Hollywood returns to Mississippi to bring a William Faulkner novel to life on the big screen.
Auditions were held Wednesday at Jackson's New Stage Theatre for James Franco's version of As I Lay Dying.
Hundreds of acting hopefuls braved the heat for a chance to appear on the silver screen in William Faulkner's story about a Mississippi family.
New Stage Theatre was packed for three sessions. From five to six o'clock, casting looked at boys ages 8 to 12.
Also filling out applications were women ages 16 to 25. They read for the part of Kate.
"Cora and Kate are kind of judgmental, just think that way. Kate is a teenage girl. She's 16," New Stage Theatre Artist and Casting Director Francine Reynolds told the first group.
After reading over their scripts, each person took head shots then tried their best to impress the casting director.
Erin Carney of Madison is an acting major at the University of the Arts in Pennsylvania.
"Faulkner said that you have to, in order to understand the world, you have to understand a place like Mississippi. So I think that any good press for Mississippi is a wonderful thing," said Carney.
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 is based in Toronto, Canada but is a native of Canton.
The 37-year-old is thrilled to be in his home state choosing the talent that will make the cut.
"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.
"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.
For those who showed real promise, there will be call backs for speaking roles and a test on video and who knows, they could be on the set when cameras start rolling in Canton.
If you missed the chance to try out in Jackson, other open casting calls will be held Friday and Saturday in Canton at the Corner House on Peace Street.
Auditions Friday will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.
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