The Acting Podcast

Ep. 20: Sarah Finn: Superhero of Casting

Show Notes: Season 1!

Show Notes: Season 2!

Show Notes: Season 3!

Sarah Finn is the award-winning casting director of Oscar winners and blockbusters alike. Best known for her work casting the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, she has also cast a huge range of films and TV shows [full bio below]. In this episode Sarah talks with Risa and Steve about her casting journey- its joys and challenges, about her unique process, and about how to approach the work from a place of creative collaboration, curiosity, and a deep love for acting. Fun fact: Sarah started her epic casting adventure as Risa’s assistant a couple of decades ago.

“If you’re talented, that talent is going to rise. It’s going to make itself known. If I’m lucky, I’m gonna catch you at the right time, for the right part. And if I see you and it’s not the right part, then it’s on me to remember you six months or two years later when it’s the perfect part, because otherwise someone else is going to snap you up. I think an actor has agency; they can say ‘this is my craft, this is my work, I’m gonna do it everywhere, and the right part is gonna find me."

– Sarah Finn

“I just grew up at a time where I couldn’t name one female director…or not a single woman would get on stage to accept a producer award at the Oscars…representation matters because if you don’t see it, you don’t know that you can do it. Being a woman on the other side of the camera was not something that I ever saw.”
-Ellyn Jameson

“Then the desperation went away and I had an ease in audition rooms that I’d never had before because I had a life outside of wanting someone to pick me.”
-Dominic Burgess

“It happened entirely because I was following the path that was put in front of me without a tremendous amount of judgment around it. And I’m a judgy motherfucker…if I can do this, anyone can.”
-Johnathan McClain

“Walk into every room, and everything you ever write, and everything you create, and just make it you, just authentically you. And most of the time, the people who’ll respond to it will love it because you’re being yourself and there’s only one of you in the world. And it feels amazing when you put yourself forward and people reward you for it.”
-Caroline Lindy

Guests & Resources:


IMDb + Instagram

Sarah Finn is an award-winning Casting Director who has cast over 100 feature films. Known for casting the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, just a few of those films include Captain America, Thor, Guardians of The Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Captain Marvel. She has also earned recognition for the groundbreaking cultural sensations and multiple Oscar-winners Black Panther, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and 2006’s Best Picture, Crash.  Those three films also all won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and earned her the Casting Society of America’s highest honor, the Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.  To date, 43 of her films have opened at #1 in the Domestic Box- Office.  In 2019 alone Sarah cast 4 out of the top 5 grossing films in the world – Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far from Home and Captain Marvel. For Disney+, she cast the breakout Star Wars hit series The Mandalorian and is currently in charge of casting Marvel’s entire new slate of streaming projects.  A graduate of Yale University and member of AMPAS (Executive Committee, Casting Branch), Sarah has served on the Executive Board of Women in Film and is on the Board of Advisors for the highly acclaimed Master Class educational series.  She is also a founding participant in the Time’s Up Movement.


Erin McIntosh
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Andy Abelow
Sam Dewees + Andy Abelow
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