Bartlesville casting call for 'August: Osage County' movie draws hundreds

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - A casting call for a movie starring Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep to begin filming near Pawhuska next month drew hundreds this weekend in Bartlesville.

According to Casting Director Chris Freihofer of the casting firm handling the hunt for extras in the upcoming feature film "August: Osage County," close to 1,200 people turned out Saturday and Sunday at Bartlesville High School.

While the turnout was less then expected, he was pleased with how he and his staff were treated.

He recalled how exactly two years ago he and his staff were in Bartlesville holding an open call for the Terrence Malick film "To the Wonder," a movie set to premiere in a few days at the Venice International Film Festival and then again next month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"We lived in Bartlesville the entire four months of filming and got to meet and make some wonderful friends," he said. "It has been so much fun being back in town for a few days, seeing many familiar faces coming through the open call line, and having great conversations with friends made two years ago. Running into people at Frank and Lola's is so familiar and fun, it's like we never left."

Freihofer said then open calls for Malick's film starring Ben Affleck drew 2,500 area residents in two days. Though the draw for the current movie was less than in 2010, he said many Bartlesville residents were among the 4,300 people at last weekend's open call in Tulsa.

"Everybody in town is excited for the film. It's great for the town and the state that two major films shoot in or around the area within two years," he said.

During the casting call this weekend, 2NEWS at Bartlesville High School spoke to one mom who brought three aspiring actresses for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"If you can be in the background, or get to see some of the stars and maybe eventually get to see yourself on screen... It's very exciting for especially teenage girls."

Based on an award-winning play by Oklahoma's own Tracy Letts, "August:Osage County" is about the dysfunctional Weston family which comes together when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing.

Directed by John Wells, the movie is set to begin filming around Sept. 24. Its production crews are currently based in Bartlesville.

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