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A question of culture... with Margery Simkin, casting director


Margery Simkin

Margery Simkin

Margery Simkin

The casting director praises both Mike Nichols and Terry Gilliam, but admits she wasn't able to get past page three of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Favourite filmmaker?

As a fan, I love all of Mike Nichols' films because they are, in the end, always about character. Professionally, there is no one I have worked with more fun and inspiring than Terry Gilliam. His combination of enthusiasm for all the actors auditioning, and his respect for my creative input into the project is just so energising. And we laugh a lot.

Last film you loved?

The Tale of Princess Kaguya was the last film I saw before voting for the Oscars. I thought it would be "homework". I'm not a huge animation fan. But it was beautiful to look at and engaging and mesmerising storytelling.

Favourite band?

I'm ageing myself, but no one beats The Beatles for me. Timeless and always some appropriate song for any mood or occasion.

Best stage show?

My favourite recently is probably The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time because it beautifully used the theatrical medium to translate a book I loved, but thought would be unadaptable. Brilliant.

Last book you loved?

The Dinner by Herman Koch. A beautifully written, painfully funny, disturbingly familiar and brutal look at what parents will do to protect their children, and about nature vs nurture.

Book you couldn't finish?

I may be the only woman I know who didn't read Fifty Shades of Grey. Why? The writing. I couldn't make it past page three. Does that officially make me a total book snob?

Favourite TV Show?

I think my favourite series is Friday Night Lights because it was perfect all the way through. Great writing, perfect casting down to the tiniest roles, every performance is fantastic. I've recommended it to friends who "never watch TV" and they have all gotten hooked. I don't care about football (it's about a football coach and his team) but it doesn't matter. A great story well told always works, no matter the subject.

Favourite city?

New York. It is a second home. Once it was my home. I am simply never ever bored there. So many of the things I love to do are right there outside your door. And many people I love either live there or come there often to visit. In the end, it's about people.

The 13th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival takes place from March 19- 29. The "It Begins With The Script" casting event with Margery Simkin takes place on Saturday 28 at 2pm in The Teachers Club. See jdiff.com.

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