Ed Burns knows a little something about finding talent. The writer/director/actor made his first screen debut in The Brothers McMullen, which he well, wrote, directed, and starred in. Since then, Ed has cast his movies with unknowns…most of whom go on to develop amazing careers (Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights, Rosario Dawson, “a little actress named Cameron Diaz,” Ed jokes.)
So during a screening of Ed’s latest film, Nice Guy Johnny — starring Scrub‘s Kerry Bishé, we asked the handsome triple threat what three qualities he looks for in unknown actresses:
I make these examinations of contemporary life, so the thing I’m always looking for is honesty. I don’t give a lot of direction on set because I like to cast people who are so right for the role that they just need a little nudge or shading instead of pulling a performance out of them. So naturalness is the first thing, honesty is the second…and someone who recognizes that acting isn’t just about what they’re saying or the gesticulation in their voice, but the silences in between.”
By the way, if you see Ed Burns, don’t be afraid to give him your headshot. (At least, that’s what he told us. Unfortunately we left ours at home.) You never know!
Nice Guy Johnny is available online October 26th, and is currently doing a screening tour around the country.