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Ryan Gosling Is Looking For Bi-Racial Actors To Play Leads In His Directorial Debut

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 11, 2013 11:04 AM
11 Comments
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casting call


This spring, actor Ryan Gosling will be shooting his directorial debut titled, How To Catch A Monster, which is described as a "fantasy noir" based on his own original idea, and screenplay that he also wrote.

As of today, Christina Hendricks is attached to star in the film, which is described as follows:

Written and directed by Ryan Gosling, HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER weaves elements of fantasy noir, horror and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while Bones, her 18-yr-old son, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.

Hendricks (who co-starred alongside Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 acclaimed crime drama Drive) is playing Billy, the single mother of 2.

Gosling is currently casting for 2 boys to play her two sons - Bones (as described in the above synopsis), and Frankie, the other younger son.

The breakdown for both characters, per the casting notice I received, is as follows:

Bones (Lead) Male, 17- 19 in appearance; caucasian or mixed race (caucasian and African-American) MUST BE 18 YEARS OR OLDER. An introspective loner with an active imagination. His challenging home life has toughened him, but he still clings to childhood fantasies. Balancing melancholy intensity with an innocent sense of wonder, he is driven by a strong desire to face his fears. Soulful, offbeat and quietly charismatic.

Frankie Male (3-6, bi-racial [preferably Caucasian/African-American]). A "feral" like boy who is constantly getting into trouble for trying to escape his school and house. Quiet and withdrawn but with an expressive face and deeply active internal life. Almost reminiscent of a silent film character. Younger brother of BONES.

There's no mention of a father of any sort (Billy is after all a single mother), but based on the descriptions of her sons, it's safe to say that the father of Billy's children is likely a black man. Although I don't have enough info to say whether he's involved in the story in any way.

And also, whether the fact that the kids are bi-racial is of any consequence with regards to the story, or if they're just bi-racial for the heck of it, is also not public info yet.

But if you're a parent whose kids fit the descriptions, or you're an agent or manager with a client (or clients) that match Gosling's breakdowns, you're instructed to make you submissions HERE.

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11 Comments

  • Merritt | June 4, 2013 3:03 PMReply

    Damn it! I'm 35 lol

  • CareyCarey | March 12, 2013 12:19 AMReply

    DAMIT!... when I saw Shadow and Act dropping the race card at the end of a sharp wedge, I knew the devil would be working overtime in this tread. Having been here before, knowing what to expect, my curiousity still got the best of me. There it was, the remains of bloodshed. Mis-interpretations and a vague casting notice were the weapons used by the ax welding bandit, aka, Black "The Wedge" Ripper.

    Upon deeper investigation, it's been discovered that "HERE WE GO AGAIN" might sniffing out the right trail.

    Shame on Ryan Gosling (or whomever) for not simply saying they desired a light-skinned individual, regardless of how they acquired their hue? I mean, it's safe to say he wasn't implying that only those with one white parent, could capture the essence/nuances of a bi-racial (whatever that means) individual? And surely he wasn't being the liberal sympathetic director who was giving special consideration to all the starving bi-racial actors? I think not.

    So when I read the remark... "when we as a people allow ourselves to be pawns in the game of who is and isn't blacker or whiter than whom among us, things remain the same [...] This is the "new black" of driving a wedge between folks of African descent. Scary is how some folks African descent are willing to play the game".... I snapped my fingers in approval.

    AND... BELMONT1929 said: "I am wondering if we are all being 'played' by what is missing from the article, i.e., someone's narrow impression of how bi-raciality presents itself in a community where we have 100's of years of examples of mixed heritage [...] I say call Ryan's bluff and send scores of actors of ALL hues (WITHOUT revealing heritage) and let him figure out how a 'bi-racial' person's performance DIFFERS from a uni-racial person's portrayal."

    **drops the mic**

  • CareyCarey | March 12, 2013 11:36 AM

    LO, I understand that Christina Hendricks is white. However, I am questioning the term bi-racial. The word is commonly understood to mean "the product of two races esp, immediate family". Yet, we all know many African Americans -- whose great-grandmomma/granddaddy (or further back in their family tree) was white -- who now wears HIS or HER skin color, hair, nose and eyes, not necessarily that of their immediate parents.

    So again, that's why I understood the message in BELMONT 1929's comment-->"I say call Ryan's bluff and send scores of actors of ALL hues (WITHOUT revealing heritage) and let him figure out how a 'bi-racial' person's performance DIFFERS from aUNI-RACIAL person's portrayal"

  • LO | March 12, 2013 12:33 AM

    He cast the mother first (Christina Hendricks) so the kid does have to be half-white and since it's set in Detroit (where 83% of the population is black) , half-white and half-black makes sense.
    Not saying people don't have valid reasons to be suspicious/critical but I think some people have jumped the gun a little.

  • K | March 11, 2013 11:15 PMReply

    Why does there have to be an explanation for the kids being biracial? Does there have to be an explanation of why certain characters are white? Who cares? Thank goodness he is interested in having people with some black in them, playing important roles in a seemingly interesting film. And to the poster who says that biracial people don't play white have you heard of Rashida Jones? Jennifer Beals? Wentworth Miller? Jessica Parker Kennedy? Maybe you haven't. The more you know.

  • exotiq | August 14, 2013 10:44 PM

    Good point....People tend to forget that fact....there are more of us 'light and damn near white' mixed race people then you realize....It's good for a change that he's interested in casting people who represent the mixed race persona...often, Hollywood will cast them to soley represent black people, which anyone with eyes can see some confusion there....or when casting directors will cast mixed race children to seemingly two black parents, or vice-versa...like a couple of the soap operas I watch where both times, they casted straight up black kids to interracial parents, as if to say mixed race kids only look black EVERYTIME.... How realistic is that?! ...I'm living proof, as well as many others I know personally, from my own family and beyond, who don't fit that mold! All I can say is "It's about damn time!!!!" lol :)

  • belmont1929 | March 11, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    Well ... here we go again. Mo, you have some interesting comments as do the other posts, but I am wondering if we are all being 'played' by what is missing from the article, i.e., someone's narrow impression of how bi-raciality presents itself in a community where we have 100's of years of examples of mixed heritage.

    In any case, some of those whom you might identify as bi-racial have openly described themselves as Black or African-American, including one white house resident. And, as US history has shown us, society has not always been willing to be as liberal with definitions as others, so one person's bi-racial might simply be distilled to one designator (Black).

    What bothers me more than anything else, I guess, is the immediate assumption that bi-racial means 'lighter-skinned' as implied in the casting call and in some of the other posts. Genetics ain't kind, and every so often the bi-raciality is expressed through the darker end of the spectrum. Is that what Ryan (or Mo) was looking for? If color (rather than experience as a bi-racial person) is the objective, neither of you needs to be so prescriptive. Of the following, who is bi-racial and who isn't: Jurnee Smollett, Soledad O'Brien, Beyonce, Terence Howard, Jeffrey Wright, Boris Kodjoe, Halle Berry??? My point is, if we are going to do paper bag tests (whether on the basis of bi-raciality or basic color differences) what happens to the notion of an actor going after a part because they feel professionally capable of pulling it of??? I say call Ryan's bluff and send scores of actors of all hues (without revealing heritage) and let him figure out how a 'bi-racial' person's performance differs from a uni-racial person's portrayal.

    Blow up this whole damn game!

  • LO | March 11, 2013 2:46 PMReply

    I don't want to give too much away but I have read the script and the children's race doesn't seem to be used negatively, same with their father. Of course we'll see how it turns out on screen but it seems because of the area the script is set Ryan decided it would be more realistic if the kids were bi-racial.
    The story is a dark fairytale and the characters are layered. I prefer to see that rather than people of colour that are just two dimensionally 'good' or 'bad'.

  • ALM | March 11, 2013 2:36 PMReply

    Since the character is a single mother of biracial children with an African American man, I sure hope Gosling has a positive explanation in the movie for why the father isn't in the picture. I want to think positive, but......

  • Here We Go Again | March 11, 2013 11:56 AMReply

    Your blood is blacker than my blood. My blood is whiter than year blood. OR. We don't want you to look too black. We want you to look MORE "blacker." Plantation politics (!) will NEVER go away.

    Worst, when we as a people allow ourselves to be pawns in the game of who is and isn't blacker or whiter than whom among us, things remain the same. Skin color is no longer the major factor to obtaining success in a larger white dominated society, the new trend is the race of one parent. This is the "new black" of driving a wedge between folks of African descent. Scary is how some folks African descent are willing to play the game.

    Shame, shame on Ryan Gosling.

  • Jenna | March 11, 2013 10:35 PM

    Here we go again, Are you serious? What's so wrong with featuring biracial children? This is the most bizarre posting I've seen. Shall we just pretend that there are no mixed marriages? How is having one white parent going to be leg up in our society? Did it hurt Oprah, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Condoleeza Rice, Steve Harvey, John Lewis, etc. to have two black parents? Nope.

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