Oscar Race: ‘Gone Girl’ Director On The Importance Of Casting

David Fincher’s cinematic adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl,is continuing to charge ahead in the race to the 87th Academy Awards – the nominations for which are due to be announced on January 15, 2015. As the big Hollywood studios give their award season fare a final push in the media, director Fincher has been speaking to Variety about those individuals who worked on the movie, but are often overlooked – including casting director Laray Mayfield.

Mayfield is a veteran of Fincher’s projects, having collaborated with the filmmaker regularly since Fight Club in 1999. It was not surprising, then, that Mayfield would ultimately be tasked with finding the right performers to fill the wide range of roles contained in the dark and complex narrative of Gone Girl.

Fincher detailed the invaluable contribution made by Mayfield.

“The cast has to be as carefully selected as the crew. You need a team; you can’t have people who are distracting. Laray is great at finding people. I watched Kim Dickens’ audition thinking, ‘Where do I know this person from?’ Of course, it was ‘Treme,’ but she was so different, she was a surprise. And when it came to Officer Jim Gilpin, Laray said, ‘What about Patrick Fugit?’ I said, ‘Great idea! Bring him in.’ So, sometimes, Laray introduced us to someone we didn’t know, or thought of someone in a different way than we’d been thinking.”

Kim Dickens, who played Detective Rhonda Boney in the film, is already seeing the benefit of having her work showcased in a movie laden with awards buzz. Deadline reports that she has been cast as the female lead in a pilot for a show that is a spin-off from the hugely popular zombie drama The Walking Dead. The spin-off – currently named Cobalt – will unveil a new zombie apocalypse story, set in a different location than the original show.

Dickens will play a guidance counsellor who has two children from a past relationship. Her current relationship is with a teacher (played by Cliff Curtis), with whom she also works. Cobalt has been developed by the author of The Walking Dead graphic novels, Robert Kirkman, along with Dave Erickson.

Gone Girl – the film that helped catapult Dickens to lead status – quickly became one of the most anticipated films of 2014 prior to its theatrical release in October, due in no small part to the fact that the challenging literary source material was adapted by the author herself – Gillian Flynn. The casting of Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as the lead characters of Nick and Amy Dunne was felt by many critics to be the perfect choice, as were their supporting cast members, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Patrick Fugit, Missi Pyle, Sela Ward, Scoot McNairy, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Having shot to the number one spot on iTunes immediately after its release on that platform on December 23, Gone Girl will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 13 – two days before the Oscar nominations are announced. The winners will be revealed during the Academy Award ceremony on February 22, 2015, which Gone Girl star Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting.

[Image via Huffington Post]

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