1. “The Nerd Hunter.” The casting director Allison Jones is reshaping American comedy, one misfit at a time.
“By the time Jones finishes reading a script, she already has ideas about which actors might be right for the roles—and who can handle the pressure of constantly improvising during the eighty-hour workweek that shooting a television comedy often requires. But she also likes the surprise of the unknown, and on the first day of casting she was wading through fifty or so candidates chosen from some nine thousand who had appealed to her in online head shots. She was looking in particular for ’Paul Feig types,’ well-meaning nerds who are endearing in their benevolent oddness. ’She finds people that your heart can break for,’ the actor Paul Rudd told me. By lunchtime, however, Jones hadn’t seen anyone worth showing to Feig. ’They’re forcing it,’ she said. ’It’s not real. You’re either a nerd or you’re not.’”