Casting for Muffin Man presented
its own unique problems. We needed a cast of thousands ... thousands
pounds, that is!
Since we knew it probably
wouldn’t be difficult to find a thin talented actress with stars
in her eyes, we focused our search on acquiring fat actors.
Pickle Tub Productions ran
ads in local Seattle papers as well as in eastern Washington,
Oregon and Los Angeles audition websites. They took a simple
approach at first and put in ads which read "FAT ACTORS wanted,
male & female, for feature film".
Illustrative of America’s
confusion about weight, this elicited an inordinate number of
calls from chubby men and curvaceous women (i.e. 5’7" and 150
lbs) who thought they were fat. For the next ad, they were more
specific; the audition notice read: "FAT ACTORS WANTED, 300
Over 145 people auditioned
for the 7 primary roles.
Jack’s character was a casting
challenge. The role demanded a cocky fat kid in his 20s who,
as the romantic lead, was also easy on the eyes. Many actors
auditioning couldn’t fulfill the last criteria. The role also
demanded a versatile actor with a wide range of abilities.
"It was the first role I
landed with any real meat to it," said Ben.
The role of Mom required
a fat older woman who could convey an element of physical intimidation.
About 8 women had auditioned when one of the actresses missed
her appointment. Auditions were being held in small groups and
someone was needed to read the role of Mom.
"Steve had read for both
Jack and T-Bone - but wasn’t physically right for either role.
He’d read so wonderfully though, that I kept him around. I wasn’t
serious about having him audition for the part of Mom. We just
need someone to fill in for the read," explained Eisner. However,
as soon as Steve assumed the character of Mom, it became clear
that he was the right ... er, man.
"He was perfect!" said Culpepper.
"He was a riot," added Eisner.
"It was as if I’d written the part for him." Steve never balked
at the offer to play Mom.
"Acting is my passion," exclaimed