Having extended their search beyond U.S. borders, 18th Century Wolf is still having difficulty filling the shoes of Tom's next co-star. Short on options within actor's guilds in California and New York, Foxx producer Hyrum Smallton is now holding casting calls in Mexico, China and Chile.
Big on a co-star's ability to convey style and screen presence, Smallton is looking for a blend of qualities in a love interest. "She must be pretty but not prettier than Tom, demure but with a hint of sex appeal, and above all else, she must be the right height. She must be able to grow her skills as an actor, so long as she doesn't grow above five foot, three inches.
Insiders to Tom's movies talk openly about a few infinitesimal production challenges. "We make doorways smaller so he looks taller, we always shoot from the floor upwards to give the illusion of more height, and we're forced to put padding on all floors for other actors who have to do scenes on their knees", says set designer Anita Reelgig. "And as for casting, we've run out of people we can hire less than five foot tall, that's why we're off to China next week."
Other rules for filming Tom include mandatory bare feet for women in ballroom scenes, absolutely no heels allowed, while all filming occurs above the knees. Close up shots with Tom and another lead actor require set manipulation and close up doubles. "The final scene in Mission Impossible where Tom hugs Ving Rhames, was very complicated and required microscopic detail." Says Reelgig. "First they were seated at a table normally, Ving was slouching actually, then as they both stood up, we added a step stool for Tom as Ving approached. For the actual hug, we substituted in Gary Coleman so that Tom could get his arms around the man. We eventually cut in miniature of Ving's head on Tom's shoulder to complete the illusion".
"Miniscule details are often missed when casting such a movie", says Smallton, "But I think we've got a line on some great pygmy actors in South Chile, or certain provinces in China where the average adult height is in line with Tom's stature. Nothing's too good for a big actor like Tom."