By Shane McGinley
Dotcasting.com looking for five Somali actors to star in movie alongside Oscar winner
A Dubai-based online film casting agency is looking for actors in the UAE to fill up to five main parts in a new movie starring Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, Arabian Business has learned.
Dotcasting.com, the online casting agency launched in September by Dubai-based marketing firm Mediacubed, is currently looking to hire five Somali actors for main parts in a new production named Maersk Alabama.
The lead role will see double Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks playing Captain Richard Phillips and will be based on the seaman’s account of being held hostage in a lifeboat for three days after his container ship was attacked by pirates off the Somali coast in April 2009.
“At the moment there are five [roles] and this is the first round and they are looking for lead roles to star alongside Tom Hanks but there will be more roles,” said Adam Ridgway, managing director of Mediacubed.
Actors must be aged 16 to 35 years old and must upload their audition to the website by December 7 to be eligible for the second round of auditions, which may take place in the UAE.
“The unique thing about what dotcasting does is that because we are completely automated is that the actors will do a self reading and upload that to the website and then we send those links to the director and casting agent in the UK and they can see their ability and experience from that,” said Ridgway.
So far, nearly 35 actors have applied for the role, but Ridgway said no previous experience is necessary in order to apply.
“One of the issues people think you have to have experience but the beautiful thing about the director Paul Greengrass, who did the Bourne movies, is he loves seeing passion from actors and nurturing it and giving him the style he wants. With this film, they are looking for actors that are not necessarily that experience but give that raw and real life to the characters,” he added.
Three months of filming will take place in the US from February and Ridgway said it was likely the actors will be guaranteed a Green Card and this could be the start of a successful Hollywood career.
“With the premieres there will be a lot of notoriety and this could be the start of someone’s career,” he said.
Dotcasting is the first online casting agency in the Middle East and previously worked on the Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol movie, which starred Tom Cruise and was filmed in Dubai.
The firm, which currently has nearly 10,000 members, is also casting for British Sky TV’s $16m remake of the legendary Sinbad tale and is hoping to secure deals to coast two more major films by the end of the year.