A Conversation with...Coralie Rose

Coralie Rose is a casting director with over 15 years’ experience in music videos, short films, branded content and commercials for global brands, including Adidas, Facebook, Apple and Google. We discussed her journey within the acting world which then lead her to the casting world. 

 

Being in a mixed race family growing up in the UK, I didn’t see families like mine on TV or in the media. For me, that was the reason I’ve worked so hard within casting to get people on TV that represent what I see in my family, friends,
and the community.
- Coralie Rose

 

Coralie Rose


Welcome Coralie! 

You founded Road Casting. Can you describe how you got started?

Originally I was an actress, I got into acting in my early 20s. I really enjoyed acting, however I was often playing the same roles, mostly of a foreign girl. I'm mixed race. People aren't always sure where to place me within roles. I guess I'm ethnically ambiguous, so the roles I would get were often based around a Brazilian babysitter or roles that involved foreign accents. I would find this slightly strange, but ‌I had no power within the acting industry to view my thoughts. During this time, I had lots of time resting between acting roles, so during these times I worked in several jobs, including a casting studio. I never wanted to be a casting director, as I started freelancing within the casting world. I really enjoyed the women that I was working with and the flexibility of the job.  

It was inspiring to see mothers running a business while parenting, something that I would of love for myself in the future. I had my son in 2010, during that time I was acting in the UK drama series Doctors, then I realised that being an actress was not flexible, the schedules and the highs and lows of acting was demanding, I would be away from my son too much. I went back to casting and assisted for a while, then I had the option to cast my own projects. The one thing I realised was that being mixed race within the acting world, it was hard to know where to place me. I felt really aligned with casting, hence the reason behind Road Casting

Being in a mixed race family growing up in the UK, I didn’t see families like mine on TV or in the media. For me, that was the reason I’ve worked so hard within casting to get people on TV that represent what I see in my family, friends, and the community. To get a more authentic representation. Casting has been so great for me because I can have more conversations in many rooms and sit at many more tables. Actually, the work that I've done has continued to prove that to me, and that's why I keep wanting to do it. Receiving emails from young girls saying “I ever thought I would see myself on TV, thank you”  That's really important for me. It's worth its weight in gold.



Which methods do you employ to source talent for auditions?

 

I was street cast for a Dove Campaign in 2005 and I remember that method being incredible when it actually happened to me. I learned more about street casting and scouting while I was working in casting. This is one thing that’s important to me. Years ago, a client would send over a brief and the process within a traditional acting agency or traditional school, there would be lots of the same people. For me to offer an authentic cast and offer some diversity, I had to go into communities, and I had to reach out to people. I really push for street casting because it’s so effective, I can bring people that might not have access to these opportunities, giving clients a need to show a representation of who they're selling the products to. We also scout online, through social media, websites. 


 

What is your favourite part of your job?

Letting people know they got the job! People really work hard for the job, they do all the preparation and get into the mood. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to tell everyone if they got the job or not, as it gets very busy. I love discovering people that don't know about the industry. Years ago, I discovered the model Mariah Idrissi, who gained recognition as the first Muslim hijab-wearing model for the H&M campaign “Close the Loop”. I was on an outing with my son and I saw her in Westfield, London. She was wearing a really cool pair of Air Max. I approached her and said, “Do you mind if I take a photo of you?” A week later, I received a brief from the H&M group and I cast Mariah for the campaign. It’s wonderful to see all that she’s accomplished. 




Can you share with us one of your favourite project(s) and why?

I would say the Macmillan Cancer Support campaign “Whatever it takes”, which has won many awards. It was a beautiful commercial. Everyone involved worked so hard, it’s also a very good example of a Road Casting job. There was a mixture of actors and street casts.  We did a great job for France, for the phone brand Orange. It was a collaboration between Apple iPhone and Orange France. We street cast this young girl who was amazing. The theme was her having a commercial fantasy moment where the whole street turns into a big movie set, while her father is filming her on his new iPhone. This young girl has never been on set before or taking part in any commercials. She was very talented and brave to take on such a role. Really inspiring for kids to see, ‌ follow your dreams, and that interesting moments can happen in your life. Put yourself forward for things, be brave and it’s okay if it doesn't always work out.  

 

Sade Magazine - Issue 8 - Film




Are you working on any new projects?

We are working on a couple of new projects, however we’re working on an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), which means I’m not allowed to talk about them until they have released the project. For me personally, I've come to a point where I would like to develop my creative things again. I’m thrilled with Road Casting and I want to keep that going. I also want to explore my storytelling.   




Quick Fire Round

What is your favourite movie, ever?


My son and I are huge fans of Studio Ghibli movies. We really like Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo and Totoro. 


Last song you listened to? 


Rock Star by N.E.R.D. 

 

Do you have a favourite poem? 


And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

 

More about Road Casting

In 2013, Coralie founded Road Casting, specialising in street casting, focusing ‌on celebrating underrepresented people in advertising and film. She was delighted to receive the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award at the 2017 UK National Diversity Awards, honouring the achievements of those committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion. 

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