Have you ever seen a movie that featured an actor with physical abnormalities and wondered what the casting call for that role must have looked like? I mean, did they come out and SAY, "We need someone who looks like a freak"? And how does the actor feel about it?

Well, a couple days ago a casting notice went out for Shelter -- a Julianne Moore/Jonathan Rhys Meyers thriller about to start filming in Pittsburgh -- that began to answer those questions. It included a call for people to play West Virginia hillbillies. Specifically, they wanted "unusual body shapes, even physical abnormalities as long as there is normal mobility. Unusual facial features.... We are also looking for a ... girl with an other-worldly look to her. Could be an albino or something along those lines.... 'Regular-looking' children should not attend this open call."

The Pittsburgh-based casting director responsible for this, Donna Belajac, has now been fired -- not because of the casting notice, but because of the uproar that followed her comments quoted in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story on Tuesday: "Some of these 'holler' people -- because they are insular and clannish, and they don't leave their area -- there is literally inbreeding, and the people there often have a different kind of look. That's what we're trying to get."
categories Cinematical