Thousands of people have turned out in St. Louis for an open casting call for the seventh installment in the Star Wars film franchise. The film’s casting director, Maryellen Aviano, says the event was both a meet and greet with her, and a chance for her to gauge interest and the talent pool in St. Louis.
Nathan Elwood of Jefferson City was one of those that turned out for a chance to be in Star Wars Episode VII. “I’m a huge fan of Star Wars,” Elwood says, “I just wanted to come here because … billion-to-one chance that I could be the one they recognize or anything, but still I’d have kicked myself forever if I hadn’t come.”
Alex Feathers of O’Fallon, Illinois also hoped to catch Aviano’s eye. “Whoever gets picked, they were the one in the million, so I was thinking, ‘Why can’t I be that one in the million?'”
Alex’s mom, Charlotte Feathers, says of the idea of her teenager becoming a child star, “She’s got an extremely good head on her shoulders. You always worry as a parent, so there’s no guarantee, but I like what she’s got.”
Tess Mandoli had some idea what to expect, having experience with other auditions and as Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen 2013.
“I knew that it was going to be kind of like a cattle call and it would just be a lot of people that showed up … they can be kind of unorganized but this time they did a really good job keeping it together. I expected more of an audition but since there were so many people I understand that they just didn’t have time for that.”
The event was supposed to wrap up a 5 but Aviano stayed more than an hour late to meet everyone that showed up. She told the crowd that the response in St. Louis was overwhelming and she plans to include the city in the search for actors for the film. She also said auditions can be submitted online here. She says Star Wars Episode VII will begin shooting in early 2014. Its release date is set for December 18, 2015.
Other casting calls are happening in Chicago, Illinois, Troy, Michigan, Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as several locations in the United Kingdom.