Locals Wait in Lines for Open Casting Call



EL CENTRO — Central Casting Agency held an Open Casting Call for citizens of the Imperial Valley and Yuma Saturday to act as background actors in an upcoming movie. The event took place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Imperial Valley Mall.

The agency is looking for locals to work in the upcoming movie “Arms and the Dudes,” starring Hollywood stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Central Casting was originally seeking those with a military or middle-eastern look who are 18 years or older, but in the spirit of keeping an open mind, the company allowed anyone to audition, including a few minors. They are looking to fill non-speaking roles, needing around 100-200 extras on set. Filming for the movie in El Centro is set to begin around mid-April.

Laura Strobl, a manager for Central Casting, spoke highly of the people in the Imperial Valley and those helping them in their casting process.

“Our first (staff) person arrived here at 6:30 a.m., and there were already people here waiting for us,” Strobl said. “Everyone here has been so wonderful to us – so gracious and accommodating. You never know what to expect when you go to a new place, but we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome!”

The excitement among those auditioning was palpable as locals stood in line waiting for hours to get in, where they would then have their picture taken, fill out their personal information, and identify any past experience working as a background actor. The lines were so long that the mall accommodated by opening a second vacant room where people could wait.

Ricardo Montoya of El Centro was enthusiastic about the prospect of being in a movie. He heard about the casting call through Facebook, came alone, and stood in line for 3 ½ hours to have a chance to be in the film. He stated enthusiastically that he is, “excited about the opportunity,” having no past experience in film, but hopes to be one of the several they choose. “It’s been an exciting, good experience,” stated Kathy Binder, another background hopeful.  Montoya stated, “I hope I’m the main one!”

Ricardo Montoya, 24, of El Centro, had his headshot taken by staff of Central Casting.


Central Casting is based out of Burbank, CA, and began in 1925. It has established itself as a recognized leader in casting for background actors. Currently, it is the largest provider of entertainment industry services and solutions in the United States. Actors are able to audition, work, and receive their paycheck all under the same roof. This makes for a convenient and smooth process for the background actor or actress.

Today was the only day of casting for the Imperial Valley and from here, the casting directors of the movie will screen through the applicants.  Todd Phillips, most noted for directing “The Hangover,” will also be directing this movie and will make the final decision on who lands the background roles. Those chosen will be notified early-mid April, before filming occurs. Filming will take place in the Valley in mid-April, with the lead actors expected to be joining the film crew.

Kathy Binder, David Binder (Brawley), Norman Nixon, and Gracie Valenzuela stand in line as hopefuls.
Kathy Binder, David Binder (Brawley), Norman Nixon, and Gracie Valenzuela stand in line as hopefuls.