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April Webster

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April Webster, C.S.A., is an Emmy Award-winning Hollywood casting director whose company, April Webster Casting, worked on Star Trek for director and producer J.J. Abrams. Webster had previously collaborated with Abrams on his first film, Mission: Impossible III, as well as the television series Alias, Lost, and Six Degrees. She cast the film in collaboration with Alyssa Weisberg, who was Webster's co-casting director on Lost and her casting associate on Mission: Impossible III. Webster and Weisberg both won the Casting Society of America's 2009 Artios Award for their work on Star Trek.[1] Webster will also work on the Star Trek Into Darkness for J.J. Abrams and as of August 2011 already had a full casting team chosen. [2]

Early credits

Webster was responsible for the Los Angeles casting for the 1982 film Shoot the Moon, starring Peter Weller. In 1982, she became casting director on the popular NBC television series Knight Rider, where she worked until 1984. She moved on to another NBC series, Night Court, starring John Larroquette. She was also the casting director for the pilot of the CBS series Charles in Charge. Her first film as principal casting director was the 1983 drama Stacy's Knights.

She helped cast a pre-TNG Denise Crosby in the 1985 made-for-TV movie Stark and cast Star Trek III: The Search for Spock actor James B. Sikking and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine performer Marc Alaimo in the 1987 telefilm Police Story: The Freeway Killings. She then cast the 1990 science fiction comedy Martians Go Home, working with Star Trek performers Lee Arenberg, Roy Brocksmith, Ronny Cox, and Bruce French. She also cast the pilot for the cult comic book-based series The Flash and the TV movie Flash III: Deadly Nightshade, the latter of which featured a post-TNG Denise Crosby and a pre-Voyager Jeri Ryan.

Later projects

Webster was casting director for Roland Emmerich on the science fiction films Stargate (starring Erick Avari and Leon Rippy), Godzilla (featuring Clyde Kusatsu and Glenn Morshower), and The Day After Tomorrow (featuring Aaron Lustig). She also helped cast DS9 star Rene Auberjonois in Emmerich's American Revolution action film The Patriot (co-starring Leon Rippy).

From 1994 through 1999, Webster was a casting director on the hit situation comedy series The Nanny, starring TNG guest actor Daniel Davis. From 1996 through 2002, Webster frequently worked with fellow casting director David Bloch. Their first collaboration was the 1996 TV movie Grand Avenue, which earned Webster her first Emmy Award nomination as well as her first Artios Award nomination from the Casting Society of America (CAS, of which Webster is a member). Their subsequent collaborations include the aforementioned Godzilla and The Patriot, the 1999 science fiction film The Thirteenth Floor (featuring Leon Rippy), and the pilot episode of Providence (starring Concetta Tomei). She and Bloch shared Artios nominations for Providence and The Patriot.

In 2000, Webster cast the pilot for the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She also cast several regular episode of that series between 2000 and 2005. She has been working on another CBS series, Criminal Minds, since 2005. Webster is also one of the casting directors on the upcoming apocalyptic action-thriller 2012.

Work with Abrams

Webster first worked with J.J. Abrams on his hit series Alias. Webster cast many episodes of this series from 2002 until its end in 2005 and received an Emmy Award nomination (her second) for this series in 2002 as well as three Artios nominations. For the twenty-second episode of Alias (entitled "Almost Thirty Years"), Webster worked not as a casting director but as an actress, making an uncredited appearance as Irina Derevko, the mother of the show's main character, since the role had not yet been cast.

While Alias was still in production, Webster began simultaneously working on Abrams' next series, Lost, co-created by Damon Lindelof. Among the actors she helped cast on this series were Terry O'Quinn (who also appeared on Alias) and Daniel Dae Kim. Webster won the 2005 Emmy Award in Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series for Lost and received an additional Emmy nomination the following year. In addition, Webster received three Artios nominations for Lost, winning one. She continues to work on Lost, as of August 2007.

Abrams hired Webster to cast his first film, the 2006 Paramount Pictures release Mission: Impossible III, co-written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Among the performers Webster helped cast for this film was Simon Pegg (who was later cast as Scotty in Star Trek), one-time DS9 guest actress Tracy Middendorf, and the aforementioned Bruce French. Afterward, Webster cast the pilot for Abrams' short-lived series, Six Degrees. More recently, she was Casting Director on the Abrams-directed HBO medical drama pilot Anatomy of Hope and the pilot for the new science fiction television series, Fringe, created by Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.

On 1 November 2006, Abrams presented Webster with the Hoyt Bowers Award, a special achievement award given at the Artios Awards by the CSA. Former Star Trek casting director Junie Lowry-Johnson won her own Artios Award at that same event. [2]

References

  1. Kilday, Gregg. "Casting group honors 'Star Trek,' 'Milk'." The Hollywood Reporter, [1]. Published: 3 November 2009. Accessed: 4 November 2009.
  2. "Roundup: Stewart, Nichols, Doohan, TV Land, Comic Relief, etc." StarTrek.com, [X]wbm. Published: 11 November 2006. Accessed: 4 November 2009.

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