Douglas Aibel has two lives. In one, he heads the Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre in Manhattan. In the other, he has cast the characters of some of Hollywood's most acclaimed films, including Dead Man Walking and Kinsey. A favorite of wunderkind directors Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou) and M. Night Shyamalan (The Village), Aibel spoke to Willow Lawson for the debut of PT's "On the Job" column about professions that wrestle with human behavior.
How does casting for film differ from that for the stage?
A wildly untrained newcomer is not going to be able to deliver a big part in a play. But it is possible for someone without any experience to deliver a great performance in a film, if the director knows what he is doing.
So a stage actor is more versatile.
I used to think that, but not anymore. Sometimes people with conservatory training have to learn to let go of it. It requires an emotional release. Most intelligent stage actors who have trouble with camera work are very aware of it. They'll be the first to say, "I was too theatrical. Let me do it again."