Des Hamilton, Casting Director

Des Hamilton's Saints:

  • Aged just 15 in 1955, Claudette Colvin, a young black woman from America’s Deep South refused to give up her seat to a white person and move to the back of the bus.  Nine months later Rosa Parks did the same.
  • The Gospel According to St Matthew, one of the books of the Bible. Written anonymously, generally attributed to the disciple Matthew
  • Henrik Larssen, Swedish football legend and former Celtic player.

Casting director, Des Hamilton is the man that film-makers like Lars Von Trier, Andrea Arnold, Nicolas Winding Refn and Shane Meadows go to for original thinking on acting talent. He has cast some of the most outstanding films in modern cinema.

Hamilton’s career in the industry began after a chance meeting with the director Lynne Ramsay while he was in rehab for drug addiction at the same time as her brother. It was the first of a series of chance encounters with Ramsay that led to her eventually asking him to cast for her movie Morvern Callar.

Des made his name by ‘streetcasting’ - by pounding pavements and scoping out raw talent. He found unknown Kathleen McDermott in Glasgow city centre, who despite having never acted previously, went on to star in the film alongside Samantha Morton and win a BAFTA for best newcomer.  

Almost two decades on, as well as working with agents and drama schools  Hamilton still tracks down unknowns out on the streets to great success, most notably with the casting of Thomas Turgoose for ‘This is England’.

Forever unconventional in his approach to work and life, Des Hamilton is uncompromising and as real as it gets -  and the world is a better place for it. Check him out now.

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