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While the definition of a High Profile actor/actress may be a bit subjective on its own; lets just figure it is determined by the financial (an objective quantifier) success of past movies.

What kind of channels must production companies go through in order to obtain these people.

Is it just as its displayed and parodied ("Have your people call my people") or do they actually interact with the performer directly explaining the plot, duties of the role, have them go through a formal audition, etc. Or is there something in between that I have not thought of?

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The simplest answer? It depends.

It may be a request casting, where the performer is specifically asked through their agent to try out for the part. In this case, there may be a formal audition.

Or the producer may simply offer to cast the performer without an audition, usually relying on a familiarity with the performer's past work as a basis.

Last but not least is the social aspect. I can think of several projects I have been involved in, in which many of the highest profile actors were simply friends of someone in production, and approached in a very informal manner.

All that to say, there are few to no hard-and-fast rules in the industry, and every performer has their own preferences and way of doing things.

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I had a feeling it was this way, regardless, just didn't know if there is an actual 'formal' practice –  TylerShads May 23 '12 at 17:38

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