Casting Director Virginia Anello Answers Five Questions with SCREEN

Professional wrestling, Superman vs Thor, and the best Halloween costume ever! Get your popcorn ready as O’Connor Casting Company Casting Director Virginia Anello, CSA, answers Five Questions with SCREEN.

SCREEN: So what’s a day in the life like? 

VIRGINIA: As a Casting Director, I’m involved in every aspect of casting, which I love.  In a nutshell, I matchmake ad agencies and production companies with the best talent around.  I live to find the right actor puzzle piece for the project.  So I spend a good chunk of the time coming up with dad jokes or bad puns for the office to “enjoy.”  I’m also responsible for all the pop culture references and sportsball intel for the office. If there’s a “that’s what she said” opportunity, I gotcha covered, Rhonda. Lots of time spent thinking about what’s for lunch too, so if you have suggestions, please share.

SCREEN: Your best Halloween costume ever? 

VIRGINIA: The best one yet was when my brother got married on Halloween a few years back and our family decided to do a group costume as the crew of the Nostromo.  We even got Mom to agree to be Jonesy.

And here is the photo from that momentous Halloween moment…

SCREEN: Greatest athletic achievement? 

VIRGINIA: I don’t want to brag, but I do all my own stunts.  I can also change my own ceiling recessed light bulbs.  They are relatively high up.

SCREEN: Guilty pleasure TV show you love to watch? 

VIRGINIA: Ok hear me out… I just discovered Dark Side of the Ring and what / when / why did no one tell me about this?  Get your popcorn everyone and settle in for some messed up, hard-to-watch, everything-you-never-wanted-to-know ‘bout the seedy underbelly of wrastlin’.

[Editor’s Note: Ok we’re sold, and here is a look at Virginia’s rec]

SCREEN: Celebrity crush? 

VIRGINIA: You know what, I’m a very complex person.  Some days it’s Superman and other days it’s Thor. I hardly think the why needs explaining.  Don’t @ me, I know what a celebrity is.


SCREEN: Your best summer vacation ever?

VIRGINIA: My best summer vacation is a tropical destination in the middle of winter. Our office is busy as heckfire in the summertime, so I don’t think I’ve taken an actual summer vacation in years. Plus, let’s be real – we don’t leave Chicago in the summer – that‘s the best time to stay here! Last summer, even with the pandemic, we were constantly busy. We figured out how to keep rolling with the punches. We have so much pride and love in our Chicago actor community, and anything we can do to keep the work here – we’re doing it while also figuring out how to do it better. When the summer started ramping up, so did everyone’s spirits, and we cast some huge national campaigns virtually and safely during that time.  Also, “summer” is one of those words when you say it a lot, it becomes a sound. #semanticsatiation

And here’s an example of a fun national spot we cast from the early covid casting days

SCREEN: What’s inspiring you today? 

VIRGINIA: Holy schnikees you guys, the O’Connor interns we have right now are amazing.  I’m so glad they are soaking up so much of the business here that will help them take over the world soon.  They are giving me life.  They know all the things we need them to know, they are good at everything already, their opinions are award-winning.  Plus they all have stunning personalities and sometimes even understand my obscure references.  One even lets me call her “Jay-Quellin.”

Click here for more of the latest casting creativity from Virginia and the fine folks at O’Connor Casting.

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