For the first time in its history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elects a casting director to be its 35th president. With over a hundred film credits under his name, Emmy-winning David Rubin replaces former Academy president John Bailey. He’s now charged with helping to lead the film industry’s most prestigious institution through the next chapter of its transformation.
David Rubin, a Casting Director, Is Now the Academy’s New President
The Academy presidency actually comes up for grabs every year. A president is able to serve up to three consecutive one-year terms. This is provided that they do not, in the process, hit the maximum of nine consecutive years on the board. If they do, they “term out” and must step away from the board for at least one year, which is the case for Bailey.
The vote took place in the evening of last Tuesday. David Rubin got this nomination from a fellow member of the organization’s 54-person board of governors.
Work and achievements
Among Academy watchers, Rubin’s election did not come as a great surprise. Rubin was first elected to the board in 2013 as one of the original three representatives of the newly formed casting directors branch, which he had fought to establish. Re-elected in 2016 and in 2019, the board also chose him to serve as its secretary, a position to which he assumed again in 2017 and 2018. Rubin also actually ran as president two years ago. However, Bailey unexpectedly beat him after coming up during the meeting as a surprise alternative.
Rubin won his Emmys for casting Game Change and last year for Big Little Lies. This year, he is up again for casting HBO’s Sharp Objects. His many film credits include The English Patient, Men in Black, Hairspray, Lars and the Real Girl, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Get Shorty, My Best Friend’s Wedding, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Fried Green Tomatoes, Trumbo, Wild, Gravity, Cold Mountain, My Cousin Vinny, and Days of Thunder.
To this achievement, the board of the Casting Society of America said, “David Rubin is an accomplished and award-winning casting director, and his election to president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a testament to his leadership, vision and passion for the craft, as well as the larger impact casting has in film. The Casting Society of America congratulates its member David, as well as AMPAS, and we know he will be a successful and effective president.”
What’s in store
There has never been an Oscar for best casting director, but it seems possible now during Rubin’s presidency. Among the other issues Rubin will be facing when he takes over include the ever-evolving Oscars, from choosing a producer for the 92nd edition set for February 9, 2020, to deciding whether it will go hostless again like this year. He also will help lead the continuing drive toward equality and diversity in the membership. He will also be presiding over the expected opening of the Academy’s museum, planned to debut in 2020.