Today’s Guest: Robert Ulrich, casting director, “Glee,” “The Glee Project”
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience that thinks “casting” might be one of the dark arts in the final Harry Potter movie… in the new new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
Those kids chosen for the “Glee” pilot two or three years ago certainly were lucky – and thanks to the careful eye of casting director Robert Ulrich, talented.
If you saw a photo of the group before the show launched you’d think, “Naah, never going to happen.” Forget about it being an unlikely looking group to succeed on network television. How many weekly, hour-long musicals can you remember succeeding?
“Cop Rock”? Uh, no.
ROBERT ULRICH podcast excerpt: “I had met Darren Criss for the role of Finn. He obviously wasn’t right for Finn at all. But I hit it off with him immediately because he’s the greatest guy you’ve ever met. Then he came in for the role of the quadriplegic football player. But it wasn’t until Blaine came along that there was the right role for Ryan to meet him… Through that process, I did watch the Harry Potter musical. He’s an amazingly talented kid.”
Ryan Murphy, the creator of “Glee,” obviously deserves a lot of credit for putting together the right elements. But, apparently, so does Ulrich. He was respvonsible for parsing the talent through auditions and helping Murphy see who could do what – and sustain their talents through a grueling network production schedule.
But Ulrich is more than a song and dance man; he and his partners at Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer Casting have also been responsible for the faces on everything from “Dexter” and “The Mentalist” to “Drop Dead Diva” and “Battlestar Galactica.”
Now Ulrich is getting a chance at the limelight himself, in front of the cameras, with “The Glee Project,” a clever idea to maintain momentum for the fictional series by attaching it to a nonfiction reality search for the next potential star of “Glee.” The show airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on the Oxygen Network.
The winner will follow “The Glee Project” with a multi-episode guest starring role on “Glee” – and who knows where that unique opportunity might take them?