barbara pfister | casting director
barbara pfister | casting director


1 what in general catches your eye when casting? what is it that you look for?

NYC is so abundant with unique, individual faces that I seem to constantly connect with, it’s like there’s a solar system with all of those bright lights that you seem to catch a glimpse and then want to learn more about them. There is a definite exchange.

2 what was your major in college and how did lead to casting? 

I graduated from SI Newhouse at Syracuse with Advertising & Art History degree, & was sent out in the real world without a set of skills... a string of jobs led me to become Steven Klein’s studio manager and that’s where I learned strong production skills & realized casting was my forte; it was intuitive for me; second nature.  

3 how do you find balance between career and being a parent to mason?

Lucky for me he’s the easiest kid on the planet-highly independent & beyond creative(@latte_paint follow him!), and having an awesome, dedicated husband is a super plus(Super Dad), which I try my best not to take for granted…work and life merge for me at all times, somehow it just works.

4 how exactly did you start out? we know you worked with steven klein as studio manager, did this fuel your desire to jump into casting?

Yes exactly, I was pretty motivated and managed to work with a Japanese production company (Foundation World with Yuko Arakawa) where I had the opportunity to hire the photographers and teams I admired; produced & cast the campaigns as well-which was incredibly fortunate for my budding work relationships starting with David Sims, Glen Luchford, Mark Borthwick etc.  It was really a dream job.  From there Katy Barker hired me where I was managing and casting for Terry, Tom Munro, Craig McDean, Nathaniel Goldberg, Carter Smith…golden, really…!!!

5 most challenging casting situation?

Casting is always a challenge but I am always up for it, and very dedicated.

6 proudest career moment…..

Lee (Alexander) McQueen stood up to give a speech & shouted out THANK YOU BARBARA PFISTER!!!!!! in front of the cast and crew at dinner after the AW10 show in Milan at Alle Cucina Delle Langhe...All I could do was feel the cheers & applause in the room, close my eyes and bow down to him-true Genius of a Man.  That was a special time in my life, it’s one of my fondest memories.  I was warned that he would change things up on my casting however he was a dream to work with; he loved everyone and we were in total sync.  THANK YOU LEE!!!

7 you polaroid collection is extraordinary. ever think of publishing?

Every Day…it’s a work in progress! 20 years strong!!!

8 btw...happy you consider yourself a true libra?? 

Yes-you should know, you’re married to one! 

We create harmony, we are calm individuals, we are peaceful & sensitive-but we can also weigh our options far too much and brood on very small things at the same time, & become impatient & snappy when we are out of balance-constantly working on the latter! Life-learning lessons! Om Shanthi.