You've Just Won the Lotto

by Casting Director Justin Radley, CCDA

A recent Variety article by Jenelle Riley details the fortuitous path fledgling actor Jeffry Griffin took to land on screen with Ryan Gosling in a number of scenes of the hit movie The Big Short.  I love hearing success stories like this.  It proves that if an actor positions himself in the right place at the right time, that ethereal dream of booking a role in a major motion picture with a star-studded cast is attainable – as long as the actor is prepared.  According to the article, a PA on the film plucked Griffin “at random” from a pool of about a hundred extras to play Gosling’s assistant.  Although I’m skeptical the decision was as random as it may have appeared to Griffin at the time -- actors rarely realize how much thought goes into casting -- Griffin proved he could rise to the challenge and went on to have a great experience shooting a scene with Gosling.

While congratulations are certainly in order for Griffin, there was one part of Griffin’s success story that bugged me.  It was this:

…he got a call two weeks later from Charlotte Gale in the casting department.  She asked what he was doing the next day and he replied he was shooting a Louisiana Lotto commercial…  “She said, ‘Cancel it.  You’ve just won the Lotto.’”

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