Kelly Valentine Hendry and Victor Jenkins
Talk ‘Broadchurch,’ ‘Episodes,’ Advice for Actors, and More
By Amber Topping
Casting Directors Kelly Valentine Hendry and Victor Jenkins are the main casting duo of many films, TV Shows, short films and theatre productions from BBC’s hit TV Series Broadchurch, Episodes, to the upcoming series The Smoke. In 2010, the two started VHJ Casting (based in London) which has quickly become a huge success. As a team, they also assist with the casting of big Hollywood productions like Star Trek: Into Darkness, Beautiful Creatures and recently Muppet’s Most Wanted. Warm, funny and intelligent they both opened up and talked about their background, the casting process, advice for aspiring actors (and what not to do in an audition), their future projects and more.
This is a question for each of you, but can each of you take a minute to talk a little bit about your background growing up and how you became involved with casting?
Kelly Valentine Hendry: Growing up in the Scottish Highlands where there is no theatre, I started with film and television. I literally working in that world would have been a dream as a child or as a teenager. I used to watch the Oscars, stay up all night and I never thought I'd ever have the chance or opportunity to ever work in this field. And I fell into it after being at university for the English. I worked in theatre when I left there and I fell into being an assistant with the Hubbards because they needed someone to start the next day, and I was free, and I needed to cast. And I fell into it and I've been working in it for—that was 8, 9 years ago. I was lucky enough to work with one of the top two casting directors in London. We worked on Slumdog Millionaire, we worked on Narnia, we worked on…The Bourne Supremacy. And then I was lucky enough to start my own business which I did by myself for three years. And then Victor Jenkins joined me and that's when our company VHJ was started and we've been together now for three years.
Kelly: And it was purely by accident.
Sometimes the best things happen by accident. You never know what's going to happen.
Victor Jenkins: That's quite a common theme I think with the industry. I mean, my background was something like: I grew up in a small town in parts of London in Hertfordshire; very much, very green, very lovely, very idyllic. And I went off to university and did psychology. So I've got a psychology degree and went traveling for a year, came back and again fell into the industry. A friend of mine worked for National Theatre and she knew an agency who were looking for a general office assistant, which was Agent Lou Coulson who gave me the job very kindly. I think I had no experience or idea of the industry really. And she looked after Hugh Jackman, Alex Kingston…so fantastic people...Tom Wilkinson...From there, a friend of mine was a runner on Troy going on about this and the casting director of that, Lucinda Syson, was looking for a runner...She called up, said, would I be interested? And [I] went down for an interview, and a week later started there; did Troy and Alexander with her. So with casting it was an amazing introduction because two massive swords and sandal films…And then all of a sudden, it was incredible insight and I learned a lot from just those few months. And then from there went off to work for…Sam Chandley who was doing a show called Dream Team and Mile High which [were] two very low budget TV Shows. She left after a couple of months and they gave the job to me. So I only assisted for nine months before getting my own gigs.
Oh wow, that's fast.
Victor: Yeah…I did that for three and a half years; multiple seasons. And it was an amazing education. It was like going to college for TV. And working in casting, but being a very independent company I had no contacts...So I took a down step to work for a bigger casting director to get some more contacts, and worked for a lady called Carrie Hilton, who was fantastic and did 300. She unfortunately passed away in 2007; and Tamara Notcutt and myself continued the company for about 6 months, and then went our separate ways. I went to go and work for…Gary Davy who cast Hunger…then continually learning and getting more contacts. The last years with him, Kelly and I would be friends for a long time and we discussed the idea of casting together and that's what we did in August 2010. We started the company and it's been good fun ever since.
So how do you work as a duo? Do you divide projects or do you put both of your brains and talents together on the same project? What's your process together?
Victor: We always start every project as the two of us. We…want to get the initial ideas. It's Kelly and I and we sit round, we talk about things, we get some lists together and we go to the first meeting together. And often…if you're casting the main roles, we'll do that together. And then after, we separate because we always have shows running alongside each other. And so we'll do the initial meeting together and then one of us will invariably take the lead on something, just ‘cause it makes sense, because one of us ends up passing the phone more to the producer. And so it makes sense that we both have a relationship; and then we just continue and then after that we kind of separate. So we always start very much as the two of us and we're both involved.
Kelly: What's quite nice is that some people just assume that because I’m a female and Victor's a male, obviously depending on the project, sometimes a project might be a little bit more female based and some that might be a little bit more male orientated—just because he's a guy doesn't necessarily mean that Victor would necessarily take on the more guy projects (whether that be a predominantly male ensemble). And so that's quite a nice thing that never happens. And the producers as well don't treat us in that way either. I'm pleased that that's happened.
Okay, so this is a question, something that I've wondered about—As a child, and this is for both of you, something I actually did (probably still do), but did you ever read books and immediately start imagining who should be cast as the characters in a movie?
Kelly: Yes; because you do without realizing it. You either picture an actor, but sometimes it might have been a pop star or it might have been a friend—or I still do, do that. It's difficult when you do get a project and you read it and you say, "Oh my goodness, blah blah would be enter any actor's name as blah blah." And then you have to get past it quite quickly because with casting, there's no other head of department that has the same kind of problem that we do in that casting is the only department that everybody genuinely has a valid opinion about.
Kelly: An actor, once you've got to a space where everybody's good, literally you like them or you don't like them. Everybody's entitled to that opinion. You don't need a skill to have a preference. Not everybody has taste. [Laughs]
That's true! So, can you tell me a little bit about your creative process working with actors, directors, writers or producers on a project?
Victor: The process…when we get sent the scripts we read as individuals, we read it and we both have ideas and we bring it and we come in and we discuss. But in terms of going forward, we like to think of it as outside the box. You know, there's the obvious choices when you read something, then there's ideas you think might be a bit more left field…and then in terms of ideas, it's being open and allowing ourselves to be surprised by someone; allowing yourself to actually to go outside of your comfort zone almost with the casting. And just seeing what people do with it. ‘Cause you know it's part of the casting process, you often feel…you often see a lot of the same people. And you know it's boring for the one making it and it’s boring for the people that are watching it. And it's our job in casting to actually be open.
Kelly: It’s a bit of a romantic notion, especially you have a project where the lead doesn't need to be famous, and the lead is sometimes a bit younger, that there is a child or a teenager sitting at home right now on their computer maybe with no acting experience who's going to end up playing that part. And we just have to make sure that we somehow unearth that person if they want to do it. That's quite exciting. It happens.
Is that actually difficult to get an unknown actor who's really talented for a role when producers maybe need a bigger name in the cast?
Victor: Sometimes. It depends how many key roles are in there. So you can have an unknown lead, like a younger lead, if there's another character which can be an obvious one which would be a more known name that's going to get people to watch it. It's a battle of, “Okay, you can have an unknown person if you have one of these ten people who we know will guarantee us x amount of audience.”
Kelly: Because the budget normally is—the less known the person has to be because it will be financed already and it will be a studio picture. And that's why, especially when there's teenagers, we have the new luxury of being able to cast unknown. And we're very lucky over here because when Disney, for example are looking for young leads, then they will open the net here and in Australia. And anybody can get that job if they're right for it.
Well, that's nice.
Kelly: Anybody can come in for it and they will be put in front of the right people…And that's exciting. Any kid can walk away with it if they're good enough. And unfortunately for the American children, [the children] over here watch so much American TV that their American accents are bang on.
So what then are the must-dos in an audition for the actors? When they come in for an audition, when do [the actors] get it right?
Kelly: Be prepared. Number one: being prepared. It's respectful to not only themselves, but to us, and especially if we have a director and producer in the room. And a lot of people sometimes complain that they've only received their pages, you call them sides, the night before.
Victor: They've got plenty of time. There's plenty of it.
Kelly: That's enough time to learn a script. You know, we don't expect people to be a 100% on book; a 100% having learned the lines, but it really does help. And so that would be the number one: be prepared.
Victor: Yeah. And also, be direct-able as well, because sometimes people get too prepared. They've thought of a way of doing something and they cannot get away from that. So the director says to them, "Okay, I like what you've done. But let's try it like this." And they can't give themselves that way, then that's also gonna lose them the job.
Kelly: So number one would be preparation. Number two, to back up Victor there, would be to listen as well.
Yeah, that's good advice.
Kelly: Don't listen to what people say out in the room. And thirdly: to be able to do it. [Laughs]
What are some of the common mistakes that actors make then besides not being prepared?
Victor: A lot of excuses when they walk in a room. They…just say, “I'm really sorry I just got the pages,” OR “I've had a terrible journey.” OR—and list excuses—
Kelly: My agent didn't send me the script until last night. My agent didn't do this, my agent didn't do that. You think, “Oh, well you're here now.” So they do, do that all the time.
Victor: Also, the listening thing as well ‘cause sometimes people still come in and they don’t get the director's name right or the producer's name right. And even just things like research. If you're going into a project which is in the second or third season, and it's TV, then have an idea of what that show is. Or have an idea of what that director's done before. [Laughs] It's amazing that people just don't.
They just don't put in the effort, yeah.
Victor: Even the basic IMDB search.
Right. That doesn't take a lot of effort to just do a little bit of research.
Victor: No, exactly. And you can do it on your phone outside the audition room.
Kelly: One of my pet hates, and it's really quite silly actually, but I actually hate that as an actor you've had a cigarette before you come in. Because we sit in these tiny rooms with quite a few numbers of people in there and it's just not very nice to everybody. [Laughs] No cigarettes before a meeting; only after.
…Especially for people who don't smoke and people walk in, it's not a pleasant smell.
Kelly: The other pet hate I have is actors tend to, rather than just keep their head down, concentrate and be prepared for coming in, they pay too much attention to who's also sitting in the meeting room…because we could be doing multiple projects. The person sitting next to them could be coming in for something completely different. Yet they focus on the fact that that person, completely different to them, and therefore assume that they are not right before they go in.
Victor: They get into their own heads.
Yeah that makes sense; kind of freak themselves out before they get in there.
Victor: Yeah, exactly.
So as part of the audition process do you ever audition, probably later on in the auditions—but do you ever audition for chemistry between actors, romantically or otherwise?
Victor: Yeah absolutely. Depending on…if it’s the couple's relationship or just even an ensemble you need to make sure that chemistry's there.
Victor: And, you know when you get to the meetings we'll do a couple of meetings with the potential actors and mix and match till it works.
Kelly: That's what I'm sitting here doing just now, is organizing chemistry meetings with German actresses…to read with a lead actor in a project that we're working on over here for ITV. And then we will fly the actresses over and make sure that we're making the correct choice.
So this is more of a fun question. In your minds, what two actors and it can be from anything, movies (old, new), television, on screen together represent the ideal level of chemistry? Like an example of good chemistry?
Kelly: Well on Episodes Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig I think are the--and well then you put Matt [LeBlanc] in there as well, Stephen and Tamsin's chemistry is unbelievable. They have history because they worked on a few shows in this country already; I think you would call them friends. What they do together is magic and when you see them in a read through working together it's what you see on the television screen. It's electric and they respect each other so much. So that would be one.
Victor: And…the entire crew from Friends. You know those guys from the very first episode, it worked. The six of them, it was just a great combination; which is why people still love watching it now.
Yeah. I mean, sometimes it just clicks.
Victor: It just works.
As an audience member you can kind of tell sometimes when something just works. And it just comes together—and yeah, you can feel the chemistry.
Kelly: It's usually when you go to see a play it's much easier to feel the chemistry of the two lead actors. They're right there in front of you. You can feel it. You can see it: the electricity. But sometimes on camera it just doesn't come across. And quite often we've had feedback or we've seen reviews on films or television shows and the first piece of criticism is, "Oh there's no chemistry between them." But actually they're dating. And have been because they did the film together, and then they're together, so sometimes it just doesn't come across.
Yeah. It happens.
Victor: I think Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights, that's a great chemistry as well. It was very easy, that relationship.
So how much of the casting process, going back to the process a little bit, is about auditioning and how much is about networking to get a specific actor you have in mind for a role? For instance, when it comes to something like when you cast Broadchurch with a bigger name like David Tennant in the leading role, was he just asked to play the part rather than having to go through the audition process?
Victor: Yeah, I mean with David he was known by a lot of the people…the writer and the producers worked with him before. And that's one of those situations where we have a great discussion behind the scenes, we all talk about who would be great…but then actually it was an offer straight with him.
Kelly: And it was offered straight to Olivia Colman as well. Well that’s part of the casting process; when we're dealing with those bigger roles we sit down with this long list, we talk about it for hours. And if everybody agrees on one, then why not just go for it?
Might as well try.
Kelly: Yeah. After that, the audition process comes, the networking doesn't really come into it—I mean, I think going to the days of like who you know, the best actor normally—usually should be getting the part. Sometimes bigger actors will get the part because they need finance in place. And that will help them and it's politics. But most of the time here we're lucky enough to be able to put people in front of the camera. When that camera's on the actor, then that actor can get themselves the job. The agent will have done their job by getting them through the door with us. And then when the camera's on them, it's their prerogative, it's their chance. And the best ones take it.
So were either of you surprised by how popular Broadchurch has gotten in the past year? It just seems to have spread, even in the states.
Kelly: We knew it was a good script. We knew it was going to be a good show. But you have to remember, we didn't know the outcome of Broadchurch. Nobody did. The cast didn't. So we didn't know where the story was going to go. So you know it's going to be good and you hope that the British public are gonna like it. But the British public are probably one of the most fickle publics in the world; you never know what they're going to like. We were over the moon. It's been one of the most successful event dramas that we've had in this country where people will go home and watch it at the time that it goes out on air instead of recording it.
Victor: Which is incredible because at this day in age there’s that person that's gonna go, “Yeah! I should watch that. I'll record it, I’ll watch it over the weekend.” Where it was, every single Monday night people were going home and tweeting about it…So people going home to actually watch live television is such a rare thing.
Kelly: It’s a nice feeling for us in hearing the lady on the bus talking about it. Or the person at the hairdressers or someone in the Doctor's waiting room and everybody was talking about it. It was a lovely feeling. That's what we’re casting at the moment. So we're in the middle of casting the second season.
Yeah, that was just what about what I was about to ask if you were casting the second season.
Victor: Yeah, we are.
Kelly: That's what we've been doing this afternoon.
Kelly: We're not telling you a single thing!
I didn't think you would! [Laughs]
Kelly: And we have many more secrets to keep again.
Well I will definitely be watching season two, so I can't wait to see what happens with it ‘cause I thought it was amazing. I loved it. I thought it was great.
Kelly: Well there's more to come.
Victor: Especially from shows we are super, super proud of. We're super proud of that show.
Changing gears a little bit, this is for each of you: Do you have a dream actor, writer, director, producer that you really want to work with one day?
Kelly: I would like to work with Paul Greengrass again. Because when I worked with him I was an associate with Dan Hubbard. And he, and Danny Boyle actually, who we worked on Slumdog Millionaire are wonderful to work with. The respect, the care that they take with the actor in the audition process is amazing. And you can tell it's a happy set. Happy actors, happy set usually equals great film. So I'd love to work with them again. Paul does amazing work.
Victor: There's no one particularly that—I just take it all as it comes really. You know, I'm just very happy with what we've worked on already. So actually working with David and Jeffrey, they're incredible. I mean, it's on Episodes. It's just…a joy to do. And that's a real treat and it's a real honor to be there; a real honor. To work with people who write so well, it's just a different league…Yeah, that's been really special. And then we work with Chris Chibnall and doing Broadchurch. It's been nice the past couple years doing Episodes and doing Broadchurch; we just worked with so many amazing people…Each time it's just a joy and it seems to be getting better and better…
Kelly: Jim Field Smith who works on Episodes and he directed The Wrong Mans that you guys had on Hulu…He is a very talented director and we'd like to be able to work with him again. Tell you what we'd like to do, we've already offered it, cause we have a friend who is Jen Euston. We'd like to do a job swap with Jen Euston. So we could do Orange is the new Black. And she can take one of our shows. [Laughs] She didn't say yes.
Victor: And we're also working with Harry Shearer on Nixon’s the One…the man has an incredible brain and talent. And it's kind of funny sitting in a room with these people; even now to sit in a room with people and work with them.
So can you tell me about some of your memorable experiences that you've had working on, and it could be on any of your casting projects as an associate, as a director—what’s been some memorable experiences for you?
Victor: Working on The Wrong Mans was a lot of fun, huge amount of fun; and a lot of laughter going on. Working with Jim Field Smith, James Corden, Mathew Baynton, you know, they're both incredibly funny...all three of them are funny, intelligent people. And when you’re in casting for a long time, sometimes people can get a little bit silly. I’ve seen it. There's a whole afternoon where she basically just got ruined by the fact that everyone had the giggles, which is very unfortunate...But, it was just huge amounts of fun, and you know, they're good people. And days like that are quite memorable.
Kelly: I can tell you something funny.
Kelly: The funniest thing that's happened: I was an associate and we were working, I won't mention the film, but we were looking for children. And we were looking for a six-year-old, a young girl. And we were doing open castings in London. And I had this small girl, a six-year-old in front of me, the cameras were rolling (and the film that we were doing was about imagination, it was very heightened reality). So the question I asked this little girl was like, "Do you know what imagination is?" And she said, "Yes. It's when you make things up."
This is fantastic! You want to get the kids to talk; you want to see a part of their personality. I said, "So, do you know what imagination is?" And she said, "Yes. It's when you make things up." So I said, "Do you ever make anything up?" And she said, "No. But my sister does." I said, "Great. What does your sister make up?" And she said, "passport." [Laughter] I just shut off the camera at that point and waved at Mom and Dad. I don't know what's happened to that little girl; I hope she's okay. But that happened.
Oh my gosh, yeah. I would have laughed. That would have been hard to not laugh.
Kelly: Yeah. That was cute. And I think, going back to Broadchurch, the whole experience of that—because the whole head of department, the producer and the executive producer and as casting directors are part of our process. We are there right at the start. When the scripts are first going out, they offer opinions about that and that's lovely, it's being involved. And we were involved all the way through until our casting was finished. We were involved in meetings where they would show us what they were doing in terms of locations. Or what they wanted to do with costumes. And to feel part of everything it was very respectful to us and it meant that we could do our job better because we could see an overview of all of the head of departments. And as a result we felt like a big family.
Nice! So this is a fun, personal question. But what are some of the films, TV shows or plays that inspire you? Or that are your personal favorites?
Kelly: Back in the day there was a television show here called Our Friends in the North. To this day, people still talk about how that was one of the best ensemble casts. Now if you look into the cast there, you'll see Christopher Eccleston—you look on it and it is literally the crème de la crème of talent and they've all come up now That was quite inspirational. Victor?
Victor: Any Given Sunday, I always think is an incredible film…They might think being in the U.K. we have absolutely no concept of American football at all. And so to integrate a film, which I was engrossed with from start to finish for all the way through, and understood—it’s an incredible test to tell those kind of stories and actually try to bend the idea of knowledge about the subject matter. But beyond that…then the 80s films are still always very appealing: Goonies, still the best film ever made. And TV series like Dexter. I mean, I love the idea of things like Dexter which is a dark story. The first season was brilliant. Even the first episode…the pilot seemed like some of the best TV pilots I've ever seen. I think it was just incredibly well made. It's just different and dark…Friday Night Lights I think is an incredible series. And also, I love French Cinema as well because French films, they're all about people.
Me too, yeah.
Victor: And they do incredibly well, better than—French and Australia actually. Just good storytelling…I, as a kid was always a major book buff. You know, reading, reading, reading, reading all the time. And so I've always had a very vivid imagination about what these things [good storytelling] would look like. And…to see films and have films created about which illustrate that; it's great and it's nice...And I love things like Away We Go, I thought it was a beautiful film. The Life Aquatic, you know quite whimsical.
A good variety...
Victor: Yeah, yeah variety. Exactly.
Kelly: I think one of the films that changed my—and I definitely knew that I loved film and I would like to work in different films, and it's not a massive artsy film or anything, but when I saw Romeo and Juliet, the Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet I realized what could be done. And how a soundtrack can take—Danny Boyle I think was probably at the forefront of that when he did Trainspotting. He changed film there with the way the posters were done. I think Trainspotting probably worked as far as a really big soundtrack.
Victor: Well there's Top Gun, yeah.
Kelly: [Laughs] Yeah, that's true. Top Gun and Trainspotting. But yeah, I remember leaving the Baz Luhrmann film and for the first time saying, thinking, that genuinely Juliet was going to wake up.
Victor: Apparently in the original script Juliet was going to wake up.
Kelly: It's a good film [when] you can watch a film that you know the story so well and you think it's going to change at the end. That's a good thing.
Victor: One of my favorite films of all time is True Romance. Again, it's this brutal fairy tale. And it just takes them on a fantastic journey. And again, it's about using music and good actors and [the storytelling] quite fantastical but also real.
What advice can you give to someone who might be considering becoming a casting director? How does one go about becoming a casting associate to start?
Victor: This is a very difficult question because we both fell into it as well. I think if there's something you really want to do, it's just about persistence. I mean, you write letters. Letter or emails can land on someone's desk at the right time. You know, it’s about to be the 100th time you've written someone. So if there's something you really want to do, it's just persistence and just having a passion for it…I think people don't necessarily go into the job industry thinking about why they want to be there, why they want to do it. They just go there ‘cause they think it's a job and you've got to have a job thanks very much. I think it's just having an invested interest in what you're doing; like go to the theatre and watch film, a knowledge of films, know directors…
Kelly: I think it's important as well if you do want to become a casting director to know that it's going to take quite a long time for you to have a voice, to really have an opinion that other people will listen to. And I think, it's also important to realize that there's so many other aspects of being a casting director which a lot of people shy away from. And I think that's why maybe they do come in as assistants and it doesn't work out. It's not as simple as going “that” person would be great in that role and “that” person would be great in that role. You've got to have a thick skin for a start. You're in the middle between producers and their talent agents. You are the person that everything is gonna come back to. You have to be able to cope with that; you have to be able to foresee problems before they happen; you have to be able to be organized; you have to be able to do the deals; you have to be able to do all of the paperwork. So it's not just as simple as I say as creatively picking out talent. It's all the other parts, which a lot of people find tedious. There’s a lot of high pressure. I mean, I was a real assistant. We were in the office till 2, 3 o’clock in the morning every single night. That was the days before we had the internet where we had to fax breakdowns to every single agent individually. We had to collect the submissions by fax…A lot of coffee and tea making.
Victor: …The important thing is dealing with people…the producers and the director you work with all have their own opinions. And there's no school for that…just deal with people and learn how to handle people. And actually having a psychology degree is not the worst thing in the world when working as an assistant.
That could definitely be a help.
Kelly: What I did when I did go through a period where I did actively try to be a casting assistant: I wrote letters to all of the casting directors in town, only two of them replied. And one of them, I did actually get a job offer. But I was extended so I was working at a theater at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the town, that I was offered an extension, a contract. And I decided to take that extension and see that job out. So I very nearly got into casting a little earlier. You’ve got to write the letters, and as Victor said, one day that CV will land on the desk when someone is needing someone to start tomorrow, which is usually the case. And you have to also be prepared for the fact that unfortunately because we're all freelancers our jobs are project based; that sometimes you can hire based on that project by project by project. So it's not something that we can guarantee for a certain amount of time sometimes. And that's quite difficult for people; especially working in the big cities.
Yeah. Some people like regular work instead of projects.
Kelly: At the end of the day, the most important thing is being, not being a pleasant person, but being pleasant to work with; having an affable personality. No criers. We can't have criers.
Victor: You can't be too precious because it's not the world in which everyone is strictly PC, you know.
Yeah. So, do either of you have any other interests besides casting, creative or otherwise? Any pet projects you're working on?
Victor: I’d love to get into production at some point. I mean it's the most interesting thing ‘cause you know, being your own boss is brilliant. But we're still not the final decision makers. And we'd love to actually be able to be in control, be the person that actually decides on the director even or how this is gonna look and the overall control over something. And just create something which is very much our own idea from start to finish…So one day we'd love to be able to get into production and start producing our own.
Kelly: I do have a play, a play version of The Last Supper that Dan Rosen (who wrote the original screenplay)…our intention was always to put on The Last Supper as a play in the West End. So that’s something that’s a work in progress. And hopefully that will happen one day, so the next year or so I hope. So that's very exciting ‘cause part of the job is going to the theatre. And theater sometimes three times a night during the week…London's got some of the best theatres in the world, so you have to love theatre. Many hours of our life is spent in the dark in crumbling London theaters.
Not the worst thing in the world! That actually doesn't sound bad. So are you interested in working more on big budget Hollywood Studio productions? And plan on having a base in the States? Or are you happy staying where you are in England?
Kelly: We love London.
Kelly: You don't have good pubs in Los Angeles.
Victor: I haven't explored enough there though…We are working on a lot of the bigger productions. I mean, doing the Muppets was a huge joy; The Muppets Most Wanted. The thing is you can do it from here. We're very fortunate that we do get asked to do casting searches for some of the bigger productions. So we get involved. I think it'd be odd to start off in LA; you'd start from the bottom. The thing is we don't have the contacts really to start in another country. And we're trying to build our empire in the U.K. for now.
Well I think it's great. You're obviously doing really well already. Do you have any other upcoming projects you can talk about?
Kelly: We can't talk about Broadchurch if that's what you're talking about!
No, like anything else going on!
Victor: We've got Grantchester for ITV which is six parts set in the 1950s, which is a really lovely script based on a book by novelist James Runcie which is going into production at the end of the March…It's a crime series and it's very beautifully done. And being the 1950s, obviously there a lot of hang ups from the Second World War which bleed into the lead character's life which is because the lead character's a crime solving vicar.
Kelly: We have Episodes coming back. Yeah, we'll be doing that again. We also have a couple of low budget films that we're constantly working on (which you work on low budget films for sometimes like four, five, six years). The producers have so much trouble financing especially over here in the U.K. it's even harder. And so we've got a couple of them that are very decently scripted.
Victor: Then we've got a new show starting in the UK this week called The Smoke which stars Jamie Bamber from Battlestar Galactica, which is opening here very soon, which we're very excited about. It's a fantastic script written by a playwright called Lucy Kirkwood who's the belle of town in terms of theatre work. And yeah, it's just really, really interesting about firefighters. It's just done—very excited about that coming out to be finally seen by everyone.
Yeah. It sounds good. I will definitely check that one out.
Kelly: We are coming to Los Angeles in March because we have our premiere of the Muppet's Most Wanted…We've never been. I'm very excited…We've never been to a premiere in Los Angeles, so this will be our first one.
Well that'll be a lot of fun…
Kelly: Yeah, we're looking forward to it.
Victor: A treat for us.
Yeah. Well that’s pretty much all I have…Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I've enjoyed hearing about the whole casting process.
Kelly: Well thank you very much for asking us.
Victor: Yeah, thank you for asking us.
Yes. Well thank you...have a beautiful rest of the night.
Victor: You too.
Kelly: Okay, then have a nice day. Cheers! Bye.
You can learn more about Kelly Valentine Hendry and Victor Jenkins at their official website: http://www.vhjcasting.com/
To learn more about Amber Topping, check out her vintage inspired (yet modern) media blogzine: http://www.silverpetticoatreview.com/