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Original casting question...

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  • Original casting question...

    I noticed a thread that I guess was originally from the moderated group and recently posted here, talking about a report that actress Susan Kellerman was going to play NaÆToth, only to be subsequently replaced by Julie Caitlin Brown. I know this is something that a number of behind-the-scenes people talked about this in the early days of production, but never mentioned the actress by name.

    Anyway, I started poking around in my own archives and found an interview with Julie who once told me that she got involved in B5 after they lost the original actress on the first day. And then I found this interview I did with Jim Johnston, who directed æParliament of Dreams:Æ

    [Joe: I understand the actress who was originally going to play Na'Toth left in the middle of filming and you had to replace her.
    Jim: It's a strange thing, with these prosthetics that go on, you ask the people during casting, 'Have you ever worn prosthetics, or these contact lenses?' and like all actresses, they can ride horses, water ski and do all these things, but she got into makeup that day, and she wasn't halfway through and she was getting claustrophobia attacks. It really closes you in, and you have any claustrophobia, that's really going to bring it out. She absolutely freaked, and said, 'I don't think I can do this,' and John Copeland and I talked to her, and tried to calm her down, and tried to go ahead with the last process of makeup, but she just couldn't do it. So we made the decision that we just had to scrap those scenes, and we had to suddenly completely re-juggle the schedule and eliminate her scenes and go on to scenes which the actors weren't prepared to do. Luckily we got through that day without losing too much time, and at the same time, we were casting for a new actress, and I think we got lucky. We should never have worried about Caitlin, because she's a very physical actress, and really not afraid of things like that, and she constantly wanted to do more and more physical things.]

    So I guess that helps set the record straight, for anybody who was following that thread.

  • #2
    The funny thing is, first Woronov HATED the makeup and quit after her one episode. Then they hire Kellerman, who freaks before finally casting JCB, who eventually had to give up the role because she was suffering a bad skin reaction to the makeup. I suppose they could have brought in Robin Curtis rather than Mary Kay Adams, but she's fairly recognizable whatever makeup she's wearing and people might have said, "Hey! Wasn't she the fish lady?"
    Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by B5_Obsessed View Post
      The funny thing is, first Woronov HATED the makeup and quit after her one episode. Then they hire Kellerman, who freaks before finally casting JCB, who eventually had to give up the role because she was suffering a bad skin reaction to the makeup. I suppose they could have brought in Robin Curtis rather than Mary Kay Adams, but she's fairly recognizable whatever makeup she's wearing and people might have said, "Hey! Wasn't she the fish lady?"
      Well, the thing is, MKA should never have had to be let go. When she auditioned, she was Na'Toth. When she played the role, she was Zenny Delenny.

      Watch her performance as Grilka (Quark's Klingon wife on DS9). She was a perfect replacement for JCB, but chose to play the role differently after she had been cast. Played as a continuation of what had come before, MKA may have lasted the full four years. (since, you know, she wasn't there in year one)
      "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

      The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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      • #4
        I did notice that Na'Toth is in the scripts for Coming of Shadows and There All the Honor Lies but isn't in the finished episodes. I wonder what happened with those.

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