Open casting call announced for 'Heartland' starring Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham

Untitled Ramin Bahrani Heartland Casting Call

"Heartland" is casting children through seniors as actors and extras.
AB Media Publishing, LLC

Casting directors for the independent feature film "Heartland" are holding an open casting call in DeKalb, Illinois on Sunday September 18, 2011. They are seeking local talent for small speaking roles, extras, and stand-ins for the film's stars. All ages and types are needed, no experience is necessary. Shooting is taking place in the DeKalb area which is approximately 60 miles east of Chicago.

The film has a fantastic cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Zac Efron, and Kim Dickens. The main starring roles are being cast out of New York by casting director Douglas Aibel. For 20 years he has been the artistic director of the Vineyard Theater, a small downtown New York company known for producing world premieres of plays. The smaller speaking roles are being hired by Casting Society of America member Jennifer Rudnicke of Paskal Rudnicke Casting in Chicago. Extras are being cast by Erin Stewart of Chicago's Atmosphere Casting.

Independent Spirit Award winning Ramin Bahrani will direct "Heartland" from a screenplay that he wrote with Hallie Elizabeth Newton. Bahrani's 2007 film "Chop Shop" was named as the 6th best film of the decade by film critic Roger Ebert, who also hailed Bahrani as "the director of the decade". His first feature film in 2005, "Man Push Cart," premiered at the Venice Film Festival and screened at the Sundance Film Festival. The film won over ten international prizes, was released theatrically around the world, and was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards.

Open Casting Call Details


The Egyptian Theatre
135 North 2nd Street
DeKalb, IL 60115-3203
Click Here for directions.


Sunday, September 18, 2011
2:00pm - 6:00pm

The following types are being cast:

One-line speaking roles

• Young men ages 18 to 28.
• Males and Females ages 30s to 70s.
• Married couple, ages 50s to 70s.

Featured extras (non-speaking roles)

• Young men ages 14 to 28.
• Males and Females ages 30s to 70s.

Church background extras (non-speaking roles)

• All ages welcome.
• Congregation needed for scripted church scene.

Sycamore Speedway extras (non-speaking roles)

• All ages and types. Typical auto racing fans.

• Although not required, it's always a good idea to bring a pen or pencil and be prepared to fill out a form with your clothing sizes, physical stats, and contact information.

If you are unable to attend this open casting call, you can submit a recent color snapshot or headshot/resume and the following information:

• Name, phone number, e-mail address, age, ethnicity, hair color, eye color, height, weight.

• Women also include your: dress and shoe size, bust/waist/hip measurements.

• Men include your: Coat/suit, shoe, shirt (neck/sleeve), and pants (waist/inseam) sizes.

• If submitting via email, attach your photo - jpg format only, no files larger than 1MB.

Submit to:

"Untitled Ramin Bahrani Project"
c/o Atmosphere Casting
PO Box 802629
Chicago, IL 60680-2629


If you have a child (under the age of 16) and would like him/her to be considered for work on 'Heartland', please register them via email:

Include name, phone number, e-mail address, age and date of birth, ethnicity, hair color, eye color, height, weight, your child's clothing sizes and attach a recent photo (jpg format only, no files larger than 1MB). The photo does not have to be professional, it can be a color snapshot.

Your child will also need a valid Illinois Department of Labor Employment Certificate, also known as a "work permit". The paperwork needed to obtain a child work permit is available in the 2011 Chicago Actors Resource Guide eBook. The following is included:

• USA Child Actor Work Permit Requirements
• Illinois Child Labor Laws Information Sheet
• Illinois Child Employment Certificate Application
• Illinois Teenage Employment Certificate Application
• Illinois Night Hours Waiver Certificate Application
• Illinois Parent/Guardian Approval Form
• Illinois Child Statement of Physical Fitness
• Illinois Child Labor Complaint Form

Note: This "Untitled Ramin Bahrani Film" has been using the working title of "Heartland". A working title is the temporary name of a film used during its development. Working titles are used primarily for two reasons - the first being that an official title has not yet been decided upon and the working title is being used as a filler for naming purposes, the second being to intentionally disguise the production of a high profile film. In some cases a working title may ultimately be used as the official title. This "title ruse" is now a very common practice by which these high-profile films or television series is given a fake working title to keep its production a secret, and to prevent price gouging by suppliers, casual theft and undesirable attention. It this case, it is unknown if the film will be titled "Heartland" or will have a different title to be named at a later date.

Filming will continue through mid-late October, 2011 in DeKalb. "Heartland" is due to be released in theaters sometime in 2012.

Principal Actor Casting

See the post titled Headshot and Resume Information regarding how to submit for acting roles.

Please submit photos and resumes by mail only.
No phone calls or personal drop-offs.

New York:

Douglas Aibel
"Heartland" Casting
c/o Vineyard Theatre
180 E. 15th St.
New York, NY 10003

Chicago, IL:

Jennifer Rudnicke
"Heartland" Principal Actors
c/o Paskal Rudnicke Casting
10 W. Hubbard Suite 2-N
Chicago , IL 60610

Extras Casting:


Erin Stewart
"Heartland" Extras
Atmosphere Casting
P.O. Box 802629
Chicago, IL 60680-2629

Production Companies:

Do NOT send photos and resumes to the production companies, as they will most likely end up being thrown away. They do not cast the films, rather they hire casting directors who sort through the thousands of submissions.

"Heartland" Production Office
1600 E. Lincoln Hwy
Dekalb, IL 60115

Bankside Films
3 Richmond Buildings
4th Floor
London W1D 3HE

Black Bear Pictures
185 Franklin St
4th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Killer Films
18 E. 16th Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Benaroya Pictures
311 N. Robertson Blvd.
Suite 686
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


Christine Vachon
Pam Koffler
Michael Benaroya
Justin Nappi
Brian Young
Andrew Levitas
Phil Hunt
Rose Ganguzza
Moe Al Turki
Ron Curtis


Ramin Bahrani


Dennis Quaid - Henry Whipple
Heather Graham - Meredith Crown
Zac Efron - Dean Whipple
Kim Dickens - Irene Whipple
Maika Monroe - Cadence Farrow


The story is about Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) an ambitious farmer with 3,700 acres and is a salesman for Liberty Seed Company. Whipple wants to expand his empire but gets caught up in the genetically modified foods debate with a company called AgriWarrior, and has a rivalry with Liberty Seeds top sales team of Jim Johnson and Sons. Zac Efron plays Dean Whipple, his rebellious son who would rather be a race car driver. Heather Graham plays Meredith Crown, who is having an affair with Henry behind his devoted wife's (Kim Dickens) back. Newcomer Maika Monroe will play Zac Efron’s girlfriend named Cadence Farrow.