'12 Years a Slave' Director Holding Casting Call for HBO Pilot in Harlem

By Gustavo Solis on August 18, 2014 9:31am 

 Director Steve McQueen, winner of Best Picture for "12 Years a Slave," poses after receiving the award.
Director Steve McQueen, winner of Best Picture for "12 Years a Slave," poses after receiving the award.
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Getty/Jason Merritt

HARLEM — Steve McQueen, the director of "12 Years a Slave," is scouting Harlem for a leading man to star in an upcoming HBO pilot.

The Academy Award-winning director's production team will be at Harlem School for the Arts on 645 Saint Nicholas Ave. August 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for what will be the team's first and only casting call in the city.

Casting director Cindy Tolan, who has worked on HBO shows "Flight of the Conchords" and Curb Your Enthusiasm, will run the auditions, according to casting agent Mia Cusumano. McQueen will not be present.

“No experience is necessary,” Cusumano said. “They are just looking for a quality individual.”

All black men between the ages of 20 and 40 are invited to attend, Cusumano said.

The search won't be limited to aspiring actors. Since no experience is necessary, casting directors will also look at dancers, musicians and anyone with any interest in being a part of the project, Cusumano added.

The HBO pilot, which is still untitled, will be about a young African-American man’s experience entering New York high society, according to Deadline Hollywood, who first reported news of the project.

Matthew Michael Caranhan, who co-wrote the Brad Pitt movie "World War Z," is reportedly helping McQueen write the pilot.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that McQueen would be present for the auditions.

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