Mary Selway – – – RIP
I know – the very first thing that crosses each and every one of you people’s thoughts is going to be – “Who the hell is Mary Selway?”
Well, she isn’t a relative of mine. I never even met her. But, never-the-less, she has had a huge impact on my life, and I never knew it was her, until tonight.
You see, my wife and I just bought the 4th Harry Potter movie tonight. Then we watched it. And, as usual, my wife started getting ready to go to bed while the end credits rolled. Like most people who saw it at the movie theater, we got up and left as soon as the main player’s credits were through rolling.
It turns out there was a “hidden” jewel. The very last few seconds of film footage read:
Mary Selway 1936-2004
That’s all it says. My wife pipes up – “Who is Mary Selway?” So, I quite naturally said, “Well, I don’t know, but I would bet she had something to do with the Harry Potter movies, or she would not have been given the tribute. http://www.imdb.com would probably be able to tell us.
It did, too.
She was the casting director for HP & the Goblet of Fire. But, there is a reason she had that plumb job. She has cut a huge swath through Hollywood, and left some huge shoes to fill. Here is just a partial list of the movies she has directed the casting of:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2004) (her last movie)
Vanity Fair (2004)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Gosford Park (2001)
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Notting Hill (1999)
Lost In Space (1998)
Ghost & the Darkness (1996)
First Knight (1995)
Black Beauty (1994)
3 Men & a Little Lady (1990)
Gorillas In The Mist (1988)
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984)
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Now, I defy anyone to look at that entire list and not find at least one personal favorite movie on the list. Personally, my wife and I own DVD copies of about 10% of that list, and it’s not even all the films she worked on! More than 50% of the ones we don’t own on DVD are either on our wish list, or our Netflix Rental Queue (which means we haven’t seen them yet). There is precious little on that list that we have seen, and didn’t like. And she was responsible for casting ALL of them. WOW!
But, there is more. If you think about WHO acted in those movies, she was responsible for casting movies that starred a virtual Who’s-Who of the absolute BEST actors/actresses of the last 40 years! Val Kilmer, Julia Roberts, Mark Hamill, Sean Connery, Carrie Fisher, Russell Crowe, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Sellek, and all the people in the Harry Potter movies who have previously won the gold statue. She worked with them – decided if they would work on movies she was responsible for. AWESOME!
So, I tip my hat to Mary Selway. I know I’m a little late, but the news of your passing didn’t get my attention at the time. But, nearly 2 years later, I have learned just how much you have influenced so many of the movies I’ve loved. You did make a difference.