It is hard to believe, but Netflix, one of the largest producers and distributors of content in the world, did not have a dedicated casting department. Like most newcomers in the original programming space, Netflix started off using outside casting directors.
The streamer will continue to do so, but its casting efforts now will be spearheaded by its first in-house Casting Department. It will be led by Brittany Grooms, Director Casting, Film; Rich Leist, Director Casting, Nonfiction; and Cesar Rocha, Director Casting, Series, who will serve as head of casting for film, unscripted and scripted series, respectively. On the animation side, Shiondre Austin serves as manager of casting for series, and Cymbre Sklar is manager of casting for film.
The announcement was made in a blogpost penned by Grooms, Leist and Rocha.
The focus of the newly formed casting team will be on casting planning and strategy, discovering new and authentic voices from underrepresented communities and helping existing talent find opportunities with Netflix.
Rocha already was working at Netflix on non-English series and films, while casting veterans Grooms and Leist come to Netflix from other studios and production companies.