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Alicia Silverstone and MSCL...

22May2000

Marshall Herskovitz is on the cover of the May 2000 issue of "Written by", a publication of the "Writers Guild of America".

The magazin includes a *very* interesting article about Marshall Herskovitz and his work for Bedford Falls in the past years. It also includes an insider look behind the casting of "My So-Called Life" from 1993. An excerpt from the article: * When we did My So-Called Life, Ed Zwick and I looked at each other when they gave us the go-ahead, and we said, "If we don't find the girl, there's no show." You can't just make it with the best girl you find. You have to find a great girl. We had an initial casting session, and our casting director had been to New York and L.A. and brought in two people who she thought were the best candidates. The first one was Alicia Silverstone, who was 14 at the time. The second one was Claire Danes, who was 13, to play 15. We were knocked out by Alicia, although we thought she was already too glamorous and pretty to really be the Angela we had in mind: An Angela had to shimmer between being beautiful and being unformed. Alicia was already way past that. After Alicia left the room, I said, "She's great. She read really well. But I think we need . . ." I described the character just as Claire walked in the room. It was so odd. This girl is like a genius. She read a scene in the room from the pilot where she's confronted by her best friend. There's a line in the script: "She starts to tear up." Claire got to the line, her entire face turned red, and she started to tear up, and she was having this very profound emotional experience as she read. When she came back for a second reading, the same thing happened. When she went to the network, the same thing happened. And when we shot the pilot, the same thing happened, in every take, from every angle, exactly the same, totally real, totally committed. She's just that way. *

* But Ed and I had a huge argument because we felt we couldn't base a show around a 13-year-old actress. No way could we make the hours. I said we don't have a show without her; we just can't do it without her; let's either not do the show or figure out a way. So we spread the focus away from Angela a little bit and more onto the parents. That gave us scenes to shoot each day, after Claire was gone. But casting, you have to be utterly tenacious, keeping in mind: What do I want? Is this person possible? It's brutal, but that's the way you end up with a good cast. *

You can read the article at the WGA website: http://www.wga.org/discuss in our forum

« | ↑ 2000 | »


“My dad thinks every person in the world is having more fun than him.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"