AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Casting directors are an integral part of the filmmaking process, according to Woody Allen, who wrote an open letter to The Hollywood Reporter in support of a new push to create a casting category at the Oscars.

In the letter, Allen credits his own longtime casting director, Juliet Taylor, with introducing him to actors he'd never heard of before, and along the way helping launch the careers of Hollywood heavyweights like Meryl Streep, Jeff Daniels, Mariel Hemingway, and Patricia Clarkson. Allen added that while the casting process "bores and embarrasses" him, Taylor's knack for picking the right people for the right parts helped each of his movies significantly.

"Because my films are not special effects films and are about human beings, proper casting is absolutely essential," Allen wrote. "I owe a big part of the success of my films to this scrupulous casting process which I must say if left to my own devices would never have happened."

Allen's letter is timed with the impending limited release of documentary "Casting By," which makes the case that casting directors, including those who worked on classics such as "Manhattan," "Midnight Cowboy," "The Graduate," and "Bonnie and Clyde," should be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their invaluable contributions to filmmaking.

For more from the director, check out his full letter at The Hollywood Reporter. "Casting By" opens in New York City this weekend and in Los Angeles next weekend.
categories Movies