Robyn Kass, Casting Director Interview
Want to be on Big Brother? Ever wonder who picks those house guests? What does the casting director look for?
Our interviewer, Yana, took theses questions, and many more, to Robyn Kass, the casting director for Big Brother. Casting for Big Brother 11 began during the final week of Big Brother 10 and is still going strong. With applications and video tape submissions being due by May 4, 2009 . Applicants chosen to be a finalist will go to Los Angeles, CA from which applicants will be narrowed down to a pool of forty finalists. The first open casting call for the season will be held in Lansing, Michigan by local CBS affiliate WLNS-TV on April 1, 2009. Various open casting calls will be conducted across the nation including Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, Waverly, IA, and Columbus, OH.
Robyn: Hi fans! Thank you so much for watching BB and for all these questions! Please understand, there are some things I can’t answer because of confidentiality and my contract, but I’ll answer as much as I can!
Cajunboiler: What is the most ridiculous casting video that you have ever seen?
Robyn: Wow, there have so many throughout the years I don’t think I can pick just one! I’ve seen a lot of drunk videos, a lot of naked videos, a lot of great parody videos…. They’re all pretty entertaining!
Has any contestant acted completely opposite on the show than they did in their casting videos?
Robyn: We get a pretty good gage of how people are going to act in the house during casting, but sure, there are always surprises!
TVRocks17: What's the craziest idea for a season or twist that has ever came up over the past 10-11 years?
Robyn: As much as I’d love to discuss twists, under contract I can’t- sorry.
What has been your favorite season?
Robyn: That’s a tough question. I definitely have favorite moments in every season, but it’s a little like “Sophie’s Choice” I can’t choose just one overall season as a favorite. J
If you were offered the chance to play the game. Would you do it and if so what would would be your strategy?
Robyn: HA! Great question. Wow, I don’t know. I know how difficult the house is and I’m not sure I could make it to the end. Maybe I would on a smaller scale…. Ie- shorter time frame. Could I cast who would be in the house with me??? J If so, then YES! As for strategy, I would go in with a very lose strategy, but I’d have to adapt to the situation as the game plays out. I always tell people, you can never forget you’re playing a game from the second you enter to the second you leave.
If someone was trying to get on the show which would be the best way by sending in a videotape/application or just going to an open casting call?
Robyn: Well, it really doesn’t matter. Believe it or not, we do watch every single tape that comes in- EVERY ONE! That being said, sometimes people are more natural at an open call OR they might be more nervous, so there are pros and cons to both.
Do you have a favorite moment from a past season?
Robyn: I have many. Probably the same moments as all viewers….
Season 2- Classic BB moment – Shannon cleaning the toilet with Hardy’s toothbrush.
Season 3- Watching Danielle (freezing) and Lisa in the pool at the end of the game. Of course Marcellas turning down the golden veto will go down in history.
Season 4- The moment the EXs walked in the house.
Season 5 - The twin reveal! And the look on Cowboy’s face when he realized Nakomis was his sister!
Season 6 – The moment Kaysar revealed to Maggie he figured out the twist and was gunning to get Eric out.
Season 7- The moment Erika and Janelle realized they were both being lied to by Chilltown. On the flip side, I loved watching Mike and Will lie to everyone in the pantry.
Season 8- I loved watching all of the America’s Player challenges play out- ie: Eric getting in bed with Joe! Also, nothing beats Jen crying over her wall picture- priceless moment!
Season 9- The very first challenge of season 9 was one of my favorites…. Where they had to hang upside down holding onto their partners. Also loved when Natalie miscounted the amount of letters in the alphabet “ Y and Z”!
Season 10- Between Jesse and Renny… I have a million favorite season 10 moments!
See, I truly am a fan!
Do you still speak too any past HGs?
Robyn: Absolutely! I consider all of them friends of mine. I speak to some more regularly than others, but when they come to town they’ll usually call me and try to hook up for a bite to eat.
uvp: When is the premiere of BB11?
Robyn: I don’t have the exact date yet.
These are just general questions from Yana, just things I thought people might like to know.
When doing casting calls or reviewing an audition tape, what is the things you look for that you know will make a good game player, and a good TV Character?
Robyn: I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot… I look for the “it” quality. Someone who just pops…. Someone memorable, it could be the way they talk or laugh or the way they tell stories, maybe it’s their interesting background. There’s no one thing I look for, but if I can’t remember a specific person 3 days later that probably means they didn’t leave a lasting, unique impression on me. As far as game play, I just want people in the house who love the game. Of course it helps if they’re fans of the show, but we’ve had great game players who have never seen the show, but most of all we want people who want to get to the end and win.
There are so many fan sites around, and many of them have asked to have a fan sites edition, where you could cast a person or a few people from each of the most popular sites and let them play the game, have you ever considered this option for a twist?
Robyn: Nope, this has never come up. We do cast a lot of hardcore fans of BB on the show. I wouldn’t cast someone specifically from any fan websites.
Will there be an All Stars 2?
Robyn: I have no idea….
Do you like working with Alison?
Robyn: Allison is fantastic! We’ve definitely been through “the trenches” together many, many years! If we didn’t get along, it would never work.
How much longer do you see the show being on the air, as you can pretty much guess, we here at Morty's LOVE the show, and a lot of us wouldn't want the show to ever end, but that's not realistic, the show has been on for 11 years this summer, and it seems to still be going strong, so do you think there will be at least 2 or three more years?
Robyn: Well, if you asked me this question during season 3 I probably would have never guessed it would continue to season 11! I love casting the show, I love watching the show and I’ll stay on it as long as the network keeps it going!
Will there be another winter season, or was that just a season done because of the writers strike?
Robyn: I don’t make those decisions…. No idea.
My mom is 71 years old, my Sister in Law is in her 50's, I am 40 years old, my niece is in her 30's, and her daughters are in their teens, we are all fans of Big Brother. Did you know that the show was so popular with so many age groups?
Love hearing stories like that! Thanks!
We want to thank you for the interview and for casting the show. We have had many years of enjoyment, and wish many more. http://www.mortystv.com/big_brother_interviews_8.shtml#robyn