Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Home » News » FSU Theatre Alum & ‘Oppenheimer’ Casting Director John Papsidera Talks About Preparing for the Summer Blockbuster

FSU Theatre Alum & ‘Oppenheimer’ Casting Director John Papsidera Talks About Preparing for the Summer Blockbuster

Published July 28, 2023

Photo: Rotten Tomatoes

Florida State University School of Theatre alum John Papsidera (BFA ’83) has served as casting director for some of the most celebrated films of the last few decades. His credits include big name blockbusters such as “Jurassic World,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Final Destination” as well as hit TV series such as “Westworld” and “Yellowstone.”

Papsidera has worked closely with acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, serving as casting director for most of his films, including “Memento,” “The Dark Knight,” “Interstellar,” and “Inception.”

Papsidera is among FSU School of Theatre’s decorated alumni, including household names like TV’s Megan Boone and Mekia Cox, Broadway actors Montego Glover and Leslie Donna Flesner-Cruz, Emmy Award-winning production designer Randy Ser and more. The School of Theatre is dedicated to helping its students achieve success across the spectrum of arts and entertainment fields, including include actors, directors, producers, writers, teachers and designers.

Since his time at Florida State, Papsidera’s career as a casting director has garnered him four Emmy nominations, including two wins for casting HBO shows “Lackawanna Blues” and “Live from Baghdad.” Beyond his work with Christopher Nolan, he has also developed partnerships with directors such as James Gunn and Jason Reitman.

Poster courtesy of Universal Pictures

Papsidera’s most recent project with Nolan to hit theatres is “Oppenheimer.” Released in theaters on Friday, July 21, this latest film by Nolan nearly doubled box office expectations during its opening weekend, grossing $80.5 million according to Variety.

In a June 9 interview with Zorianna Kit for Casting Networks, he spoke about working with Nolan, noting “For me, loyalty and a relationship with creators are the most special things. I’m proud of the fact that I work with the same producers and directors over and over again.”

As a Casting Director, Papsidera draws upon his training as an actor at FSU, noting:

“Ninety percent of the time, I read with all the actors myself and will direct them [during auditions]. I’m here to give everything I can to an actor to help them succeed. I care. I was trained as an actor. I care about reading with actors. I care about giving them as much as possible in an audition to try and get the best results. That’s the job to me.”

Read more from Kit’s interview “John Papsidera on Establishing ‘Yellowstone’s Dutton Family and Casting Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’” on Casting Networks and see ‘Oppenheimer,’ now playing in theaters worldwide.

Click here to learn about more notable FSU Theatre alumni.