Netflix is creating its first in-house casting department, with former All3Media America executive Rich Leist tapped as director of casting for unscripted.
Leist (pictured) previously served as VP of talent and casting at All3Media America, the U.S. arm of All3Media, for five years. The All3Media America group of production companies are behind Flirty Dancing, Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, Undercover Boss, Cash Cab and a range of other unscripted hits.
Rounding out the streamer’s casting team are new hires Brittany Grooms, serving as director of casting for film, and Cesar Rocha, who takes up the role of director of casting for scripted series.
In a blog post published by Grooms, Rocha and Leist on Wednesday (June 21), the trio said the goal of the department is to provide additional resources to Netflix’s creative team as they seek to cultivate the largest pool of talent for productions, while identifying breakout talent.
The team will continue to work with outside casting directors.
“Representation has always been important to Netflix, and we’re excited to continue and expand on this vital work. For us, there is nothing more gratifying than discovering the next breakout star,” the execs stated in the blog post.
Netflix has been steadily growing its unscripted offering over the past year with programming including Love is Blind, Selling Sunset, Too Hot to Handle and Bling Empire, among others.