By The Associated Press
JACKSON— Hollywood returns to Mississippi to bring a William Faulkner novel to life on the big screen.
WLBT-TV reports auditions were held Wednesday at Jackson’s New Stage Theatre for James Franco’s version of “As I Lay Dying.” Other open casting calls will be held in Canton at the Corner House on Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On Wednesday, New Stage Theatre was packed as hundreds braved the heat for a chance to appear in the film based on Faulkner’s story about a Mississippi family.
“I’d like to be in the movie business…That’s why I’m jumping on it because there’s not many opportunities for this here in Jackson,” said Joshua Bobst, of Jackson.
University of Southern Mississippi student Hannah Jones drove from Hattiesburg hoping for a part.
“A friend sent it to me kind of as a joke and he was really surprised to see that I actually was gonna come try out, but you just never know these opportunities don’t come that often so you have to take advantage,” said Jones.
Casting director Matthew Morgan, a Canton native now based in Toronto, Canada, said he was thrilled to be choosing talent in his home state and hometown.
“We want to capture the authenticity of Mississippi accents, the various faces across our state. So we’re excited to fulfill several roles, not only just background and extras but a lot of principle roles and feature people with local Mississippians,” said Morgan.
For those who showed real promise, there will be call backs for speaking roles and a test on video.
Franco is set to direct and act in the film, based on Faulkner’s 1930 work. The movie is to be filmed in Canton.