Making the petite list

Apr 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Casting director Ferne Cassel is down to the short list in her quest to cast the lead in Comedy Central’s backdoor pilot Knee High P.I. She has narrowed it down from 50 candidates to three actors, but the process has been so difficult, the telepic’s production date has been pushed back. The leading man is described as a “35-year-old midget with a knack for solving crime” in a March Comedy Central announcement. It was a challenge, because there are simply fewer dwarf actors than full-size performers. And the lead was one of about 40 roles she has had to line up within four weeks for the project. “The problem is not that we haven’t found wonderful talent,” Ms. Cassel said. “I’ve loved every minute of this. The material is wonderful, and it’s a great opportunity for someone to take the lead in the series.” The project is expected to go before cameras April 23, about a week later than scheduled.
Lead roles for dwarf actors are indeed rare, which may be why Comedy Central has had a good turnout-despite the fact that the network described the lead as a “midget” in the press release. Dwarfs generally consider the term “midget” offensive. The Little People of America’s Web site says the term dates back to 1865, the height of the “freak show” era.