Ann Willems (19 juli 1981) is a Belgium based casting director for film and television drama series.
In 2014 she worked with director Indra Siera in casting for the drama television series “Professor T”, which won the jurors award at the festival of fiction in La Rochelle (Category “foreign fiction”).
Since 2015 she is working as an independent casting director. Together with directors Pieter Van Hees and Joost Van De Casteele, she casted the television series “Generation B”, which was nominated for the Rockie Award on the Banff World Media Festival (Category “foreign language”).
2016 was a successsful year, preparations for the third season of “Professor T”, a new feature “Façades” with directors Kaat Beels and Nathalie Basteyns, a new television series “Over Water” in order of the production company Panenka tv and the Belgian casting for the new feature film of the Canadian director Ken Scott. In december, she was approached by director Mathieu Mortelmans, for the casting of his debut film “Bastaard”.
2017 has been a very productive year, Ann works together with director Tim Mielants (Peaky Blinders, Legion, The Terror, etc) for his Belgian debut film “De Patrick”, with Eshref Reybrouck for 2 episodes of the Swedish television series “Hassel” and she prepares 2 new feature films by order of the production company Menuet.
In 2018, the feature film she casted “Girl”, directed by Lukas Dhont, won the price “Caméra d’Or” at the Cannes film festival. Ann was approached by the Swedish director Lisa Ohlin, for the casting of one of the four films of the series “Stockholm Requiem”. By order of the production company Woestijnvis, she prepares 3 new drama series and works together with director Jan Eelen and Jan Dircksens.
“The casting director needs to work closely with the director, this co-operation is really essential. Our input is important, we want to create their vision, trying to find the right actor to tell the story. But even more important is the relationship with the actor. I always try to feel what they think, how they see the character they are auditioning for. And then, for a brief moment, we forget about the script. I love to hear their story, listen to them when they talk about themselves. Because that indicates how they approach a part and quite often adds a major value to the casting.
I always follow my instinct. It’s really special when you see something in someone, before they discover it themselves. That’s when the magic enters the room. With some actors, you just have this feel of an exceptional quality, you can’t explain it.
That’s what makes it so exciting every day. Casting is chemistry”.