      Thanks for helping me understand something that I’ve always been curious about!

  3. Carrol

    I, too, was so surprised that the producer died before the movie was completed. I was moved by the effort her coworkers put into making sure Ziskin’s dream was fulfilled.

    I was so impressed that so many important actors wanted to be a part of this movie. I have a hard time with the believability of some of these actors in these roles. It is hard to separate their onscreen performances with what we hear and read about their personal lives.

    Thanks for the video clip by Lee Daniels. The importance of the movie was clear through his thoughtful responses.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, isn’t it so surprising that so many actors wanted to be a part of this movie? And, they liked it so much that they were willing to take a pay cut? That is so cool, to me.

      Did you get a chance to watch the movie this month? I wonder what you thought of the actors’ portrayals of the main parts.

      Thanks again for chiming in with your thoughts all month! I always look forward to your responses!

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