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CLOVERFIELD

About The Casting
Given the unique, intimate filming style of "Cloverfield,” the filmmakers sought out actors who were not instantly recognizable faces. Reeves and Abrams assembled a diverse group of gifted young actors: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T. J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel and Odette Yustman. It was a strategy Abrams had used with great success before when he helped spark the careers of such actors as Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, Scott Speedman and Evangeline Lily.

"The key to casting this movie well was to cast really great, talented, likeable people that you hadn't seen before,” Abrams says. The main reason, says director Matt Reeves, is that "even though we were doing a very large-scale monster movie, we were doing it in a very independent way. And that necessitated us purposely bringing in people we didn't recognize.”

Cast in the pivotal role of Rob in this unique project is Michael Stahl- David, who last appeared on the critically acclaimed series "The Black Donnellys.” Stahl-David immediately struck up a rapport with director Reeves. "What attracted me to the project was that I haven't really made a lot of movies. But I really got excited about the prospect of working with Matt during the audition process. I got the sense that he was somebody interested in character and nuance. He got very animated when he talked about the dynamics between the characters. He seemed to appreciate the 'try this and see what we find' approach, which made me feel very free."

The unusual, heard-but-rarely-seen character of Hud fell to T.J. Miller. "I had a meeting with the casting director and we talked about the fact that I'm a comedian,” says Miller, a Second City native.

Though the specifics of the project were kept under wraps during the auditions, Miller was assured he would be allowed to filter his humor into the film. His audition material, however, was anything but funny. "I came in to read and they gave me the material and it was this really heartfelt, serious monologue," he recalls. "So I was completely confused. The casting director stopped at the end of it and said 'That was awesome, but it's definitely the wrong script. My assistant gave you the incorrect monologue. We're going to get you the right sides.' They gave me sides that were a little more appropriate to my character – who is an excitable, funny guy you only see for three minutes."

It was important for the filmmakers to find someone with humor and compassion to portray the film's narrator. He is an "everyman” in a sea of sophisticated, upwardly mobile Manhattan-ites. "T.J. is us,” says executive producer Clark. "When you watch the movie you are T.J. because the character of Hud has humanity and emotion and a sense of humor. He's totally relatable. He's not only the voice of the movie, he's the heart of the movie.”

"Everybody's got a friend like Hud,” says producer Bryan Burk. "He's the guy who's missing the self-edit button. But he's also the person that is always there for you when you need him. He's insane, and you love him.”

Adds director Reeves, "We thought, ‘Okay, well, if you feel that presence behind the camera, that's something you're going to remember.'”

Jessica Lucas describes her character, Lily, as "the bossy one. She's the older sister living in control all the time. She's the only one of the group who really has her life together. That's why she's the organizer who instigates this whole night.”

Vancouver native Lucas, who recently joined the "CSI” team on CBS, had an unusual path to "Cloverfield.” "I got a call from my agents saying that I had an audition for a J.J. Abrams movie. I had no script, no character description, no sides, nothing. There was no way I could prepare for it. And I went on tape for it. I didn't hear anything and after six weeks I went back on tape<

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