Upcoming Podcast With Emmy Nominated Downton Abbey Casting Director – Jill Trevellick!

Blog Upcoming Feature
Ask Jill Trevellick your casting questions!

Ask Jill Trevellick your casting questions!

Hey everyone - BIG news!

It gives me immense pleasure to announce my next podcast guest here on Act On This - an absolutely stunning opportunity for you guys to pick the brains of one of the most successful casting directors on the planet!

On Tuesday 17th February, I'll have the pleasure of sitting down to record a podcast with the Emmy nominated casting director responsible for putting together the cast of Downton Abbey - Jill Trevellick - and as always I WANT YOUR QUESTIONS!

Jill has been a casting director for over 20 years and in that time she has cast some of the biggest shows on earth.

Everything from Primeval to Vera, Merlin, The Hour, The Musketeers and as mentioned, the spectacular Downton Abbey, which saw Joanne Froggatt win a Golden Globe!

Jill has recently finished work on ITV's upcoming Code Of A Killer, which stars John Simm and David Threlfall, as well as BBC One's new one-off factual 7/7 drama - A Song For Jenny.

She is currently finishing the casting of Downton's sixth series and will soon begin work on BBC One's brand new 20-part drama Dickensian - written by the wonderful Tony Jordan and produced by Red Planet Pictures.

Luckily for us, as well as being incredibly successful, Jill is also incredibly giving - and happy to give us her time for free, in order to help everyone in the Act On This community progress in their acting careers!

This is a brilliant opportunity to ask EVERYTHING you have ever wanted to ask about casting but might have been too afraid to.

As always, there are no stupid questions, bar those you DON'T ASK!

So what are you waiting for?

Log in NOW and leave your questions in the comments section below!

You won't get many opportunities like this one, so don't miss out!

  • Sascha Borg

    Wowwww! This is a good one @rossgrant! I love Downton!! #obsessed haha! Anyways..

    I would love to know!!
    Are you always looking for new talent?
    If an actor was to send their showreel/headshot to you via email/post, would you actually watch it? :). Also!!
    What’s the first thing you look for when an actor is submitted for a casting?
    Thanks!! :).

  • Lisa Daintry

    Hi Ross
    I’m asking, when I hear actors should make a bold choice, could that be clarified in a few examples, I’m always unsure of this. What’s a bold choice?


  • Patricia Jones

    This might seem a bit weird but I have heard a number of times that you don’t cast actors for ‘Downtown’ who have dyed hair. Is this true or just another strange actor rumour.
    ps I met Jill at a casting for Vera about a year ago. She is nice. 🙂
    Thanks Jill

  • Stephanie Hindle

    Wow, what an opportunity. So many questions do little time.

    The thing I’d most like to know is, for a massive scale production like downtown abbey and others, how early do you get scripts and does it affect how you would prepare for a scene?

    Thank you xx

  • Stephen Whitfield

    Hi Ross,

    My question ‘ Some CDs prefer you to have your pages with you even when you’re off page, some don’t. Do you have a preference?’

    Have a great interview Ross..


  • GREAT questions, keep them coming people! 🙂

  • Nina Stratford

    My question: With the focus theses days on TV ratings and ‘bums on seats’ in theatre, how difficult it is for you to take a punt on a relative ‘unknown’ and give them a role. I ask because it does seem that the same actors appear very often on TV and I wondered what pressure you are under, if any, to cast ‘names’ to keep viewing figures high?

  • Liam Loughrey

    This is great Ross… Jill is a star!

    I was lucky enough to audition for Jill last year, it was for an excellent part in The Crimson Field.
    Unfortunately I did not get the part I auditioned for, however Jill called my agent a few days after and offered me a smaller role.
    Which I am very greatful for! 🙂

    So my question is this… When an actor has an unsuccessful audition, do you consider auditioning them again for other parts in other projects? Or do they gradually get forgotten about over time?

    Thanks Jill and Ross. Really looking forward to the Podcast 😀


  • Simeon Oakes

    Hello Jill. First of all, I’d like to thank you for your brilliant contribution to our increasingly exciting, versatile and fascinating British drama and for offering chances to younger, less know, undiscovered talent through the way you cast, as well as the more established faces.
    I know that some casting directors prefer not to receive unsolicited invitations to shows and updates or direct applications for projects they are casting, and I was wondering where you stood on that front? Do you mind actors writing to you directly with regards to the above (whether they have representation or not)? And do you find that you have the time to reply to them and in some instances invite them in for auditions or general meetings?
    Many thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts and experience with us here. Simeon

  • Hello Jill,
    Firstly I have to say that you cast a good few of my fave shows, now that’s out of the way; the most important question I would ask a Casting Director, like yourself would be!

    ‘We know that a CD will have an idea that they would cast a person within the first few seconds of that person walking through the door, so what is the CD looking at, or for as the actor walks into the room, before they even speak?’ Gary Walker.

  • Carole Bardsley

    Hello Jill and Ross.
    Jill have you ever had the passion to be an actor yourself? Or deep down you knew that you wanted to be a director. Also what compels you to make big decisions when directing something?

  • Eva Micallef

    Hello Jill,

    Watch Downton avidly, I must be one of your greatest fans, love all the cast especially Maggie Smith. I do a lot of extra work, attend acting classes. Would love to be part of your team. Do you think you will have many more series to follow.

    Naughty as it may be, do you give menial people a chance, I’ve done a few soaps and a few dramas, the most recent Dads Army, but ideally would love to do a Period Drama (any chance to meet the cast would be idyllic).


  • Vasoula Christodoulou

    Hello Ross,

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask a question! 🙂

    Here is my question :

    How do you mainly chose the cast for a project? Agents? Spotlight? or do you prefer to cast actors that you have worked with before?

    Thank you

    Vasoula 🙂 X

  • Keep the questions coming folks!

    I’ll make sure I get you the answers! 🙂

  • Louise Willoughby

    Hi Jill!

    This is a great opportunity! I would like to know, I trained in Musical Theatre, but have also taken TV & Film workshops but find it difficult to get seen for TV & Film. Is musical theatre training looked down upon in TV & Film when you are deciding to who to see for an audition? And would you have any tips for getting seen for TV?

    Thank you so much.
    Louise Willoughby


  • Ruth Curtis

    Please ask: what is the question you rarely get asked but, if you were interviewing yourself, is the most interesting / pertinent / exciting to answer?
    (It’s a question I always ask my guest interviewees on WAWOW – the online show about extraordinary people in your neighbourhood – mind you, they get to prepare it in advance!)
    Thank you

    • Haha, that’s a great question Ruth!

  • Julia Taylor

    Hi Ross,

    I’d love to know what inspired Jill to be a Casting Director and also what the most memorable casting she’s conducted is and why?

    Thank you!