Advice: Auditioning For the Role of Jill Pole
Since the release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we at NarniaWeb have received almost daily inquiries about auditioning for the role of Jill Pole in The Silver Chair. After the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, these inquiries have risen to almost unbelievable levels. We wanted to take this opportunity to give some information about the film industry and answer the questions that folks may have about how to acquire a role.
Pre-Production and Greenlighting
Before casting begins for a film, there are several steps that take place. A script is written (or at least begun), the story is pitched to the studio, and the studio then “greenlights” the film, which means that the production is formally approved and financed. After the film is greenlit, it then enters pre-production, during which the script is finalized and plans are made for the actual shooting of the film. It is during this pre-production stage that casting is done.
Casting and Auditions
The casting process for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was somewhat unique in that casting director Pippa Hall held many public auditions when searching for the four Pevensie children. These auditions were generally held at schools around the UK, with children from the drama clubs being invited to attend. This is not typical, though, and usually a casting director will work directly with agents and industry contacts to come up with a list of potential actors to fill a specific role. Several actors are given auditions and the director and producers together decide which one will best play the part. This is the way that Will Poulter was cast for the role of Eustace.
Occasionally there will be open auditions for extras at a film location shoot. When that information becomes available we always post it at NarniaWeb.
Silver Chair Status
The future of the Narnia movies depends on the box office results for each film. If The Voyage of the Dawn Treader doesn’t do well enough in theaters, it is likely that there will not be any further Narnia films. If it is successful (and no one is sure exactly what the threshold of success is in the eyes of the studio), then Walden and Fox will likely move forward and attempt to get another Narnia film greenlit.
In interviews the producers have mentioned that they are considering The Silver Chair as well as The Magician’s Nephew for the next film. This could mean that The Silver Chair would be skipped or passed over temporarily, or that both films could be made at the same time. There are any number of possibilities, but the reality is that the future of the franchise and The Silver Chair is very much in limbo right now. It also goes without saying that production for The Silver Chair has not been greenlit and is not currently looking for any actors for the simple reason that there is no production.
If you are interested in auditioning for the role of Jill Pole or any other character in a Narnia film, the best advice that we can give is to 1) get involved with a local drama group to hone your skills and 2) hire an agent who can acquire an audition for you with the casting director when the time comes. There likely won’t be any public auditions. This is simply the way that Hollywood works.
Another question that we are often asked is about what the producers are looking for. Again, since there are no producers and no production (yet), we have no idea. During the casting process for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pippa Hall was quoted as saying that she felt that there were so many brilliant British actors that there was no need to look for someone who could “fake” a British accent. So our expectation is that the producers would probably look to the UK first to fill the role of Jill Pole.
To sum this all up, The Silver Chair has not yet been greenlit so there are no roles yet to be filled. If you are interested in auditioning for a role when one becomes available, we recommend that you hire an agent who can acquire an audition for you when the time comes. Good luck!