In an interview for Variety this week, Rosie O’Donnell likened the latest casting process for The View to The Hunger Games.
tributes candidates, according to the magazine, were “herded into a room” last month to participate in mock debates with both the comedienne and fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg. Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace were apparently the two to survive.
“I think Whoopi and I were both a little shocked at having to do a chemistry test,” O’Donnell told Variety. “I don’t know if there’s a way to test that. It felt very negative and competitive.”
A similar situation went down to find the five women of Warner Bros’ daytime talker The Real.
“I will tell you from my perspective, when we started casting we had a huge pool of women. We started with over a hundred people,” said executive producer Sallyann Salsano (Jersey Shore).
With Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley ultimately chosen, it appears Salsano wanted to make a strong statement about diversity in daytime.
But Salsano says it was strictly coincidental that all five hosts are women of color.
“I think most shows are cast by Garanimals. Like, okay, you’re the funny one, you’re the this, you’re this, you’re lighter, you’re darker, you’re older, you’re a single mom, you’re a comedian. And in this case we just cast it for chemistry,” said Salsano. “We said, ‘We want to have a good show.’
I want to feel like, at one point, if I don’t get a chance to go out with my girlfriends and talk a bunch of BS, and have a good time one week, I want this to be that feeling. And when these girls got at the table, and we kept rotating through in a way that casting had never happened before.
“But it was kind of like, okay, this is good. Why is it weird when that person sat there? Pull them out. Put that one in. We just kept doing it. And then every time it came to these five ladies at the table, I forgot that I was at work. And then they’d be like, ‘Do you want to move on to the next group,’ and the answer was just, no, because this is the group. And in the end it was unconventional, but, like, I think not having a plan was the best plan possible.”
So…less Hunger Games, more speed-dating.
Below, we asked Tamar if she would change anything about her presentation based on the show’s summer 2013 test run.
The ladies of the The Real start battling The View’s new Season 18 cast on Monday, Sept. 15.