From treasurers to The Tudors: the hotshot Irish casting director who trained as an accountant

And yet further proof that your parents were right all along.


FOR HOT SHOT Irish casting director Frank Moiselle, there is no such thing as a “typical” day.

It’s a diverse and demanding role, he explains, that requires many different skills on any given day.

“A casting director is the person who finds the talent and sources the talent and is aware of how to get the talent in front of the camera.”

“I could be reading and breaking down scripts – in other words you get scripts and you break it down and look at all the characters – and that’s part of a day, then another part of the day I might be meeting producers or directors about different projects. Other times I would be interviewing or auditioning actors (there’s a slight difference but I do both), then I’ll be in an editing room reviewing interviews to see who fits for any given role.

“Separately to that, I’ll be watching all of the really good television drama that comes out across the world – you’re investigating and constantly developing your knowledge of the talent available. And obviously during filming of any production I’ll go down and visit the set occasionally and see how things are going.”

Think we’re done? Not yet.

He continues, “And then of course again I’d go to a lot of theatre… Really just to keep yourself up to speed on every facet of what it is to be a casting director.”

We’re tired just thinking about it, to be frank.

But all that hard work has paid dividends for Moiselle, as his CV attests. He has credits on Irish-based big budget productions such as Veronica Guerin, Penny Dreadful, Vikings, The Tudors and The Borgias. Upcoming credits include The Secret Scripture with Aidan Turner and Rooney Mara, directed by Jim Sheridan, and a film called Tomato Red starring Anna Friel.

Henry VIII filming in Ireland PA WIRE PA WIRE

But how exactly did he get there?

It’s a common story with parents and their ambitious, artistic children all over the world. Sure, chase your dreams – but make sure you get yourself an education first.

We’re not digressing here. Despite coming from a family steeped in show business, Moiselle’s parents were no different on this score.

By the time he had reached school-leaving age, he was already immersed in the film industry world, having gotten his start as a trainee on the internationally acclaimed film of Joyce’s The Dead, the last film by double Oscar winner and father of Anjelica, John Huston.

But his parents were keen for him to continue his formal education.

“Like all parents, my mother and father said ‘you must get a qualification’. And one of the best qualifications you can get is accountancy – because it’s versatile, it’s mobile and cuts across disciplines.”

Heeding their advice, Frank went straight from school and qualified as a certified public accountant in 1992.

Veronica Guerin - Blanchett EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Meeting of the minds

Accountancy is cross-disciplinary – you can bring that to any job and it will be of benefit to you.

Accountancy exams and a glittering film industry career might be an incongruous mix, but Moiselle says that his grounding in a professional qualification has stood him in excellent stead down through the years.

On what specifically it has added to his career, he asserts, “There’s nothing budgetarily that’s gonna throw you a curveball, that you can’t handle… Budgetary control, a sort of a fiscal awareness of what I can do, negotiating minutely detailed actors’ contracts around the world, all that business methodology that you learn as a qualified accountant comes into the mix, and it’s very helpful.”

Although he doesn’t go through his day-to-day working life thinking of the checks and balances of the production’s financial department, having had a previous life adds a depth of experience that Moiselle would otherwise lack.

Golden Globes Arrivals Associated Press Associated Press

Broaden your horizons

The larger point is, of course, that broadening your horizons is never a bad thing.

You never know where life is going to take you – you might decide on one career, and find that life hands you something totally different. The best-laid plans, and all that…

Not everyone who is doing a qualification for a certain job ends up doing that specific thing. Everything that you learn will always add to your ability – it doesn’t detract.

“A person qualified as an accountant shouldn’t see themselves as going down train tracks and always working as an accountant – it’s so diversely beneficial, it can move you into any area. It’s not just “you’ve qualified as an accountant” – it’s very much that qualifying as an accountant is a beginning of potentially doing things beyond that, whether it be casting or other things… A qualification opens doors to a much wider world.”

Take it from someone who knows. That’s a wrap.

Want to find out what a qualification from CPA Ireland could add to your career? Visit cpaireland.ie today and find out if you could be eligible for exemptions. The CPA Ireland qualification enjoys wide international recognition, and CPA graduates work in more than 40 countries around the world.

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