By Ali Inglese 9-21-2012
Bialy (pictured) and her business partner Sherry Thomas make up the powerhouse casting team behind “The Walking Dead,” “The Unit,” and “Breaking Bad.” Twelve years ago, the women met when Thomas worked as Bialy’s casting associate. Thomas explained to WEBN in their Encino office that constant collaboration is the key to success, “We balance each other out in all the right areas in all the right times.”
Casting directors play an extremely important role in television development. “Our job is to read a script, think of all the actors, bring the actors in, audition them, help make a choice with the producer, negotiate a contract, and then set the actor,” said Bialy. The process can be challenging, especially when Bialy and Thomas have to fight for an actor they believe in.
Bialy and Thomas had to compete for the chance to cast the Emmy-award winning “Breaking Bad.” However, after landing the job, the pair has successfully exceeded expectations. Bialy refers to the initial meeting with series creator Vince Gilligan as kismet. There, it was unanimously agreed upon that Brian Cranston would be the perfect fit for Walter White, the teacher-turned-meth-maker and star of the show.
Each season Bialy and Thomas determinedly seek out the necessary actors to complete the cast. They worked with cerebral palsy organizations all over the country to find the right fit for RJ, White’s sick son. Bialy even broke the rules and called actress Anna Gunn at home to convince her to audition for White’s wife Skyler. They say it can be difficult to convince an actor to take a guest role that will not have many lines, but will impact the story.