‘Band of Brothers’ was a casting feat for the ages


If you ever need to grasp what it takes to place along one amongst the foremost spectacular casts ever assembled for a TV miniseries, it’d be worth excavating through Meg Liberman’s archives.

By her admission, she kept “every piece of paper” from her time casting HBO’s “Band of Brothers,” the triumph miniseries about Easy Company, a group of tightly knit troopers from the U.S. Army a 101st Airborne Division, and follows their stories before, throughout and after D-day.

She has the impressively specific character breakdowns she was given. (“Perconte, from adventurer, Illinois. Son of Chicago mafia. A true joker, compulsive, hygienic, uses solely Philips toothpaste from home.”) She has photos of the men who galvanized those characters. She has video from the auditions that Steven Spielberg recorded himself as a result of he didn’t like the static feel of their initial set-up.


The collection of mementos is Liberman’s reminder of what she calls “the best job I’ve ever had.”

She won awards for the gig, certain (including associate degree Emmy). However, her fondness for the project stems from one thing a lot of deeper.

“I describe it because it [being] touched by fairy dust in a way,” says Liberman, currently executive vice president of casting for CBS tv Studios. “We were short on material sometimes, however the underlying material, the feeling and also the relationships that these people  had created this environment where everybody felt  very connected to what they were doing and to each other.”

The cast still gets along every year on the anniversary of their reporting to boot camp, sometimes at actor Michael Cudlitz’s house. Liberman’s missed two of 2 of those gatherings. Next year is going to be their twentieth.

“This is next year goes to be an enormous year as a result of i believe everyone is going to undertake to essentially build it,” she said. “Band of Brothers” was largely an ensemble piece, however at its center was a person named Dick Winters. Throughout the 10 episodes, the audience sees Winters’s rise through the ranks and his unwavering leadership and bravado on show.

While the show was heavy in British actors, Liberman felt powerfully the role American hero should be played by an American. That is, until Damien Lewis came in.

“He simply felt sort of a leader,” she said. “He felt just like the guy that these men would do anything for … that everybody would follow. And it absolutely was very clear to me the minute we all sat down that he was the guy.”

The cast was rounded out by actors like Scott Grimes, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg, Rick Gomez, Neal McDonough, and Michael Fassbender.

Impressive, too, particularly now, is that the list of minor characters who went on to be big stars — Andrew Scott, Dominic Cooper, James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and more.

Actors like Norman Reedus, Jason Schwartzman, and Peter Sarsgaard were among those who vied for roles but ultimately weren’t cast, according to Liberman.

“I feel the simplest part of casting is creating discoveries,” she said.”And there’s one something about working on something [historical] as a result of it goes on the far side the casting. It goes on the far side of the actors themselves. It’s like having them be a component of one thing that has such significance, that’s this deep and earnest and true.”

Production passed over ten months on location in London Aand required the actors to require an intense 2-week boot camp prior.

One actor, who Liberman declined to name, was near obtaining a component in the miniseries, however, he ultimately withdrew after considering a number of the demanding he wants.

“You should need, in your bones, to try to do this type of job,” Liberman same.

Those who were cast committed to the expertise, typically selecting to spend time in the cold and mud with each other between takes, versus retreating to their trailers or about she was told.

Looking back, Liberman is happy with her work on the show. (Just don’t credit her for the Jimmy Fallon cameo. “That was, in my mind, ridiculous, and that I was opposed,” she says, with a laugh.)

She’s prouder, however, that they did the real men and their stories justice.

“It resonated to me, specifically, as a result of it absolutely was not like casting a bit of fluff, it absolutely was casting history. I feel there’s a responsibility therein, that I feel the actors took terribly seriously,” she said.