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Why Did They Cast Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth 2.0?

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  • Marsden
    replied
    I like the story that JMS considered having a "revolving attache" like Murphy Brown went through secretaries, but he cancelled that quickly.

    Originally posted by JMS News via Lurkers Guide
    So to repeat: we'd had to replace Mary Woronov with virtually no notice after we found that she really had a hard time with the narn prosthetics (wouldn't wear the contacts, and other stuff). In a panic, our casting director called in a favor from Caitlin Brown, who is mainly a leading-lady type actor. She came in and, in fact, for the first episode (shooting almost immediately afterward) wore a variation of the Ko'Dath makeup, because there wasn't time to make one specific to her.

    She came in without being under the 5-year option that generally exists in these situations. Did one year, about 9 episodes, as Na'Toth. And had to turn down a couple of leading-female parts. During the hiatus, she did a romantic lead character in a film with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. And had to ask the hard question: do I continue to grow as a romantic lead actor in feature films, or play Na'Toth? She is a VERY gorgeous woman, and felt awkward hiding behind the mask and cutting herself out of leading female parts in feature films to do it.

    We went 'round and 'round about this for some time, it was a very difficult decision for her because she likes the show and everyone here, but finally opted out. On one level it's a pain in the butt, but we respect her decision. And it *is* her call, not ours.

    (Quick aside...pfffttthhpplttt to those who, in their theory that Sinclair/O'Hare quit, said that I'd naturally say it was mutual because I could never say it was the actors choice because somehow I'd get in trouble. No, I *would* say it if O'Hare had opted out on his own. And in this case, that's exactly what happened.)

    We didn't recast Sinclair because that character is going somewhere from whence he may (and will) return, and because that serves the story; in this case, we are recasting Na'Toth. By the end of season one, Na'Toth knows stuff that I need that character, G'Kar's aide, to know. (Though I was briefly tempted to do the Murphy Brown Secretary line, with G'Kar getting a new aide every so often due to terrible airlock accidents...but I went to lay down for a while and the notion passed.)

    So no, it's not a rumor, it's quite true. In fact, we just finished up a casting session and found someone who's very right for the part; and though we weren't confined to this, is actually about the same height, same build, same attitude as Caitlin, and whose voice is very similar. I don't think much difference will be noted in the long run, really.

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  • sarthaz
    replied
    Thanks! So, she was "very strong in auditions." I can buy that. And the wording "to not push against Andreas" makes sense too; although I never thought about it that way until now. Andreas was so intense as G'Kar that I can understand how someone could give a strong audition and then cower before his presence during a real scene. Julie has such a strong, in-your-face presence that I guess it came more natural to her. Thanks for sharing that quote. Guess I just needed a little change of perspective to understand this mystery.

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  • JoeD80
    replied
    Joe wanted that character to be in place still, as the one who knew where G'Kar had gone after the events of Chrysalis.

    Joe's take on her performance:

    Originally posted by jms
    The only time it hasn't worked out as well as I'd've liked was when we cast Mary Kay Adams, who was very strong in the auditions, and then made an actor's choice to play the character very quiet, to not push against Andreas...but you fade into the woodwork if you do that.
    I noticed the Na'Toth character is in "The Coming of Shadows" script but in the episode is replaced by a Narn that G'Kar is talking to via monitor. I wonder if the Na'Toth scenes were filmed and cut?

    Some of her first lines in Revelations were cut for sure.

    Personally I thought she did OK in Acts of Sacrifice.

    I am guessing they let her go after that episode, which I believe was around the winter break of season two filming. (They would just pay her the rest of her salary and let her go; "Pay or Play").
    Last edited by JoeD80; 05-07-2013, 12:03 PM.

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  • sarthaz
    started a topic Why Did They Cast Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth 2.0?

    Why Did They Cast Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth 2.0?

    I get why JCB left the role, but are there any explanations from the good ol' days or in the new publications for why they ended up giving the role to Mary Kay Adams? I actually think Mary's a better screen actress (and a really nice person), but Julie's theatrical overacting worked perfectly for Na'Toth and set up a really strong character. Obviously, Mary never came close to that energy and had to be written out of the show, but how did they get to that point in the first place? It's just hard to believe anyone really felt she would fit that character.
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