Mikey James, an established Hollywood producer and casting director ( Double Shot at Love, Pooch Perfect, Temptation Island etc. ) shared some great advice about getting the role of your dreams and how to succeed in the industry. What are casting directors looking for? What is the future of reality tv? Is it really reality?
Find out in an exclusive POP Style TV interview.
Interview by: Tijana Ibrahimovic
Edited by: Laura Measher
Tijana: Hi guys. I am here with Mikey James, and he is here to spill all the Hollywood secrets with us. Welcome Mikey.
Mikey James: Thanks for having, oh, this is so fun. I’m like, this is so it is so, its you its you
Tijana: Yes we can see each other!
Mike James: I love it. It’s so exciting. Thanks for having me.
Tijana: So you are reporting from Hollywood, what it is that you do, Mikey?
Mikey James: What do I do? I don’t even know to half the time. Seriously. I thumbled my way into TV. I kind of knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I’ve been caught up in the mix of casting and developing and producing and all these amazing things in such weird worlds. I heard, I don’t really know what I do, but I guess you would call me a producer by trade.
I get to travel. I get to go to the most weirdest places have the most weird experiences like, I mean, producing TV, it’s like what you see on the TV screen you’re in there actually experiencing, in some cases that’s either terrifying. It’s amazing. It’s funny. It’s that? And you actually feel the emotion amount of happens in that.
So it’s kind of, it is like, it kind of keeps you grounded and in some ways, to be honest, because you get to experience.
Tijana: So, what are you looking for when you casting for a certain role when it comes through, obviously each role is different, but what matters when it comes to appearance or just an educate when you come to the casting?
Mikey James: Yeah. And point blank, there is a role for absolutely everything. Right or shapes or ages, or like every single person, there was a role for them in Hollywood. I don’t care who, who says otherwise. That is because you’re constantly looking for that personality, that character, that even story that’s going to carry through and be able to translate on camera.
When I mean it, depending reality world, you know, if you’re looking to share your story, it’s just important to be transparent, open, but yourself, because that’s enough, Even like a casting director can tell, like, within two minutes, if you’re acting or like putting on a front, you’re nervous. You know what I mean?
Because you’ve had those real conversations and you’ve spoken with a lot of people because if you’re casting a show, Sometimes you speak to hundreds of thousands of people. When you’re trying to find that one person, if you have that look, you’re a character. You have something interesting about you.
Hollywood’s calling baby.
Tijana: So basically within the first two minutes, you know, you could say yes or no?
Mikey James : I, for me, yes. And I, I dunno, I feel like I have a good scope on character, but like within the first I would say even 60 seconds.
Tijana: You’ve been involved in some of the shows that I really love, um, 90 day fiance! So, and all of those people seem like semi normal average, regular people in the first episode, but then all these things started coming up. And this is not the only show like in most shows. This is what happens. Like do you guys just have a sense of like you know, coming across people that, you know, you can tell, have like some sketchy backgrounds.
Mikey James: Oh yes. And like, you know, sometimes it takes a little digging to get to that, like those moments, but ultimately in the start, I’m like, there’s something about, you know what I mean? That could be right for them. And I mean, casting everyone thinks is very short as well. It’s actually a really long process.
So it could take sometimes month to find that cast, and by that time you’ve had so many conversations with these people, like, you know, everything about them and I mean, they’re down to share it all mostly. So it’s like, it’s, uh, it’s interesting. And like, it’s just interesting that people like to come across in casting.
That’s the main thing. It just kept me very grounded. Very humble because my God there’s some $… out there, girl.
Tijana : Is there ever a time when a talent would come to you for casting and he would just tell them, forget about it. You should not come back ever again.
Mikey James: Oh yeah. And honestly, tip if the Skype goes for less than a minute, don’t expect to call back
Tijana: Oh, wow. That’s another thing. So I guess you had to do everything via Skype or zoom these days. So do you think there’s a difference in like showing your personality via zoom or Skype versus in person?
Mikey James: I actually kind of think it’s better because in a sense of the way who someone is in real, in real life, like the way that I would interact with you in real life would make you be a different person, but this ultimately kind of seeing like how they interact with a screen, how they’re, you know what I mean, taking directions more so rather than being in real life where it’s more of a conversation when you do that type of casting. But I actually like it cause it, I feel like it waves it out. And then also I don’t have to like drag it on and just like click, bye, done casting over.
Tijana: When you work with people that aren’t famous yet versus you you’ve had to cast celebrities, is there a difference and what is the difference? Are they more challenging? I assume, or more difficult to work with?
Mikey James: Um, you know, who’s more difficult mostly than the celebrity is the agent. And, uh, most of the time when you like booking profile for high profile talent, you’re dealing with like six people, not just the one.
And if it’s like regular every day, it’s like, you want to be on TV? You know, that kind of thing where it’s like, then you have this army is just, oh my God, it’s exhausting. I hate casting celebrities, but I also love the projects that they’re on. So it’s kind of a
Tijana: Give us a scoop, unlike some behind the scenes to moments that are memorable.
Mikey James: I think my favorite, I think my favorite ultimate project was literally the one that I just finished. And it was only because every single person had to be locked together 24 hours a day, including the crew. So it was weird. We’re in Arizona filming A Double Shot at Love. We weren’t able to leave, go anywhere.
And, uh, you know, we were filming 24 hours a day living together 24 hours a day. It was, you know, we we’d see on screen, the girls living together. I’m like, this is happening right out here as well, except, you know, we’re not being recorded. So, but, uh, that way it’s just, it was such a weird experience. It was a wild experience.
And to be locked with everyone that you’ve worked with 24 hours a day was just like a different level. Everyone kind of just came together as a family. It became one big joke and everyone kind of walked away just honestly. Yeah. United.
Tijana: So where do you think reality and unscripted is going?
Mikey James: I have been thinking about this and I think it’s kind of crazy because I really kind of feel like reality TV came in hot and it was like, you know, Bravo making all these amazing like glossy high energy produced shows. Right? And then it feels like almost that’s wearing off. And now we’re kind of seeing more of like the real life and now it just feels like there’s a demand for real content. And I think now with the creativity of knowing that like, reality can be these like big splashy shows and you know, it can look really nice and all that kind of stuff.
Mixed with like the real I’m like when that happens, I think it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. We’re going to see some different, different shows and a lot of different content. I think we haven’t seen before. And the nice thing is real.
Tijana: when you are relaxing at home. What do you watch? Reality TV.
Mikey James: Do you want to know something? I don’t own a TV.
Tijana: Wow. That’s quite an interesting info , so you live TV, but you don’t own a TV.
Mikey James: I know. I, I think it’s just a big end of the day. Like, I don’t want to look at another screen, so I love like music, good vibes and like, you know, cook and like make stuff like, I love where I live and like, hang out in that space.
So like when I’m back, cause normally you’re away and you’re like working. It’s like, so when I’m home, I’m just like, I don’t want to know that. But like, you know, I mean, I still have every social media app ever invented and a laptop. So it’s like nowadays it’s like, I’m not really. missing much.
Tijana: Exactly. Exactly.
Awesome. Well, thank you Mikey, for sharing and paling all the secrets of Hollywood and I can’t wait to see, uh, your next project, once you announce it.
Mikey James: Thank you. This was so fun. I love you.