What the actors of “Madian East Town”, “Succession” and “Dupsik” have in common

that in Embossed ring, Awards Insider talks to some of this year’s most notable Emmy nominees about their entire body of nominated work. In this entry, with Dupsy And Succession casting director Avi Kaufman, A two-time Emmy winner responsible for some of television’s most acclaimed ensembles.

“It’s almost like my relatives all walking into the room,” Avi Kaufman says deep into our interview. “I actually have goosebumps.”

One of the most prominent casting directors in Hollywood, Kaufman has been active in television for nearly two decades and has an impressive Emmy resume to show for it: eight nominations, including two wins for the show’s inspiring first season. damages And the second season is accumulated Succession In between, he’s worked on some of television’s most hyped shows—quietly elevating a range of character actors from relative obscurity to popular presence—as well as Oscar contenders like King Richard And Rainy’s black bottom.

He gets emotional several times as we go through his past TV projects, starring some of his closest collaborators and, in at least one case, a neighbor and close friend. “It was almost like your cousin when familiar actors would come by and walk on the tape,” he says wistfully. You give them great content, and they come and don’t work. It is fun.”

Now that’s changing as businesses switch to Zoom after the pandemic. For one of his nominated projects this year, dopsy, Kaufman had to cast completely from afar, fighting for names that didn’t seem like it. But having done it for several years, few know actors like Kaufman — and how to put them together. And he still puts together some of the best and most amazing ensembles on screen. Here’s how he did it.

Empire Falls (2005, Engagement)

This HBO miniseries, adapted from Richard Rousseau The novel, which explores the events of a small Maine town, marked the beginning of Kaufman’s foray into mainstream television—though it didn’t seem like it at the time. It was as if there was no TV. It was like a small movie Fred Shepisi,“He says. Backed by that director and the HBO brand, Kaufman assembled a group of Oscar nominees and winners. Ed Harris And Helen Hunt, And also a number of New York theater actors whose work Kaufman knew well and has been chosen for over and over again: Keith Burton, Jeffrey Damon, Lou Taylor Pucci, Steven Mendello.

Empire Falls It gave Philip Seymour Hoffman his first major industry award — he was nominated for a Supporting Actor Emmy — before he won the following year’s Oscar for his performance. the hood Kaufman directed both actors Empire Falls And the hood As well as numerous other roles for Hoffman dating back to 1994 No one is stupid Against Paul Newman: “He was a dear person in my life,” Kaufman recalls. (He also chose to direct Hoffman for the first time, Jack goes boating.)

Ironically, Hoffman lost the Emmy to his co-star Newman Empire Falls The miniseries is perhaps best known for playing the final roles of Newman and his late wife, Joanne Woodward, who explores their careers and marriage in the new series. Ethan Hawke HBO documentary series The latest movie stars. However, if Hoffman and Newman’s reunion seemed like Kaufman magic, he assures that Newman’s half was a little beyond his powers. “I’m sure it was wishful thinking, but I know Richard Russo really helped with that.”

damages (2008, win)

Kaufman received his first Emmy as part of the cast for FX’s legal thriller, which won the lead actor award. Glenn Close– making a highly publicized change to television – and supporting failure Jeliko Ivanek. The show was close from the start, but Kaufman stepped in and helped the FX drama — which along with mad men It was the first basic cable show ever to be nominated for an Emmy for Best Series, with both big names unfamiliar to the small screen and theater actors (like Ivanek) failing on the big screen.

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