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How reality TV shows cast the right people

A casting director for Queer Eye explains the process.

It takes a lot of work to make entertainment.

How do you find the perfect person for a reality show? I spoke to the casting director for Queer Eye (and a ton of other shows) to find out.

Danielle Gervais is the Emmy-winning casting director for Netflix’s Queer Eye (and she and her team are nominated this year as well). In addition to the hit series, she’s cast everything from Pawn Stars to Wife Swap.

I spoke to her about what it takes to find the right people at the center of each episode: the “heroes” that the show’s core cast give a makeover (or, in Gervais’s words, a “make better”).

It’s not just Gervais and her team sitting in an audition room. After hashing out story themes and location for the new season, they’ll hit the ground in their new setting (in normal circumstances) and try to find the perfect people to feature on the show. Extensive interviews and background checks help finish the project — and the result of all that hard work is an hour of seamless entertainment, with a perfect star at the center.

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