Interview: Casting Director Jennifer Venditti on Why “Good Time” Came at the Right Time

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With “Good Time,” was it a similar situation with Robert Pattinson or any of these traditional actors you’re immersing into those kinds of situations with non-actors?

We do do that…and I did it for Shia as well [on “American Honey”]. For Rob, we worked with this place called The Fortune Society that helps ex-cons get reassimilated into the world. We did a lot of interviews with people there [who] had interesting life stories that Rob then went to hang out with, or would shadow for a while. It helps the director and then if the actors are interested, it helps them as well, but through this kind of casting, there’s a lot that’s revealed that’s useful for all departments.

In the casting description, it says Crystal should be “boy crazy,” which seems apt, but at the same time not what you get at all.

No, she didn’t play that card at all. The crazy thing is, and this will tell you exactly why she got the part, we did screen tests with Rob with three or four of the girls and [Taliah] came and did hers and it was the first time she met him. We didn’t tell everyone who the person was [they would act against] because we didn’t want the people to get all crazy and also if they knew they were meeting him, we didn’t want that to get out. So I don’t think we told her until she got there – and [when we did], she acted like you told her it was Joe Smith. There was just no reaction at all. And then the screen test, [the Safdies] had her just staring in [Rob’s] eyes, like how long they could hold a stare, and that was it.

She did it, it was fine, and a couple days after, she told me, that literally she had seen “Twilight” 500 times and she was exploding inside. She was obsessed with him. But she never showed it. And that’s hard to do – to contain that and be able to be that intimate with someone you’ve obsessed over.

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