As many of you know, two years ago I relocated back up to my hometown of Vancouver, BC Canada after a decade in Los Angeles. I was immediately excited to find that not only was “Hollywood North” (as many Vancouver-ites call it) still thriving, it was in fact BOOMING with business, and there are amazing women here doing phenomenal work.
Among those women are fantastic Casting Directors who cast not only Canadian productions, but also oversee all local casting for US productions. I thought what better way to introduce the Ms. In The Biz community to these women than by doing a series of Spotlight Interviews with the Vancouver female casting community!
For the first interview in this series, I had the great opportunity to talk with veteran Casting Director and two-time Prime Time Emmy award winner and multiple Leo award winner Jackie Lind!
Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Let’s dive right in.
Being from Saskatchewan originally, what brought you out to Vancouver? Were you always interested in and passionate about the film and TV industry?
I was hired to do the casting on the TV Series “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” that shot in Calgary Alberta in 1996. The talent pool was smaller than it is now and thus I would have to pull actors from Vancouver on a regular basis. I got to know and love the talent in Vancouver. I moved to Calgary after the series ended and opened a casting company. I would continue to cast out of Vancouver for all of my Calgary shows I was casting and thus in 2006 it was a natural transition for me to make Vancouver my home base. However, I still have a company in Alberta where I have gone back and done several shows including seven Seasons of “Hell On Wheels” and three Seasons on “Fargo”. Yes, I have always been interested and passionate about the film and TV business. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Having been in Vancouver for so long and in the film and TV industry, how have you seen the business in this city evolve and change over the years? Is there anything that’s particularly exciting to you about this current time?
As everyone knows the business in Vancouver is booming and has been for years. Because we are so busy with multiple projects, I am thrilled to see Vancouver actors not only getting the opportunity to hone their auditioning skills but actually land significant roles and be able to earn a living in this industry.
From the upcoming highly anticipated “Snowpiercer” and the extremely popular “Hell on Wheels” to hundreds of Hallmark movies, your list of casting credits is incredibly extensive. Are there any types of projects that you’d love to cast but haven’t yet had the opportunity to?
I pretty much love every project I have had the opportunity to cast. Some are more challenging than others, some are more rewarding than others especially the most difficult ones. I have developed good relationships and great friendships over the years and for that I am very grateful.
Vancouver is truly an exciting hot bed of talent in front of and behind the camera. Is there anything in particular that you look for when deciding to join a project as the casting director?
I want to make sure that every project I decide to cast that myself and my team are going to be able to a good job. I want to make sure it is a good fit so it is a win-win situation for all involved.
I’ve read a bit about your journey of being diagnosed with Lupus in your forties and am inspired by your openness about your experiences with the disease, and how you have brought awareness to the public. World Lupus Day just passed on May 10th, is there a particular website or organization that you’d suggest people go to to learn more?
Actually I was only diagnosed with Lupus two years ago. It took that long to diagnose. Lupus masks other diseases so it is very hard to get a diagnoses and begin treatment . I was treated for several other illness over the years, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto etc… All which turned out to be Lupus. I consider Lupus my friend, a gift of sorts. It has made me stronger, wiser, more compassionate , more aware and present. I am studying to be more mindful and to deal with EGO . Apparently I have a big one lol, but Lupus is helping me in a positive way on my journey to find balance and it certainly does enlighten one.
Now some rapid-fire questions!
I see from your twitter feed that you are a connoisseur of hot sauce! Do you have a favorite?
There really isn’t one I don’t like. The hotter the better.
If you lived in a parallel universe and casting didn’t exist, what job do you think you’d be doing?
I would want to be a motivational speaker.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Tuscany which we are going to in 2021 to celebrate my 60 birthday.
Favorite hobby or past time?
Cooking. It is a huge passion. I have mastered the duck and the rabbit and now trying to master French cooking. I love to work in my yard. I find it peaceful especially my Buddha Garden. I love to read cookbooks of all kinds and mostly I love to share laughs and food with my loved ones. Life is short and for some shorter. I hope to be an example of one who embraces Life every moment and be grateful for all that is and the possibility of the good yet to come.
Thank you so much again for taking the time to chat. Excited to see what other phenomenal projects you cast this year, and I look forward to catching up on those that you’ve cast in the past!