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Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Little Canfield

Get To Know the Casting Director: Tiffany Little Canfield 


It’s hard to pick just a handful of credits that cover the depth of Tiffany Little Canfield’s casting resume. From The Greatest Showman to Only Murders in the Building to This Is Us, she’s cast big titles in film, as well as both streaming and network series. And that’s not even factoring in the variety of the productions she’s done for the stage. For those wanting to get to know the casting director behind the impressive resume, we’ve got you covered. Little Canfield made time to virtually sit down with Casting Networks and give insights into everything from how she works — including a window into casting the highly-anticipated Sex and the City revival series And Just Like That… — to how she recharges when off the clock.

 

It’s great to virtually meet you, Tiffany, and I’d love to kick things off with the beginning of your career journey. When was the moment you knew that casting was the job for you?

I went to drama school and got a BFA in directing, but I didn’t really know about casting as a career until my first job. Soon after graduating, I applied to be the casting assistant on Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème on Broadway, and I just fell in love with the whole process. There was a lot to take in because I didn’t have a specific background in casting, and I appreciated the challenge of it all. I was also learning about opera and Broadway on that job, and I enjoyed growing in those areas, as well. That feeling of becoming a better artist every day has continued throughout my career because each casting job is an immersion into something new.

 

Wow. What a way to start! And now jumping to present day, congrats are in order for all the success of And Just Like That…, with it delivering the strongest series debut on HBO Max to date. What can you tell us about the process of assembling the cast for the long-awaited revival?

It was definitely a challenge because of how iconic the original series is, but it was also a lot of fun. Bernie [Telsey] and I had the opportunity to work with Michael Patrick King and John Melfi on the Sex and the City films, so it felt a bit like coming home to family. And then it was a dream to get to introduce some of our favorite actors to this world with the new characters on the series. I mean, I’ve been fangirling over Sarita Choudhury for the whole course of my career. [Laughs] So, working with her for the first time was a bucket list moment, and then we had history with actors like Nicole Ari Parker, who played Stella on Broadway in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire that we cast. Plus, Karen Pittman and Sara Ramirez — the list goes on!

 

It certainly does, and here comes my favorite question to ask casting. If someone made a film about your life story, which actor would you cast to play the role of Tiffany Little Canfield?

That’s a tricky one, even with experience casting actors to play real people. We also often cast the same character at different ages for This Is Us, which I feel would also be applicable for answering this question. But as a casting director, I’m always going to be collaborating with my colleagues, the writer, the director, etc. Plus, I would always want to protect the privacy of the audition process. I can tell you, though, that Merritt Wever has always reminded me of my sister, both in essence and look. And just considering physical appearance, I sometimes have people tell me that I resemble Patricia Arquette or Robin Wright.

 

Oh my goodness — I see it! And I’d also love to hear what’s been on your watchlist lately.

I recently finished The Dropout and just loved it. I was hooked from the start and thought it was incredibly well-cast. I’ve always been a fan of Amanda Seyfried and thought she gave an unbelievable performance in it. I also just started FX’s Under the Banner of Heaven, which stars Andrew Garfield. I remember reading in college the book it’s inspired by and think they’re doing a fantastic job with the series adaptation. I love all the actors in it, as well. Then there’s The Gilded Age, and since our New York office worked on it, I hadn’t read the scripts ahead of time. So, I was really anticipating its release, and I was not disappointed. I’m a fan of everyone in the cast, and Carrie Coon is just incredible. It’s definitely one of those series that I’ll go back and watch again. And then my other watchlist is for theater. I just saw Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Mark Taper Forum, which was directed by Phylicia Rashad. I really enjoyed that, and I’m seeing tonight [at the time of interview] Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Geffen. I’ll add that one of the best things I’ve recently seen was The Lehman Trilogy. Holy moly — that play blew my mind, and it feels very applicable to what’s happening right now.

 

That’s an impressive watchlist. And outside of work, how do you re-charge when you’re off the clock?

I have this tight-knit group of people in my life with whom I’ve been friends since junior high. It even includes my romantic partner — we fell in love in our 40s after friend-zoning each other for about 25 years! [Laughs] So, our thing in this group is playing really complicated board games and basically just smack-talking each other the entire time. It’s pretty nerdy that that’s what I really look forward to doing with my friends. [Laughs]

 

It sounds like a lot of fun! Can you give us a few examples?

Great Western Trail is a new one we played, and then there’s Battle for Rokugan. I mean, we’re really just laughing at our own ridiculousness the entire time, even though we’re competitive. And I’ll say that I am preparing the next generation for it. I have 11-year-old twins, and we’ve started playing board games together, as well. I’m teaching them the required art of psychological warfare. [Laughs] We keep it all kind and fun, though, and play games like Splendor and Dominion.

 

From Little Canfield’s passion for her work as an artist to her passion for playing board games with friends and family — and everything in between — this has been a window into the person behind all the casting credits. Those interested in learning more about the stacked list of film and TV titles on her resume can find them listed on IMDb.

This interview has been edited and condensed.