Film Courage: Pascal, why did it take you two years to cast your two lead actors for ON THE HORIZON?
Pascal Payant: It took us only about one year. Because we had people in France. The story is divided in part France and part Salt Lake City. When you deal with a low-budget scenario, then you have a certain bubble of actors that you can get to. Otherwise you cannot pay them. Sometimes I knew these actors from before but for the parts of Casey and Elissa, it was a long process just trying to someone like Elissa. This bad-ass, I don’t give a _____ attitude and that is natural and is not forced….like Tyler…this is Casey. Tyler is Casey. It’s not some thing that you create. It’s not something that you can fake. We had amazing actors who did great auditions, but when it came to ‘Is She Elissa?’ it did not work. Where they had this kind of magical spark. So I found the real Elissa, it worked. But it takes time to go through….because we had 50,000 people who auditioned and submitted their stuff. We auditioned at least 1,000 or 2,000….it was a lot of people. And you can see so many people who are horrible and you can see some people who are amazing but they don’t fit. So for Tyler he was the last one. I went through everyone and I had another Casey….now that I am thinking about it, it would have been horrible with the Elissa that we had. So Tyler just popped out of nowhere. And I talked to his manager…we talked on the phone and it was done in two seconds. But it takes time to find people who look like stars, who have good chops, and fit with the timing of the schedule and so it’s all of these factors. (Hear more in this video with Pascal Payant and Tyler Johnson on Youtube here.)
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