Reelin’ In the Years Productions (RITY), home of the world’s largest music footage library, has just become party to an agreement with a prominent Hollywood casting office for representation a recently discovered trove of screen tests. This footage includes unique performances by notable actors before the time that Brad Pitt, for example, became an icon seen on bedroom wall posters and a decade before Jeremy Piven had an entourage. The pre-teen Elisabeth Moss and Amanda Bynes are seen and many more.
What makes the footage truly unique is the fact that the casting director took the time, before many of these auditions, to do candid interviews, providing a glimpse into the actors’ true personalities. While interviews with actors who are household names promoting their latest projects are commonplace, it is rare to see performers just being themselves, talking about their hobbies and families and reading copy for commercials, films and TV shows at the dawn of their careers. In many ways, the audition tapes that RITY now holds shed light on the true nature of some of the world’s favorite stars in their innocence. The material includes behind-the-scenes insight to fledgling actors trying to get their first big break in showbiz, as well as seasoned vets looking for that next perfect role.
For over 15 years, Reelin’ In The Years has been the world’s largest music footage library. After acquiring the rights to license all aspects of The Merv Griffin Show in 2011, the company has expanded the archive beyond music. Merv Griffin interviewed practically every prominent Hollywood actor of the 20th century and, now, this library of screen tests shows some of the 21st century’s greatest talents, a fitting adjunct the hundreds of hours of interviews that RITY already has.
These tapes had been gathering dust in a Los Angeles storage unit until Reelin’ In The Years President David Peck sorted through the massive pile. Since most of the tapes were unlogged and unlabeled, RITY staff members have been carefully going through the screen tests to finding many hidden gems.
• Brad Pitt acting as part of a big extended family for a breakfast food commercial in 1988
• Pamela Anderson posing in a bikini, before Baywatch and Home Improvement
• Elizabeth Moss, at 10 years old, more than two decades before she broke out as a star in Mad Men.
• Jeremy Piven, Dan Schneider and Chynna Phillips on a pretend beach for a soft drink ad
• Amanda Bynes, a cute nine year old in 1995, before her big break on Nickelodeon
n Mariska Hargitay, eleven years before starring in Law and Order: SVU, talking about her holiday plans as part of an audition for an airline commercial
• Meg Ryan, Kelly Preston, Justine Bateman and Nicolette Sheridan are among some of the best-known young women of the mid- to late-1980s reading for roles in various 80s films
• Andy Dick and a host of other character actors in 1990 auditioning for one of the quirkiest TV series of the last 30 years
• Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo trying out for commercials in the 1990s, not yet the TV superheroes they became a few years later
• Denise Richards and Lisa Rinna before any of the roles that qualified them for Dancing With The Stars
• Leslie Mann, Megan Mullally, Catherine Bell and other familiar TV and film faces of the 2000s reading for various commercials of the 1990s
With more surprises found every day, RITY is constantly updating its online database with new names. Henceforth, Reelin’ In The Years Productions exclusively represents this footage for all forms of media on a worldwide basis.
Reelin’ In The Years Productions founder and president David Peck is available to discuss the new screen test acquisitions and his vision for the company.