Director Jon Kasdan talks about casting Dylan and Britt Robertson for his movie “The First Time” in his this new interview with Film Maker Magazine.
Filmmaker: Britt and Dylan both give really surprising performances here. How did you come across these two relative unknowns?
Kasdan: My least favorite part of the process is casting because you meet hundreds of incredibly talented and versatile actors and actresses that all bring something unique and special to their roles – and then you have to pick two of them. The casting process on this movie was lengthy and intense – partly because the teenagers reading for these roles seemed to respond very personally to the script. They were very invested – which was great in a way, but also really tough ’cause almost mpme of them got to do it.
I had brilliant casting directors in Amy Britt and Michael Nicolo, as well as the experience and wisdom of my producers Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer. It was a collaboration between the five of us. Ultimately, we came down to about ten phenomenal kids (five boys/five girls) and had them read the scenes together, mixing and matching, trying different combinations. All of them would have been interesting (and totally unique) versions of this movie but Britt and Dylan, both incredibly exciting in their own rights, had a special chemistry together.
Britt is extremely experienced for someone her age (or any age). She’s done tons of movies and several television series. Her skill and experience put me at ease, particularly with a role as challenging as this one. She’s really the emotional soul of the movie for me. Dylan had relatively little experience at the time, but he possesses a totally innate, natural charisma and comic instinct that, combined with his physicality, creates a pretty dynamic package. They couldn’t be two more different kinds of actors, with more wildly different approaches, but they worked – I think, I hope – incredibly well together.