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Casting Calls


Searching for a TRULY SPECIAL BOY in a Steven Spielberg film! Open to ALL BOYS who want to try!

Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment is hosting open casting calls for the role of EDGARDO in the film, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. Online video submissions also accepted. No acting experience necessary. There are NO fees to attend casting calls or to submit online. 

"So far, incredible boys have auditioned. As we continue the process of finding Edgardo, we're holding additional open calls to make sure we're seeing every possible candidate for the role. We look forward to coming to various cities & can't wait to see who we find."

"EDGARDO" – BOY age 6-9. Unique & very challenging part for a truly special, gifted, curious & intelligent boy with a mischievous streak who appears to be Jewish & Italian. The story deals with the complexity of an extremely intelligent & gifted child's situation – his desire to return to his family & the faith of his ancestors, pitted against his ability to learn the Catechism & engage with the Pope on a level far beyond his years (not looking for any kind of Italian accent).

STORY LINE "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara"– Steven Spielberg is making a film about the true story of EDGARDO MORTARA, a 6 year old Jewish boy from Bologna who was reported to have been secretly baptized by a maid and deemed by the Catholic church therefore to be Christian. Pope Pius IX (to be played by Mark Rylance) decreed the boy could not remain w/his Jewish family. He was seized by the Papal State & taken to the Vatican where his indoctrination into Catholicism began. This was a cause célèbre of mid-nineteenth century European politics; the domestic & international outrage against the pontifical state's actions may have contributed to its downfall amid unification of Italy. This is an incredible story of real historical relevance.

INTERESTED? There are 2 ways to submit!

  • Attend An Open Casting Call (always best to attend a casting call to meet our Casting Directors in person; child must be accompanied by an adult). This is by far the best way to be considered & for our casting team to get to know you!

Chicago Open Call: Sun, Feb 12 from 10am-5pm. Bernard Weinger Jewish Community Center, 300 Revere Dr., Northbrook, IL 60062

  • Please Follow Steps In Order on website (especially step #2 to receive taping instructions & sides! You simply fill in your email address; watermarked sides will be sent to you).
  • Video clip should be of him reading the sides (scene), slate & introduction -- ALL EXPLAINED in document you'll receive via the site, once you enter your email (via website, #step 2).
  • Please, no other clips or acting reels.
  • Deadline: ASAP or by 2/10 (check for possible extensions; no guarantees)

An incredible casting team has been assembled to reach many kids as possible. Several CD’s are covering this project, per overall CD Ellen Lewis (Nina Gold in UK). We're all on the same team! 

There is NEVER a fee to audition or submit. Any such claim is fraudulent & should be reported at once.


Below you will find information about productions that are looking for extras. For additional details, please email the casting agencies or productions directly for each of the projects listed below. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any applications in the Chicago Film Office. We will update this page as soon as we receive the information from the productions so please check back.




Captive State (Film) February-April 2017


Chicago Fire - Season 5


Chicago Med - Season 2

Facebook Chicago Med Extras


Chicago PD - Season 4




Captive State (Film) February-April 2017


Chicago Fire - Season 5


Chicago Med - Season 2


Chicago PD - Season 4


Empire – Season 2

The Illinois Film Office Production Guide may also be a helpful resource



Following is a list casting agencies in Chicago that may be able to provide additional information and opportunities.

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions and for other ideas and suggestions.



What's Filming Now


TV Series

  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago Justice
  • Chicago Med
  • Chicago PD
  • Empire



  • Captive State