Hollywood Producer Suzanne Todd on Making Movies, Catching Pokémon, and Kristen Bell's Adorability

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Answers by Suzanne Todd, Producer of Bad Moms and Alice in Wonderland, on Quora:

A: When actors come in to read for a role, they perform a scene or series of scenes, usually reading them with a casting associate. Often times they read scenes from the actual movie you are casting, or sometimes from a different film, or sometimes something you've chosen from another play or source material.

Usually the director or the casting director will give them direction, meaning feedback and suggestions for changes, and then they will read again.

They are judged on a number of different things: they strength of the reading, the ability to take direction, their physical appropriateness for the role, and the other past work they've done.

Casting can be a fun process but we always try and be respectful and grateful to the actors who come in to read, because it's hard to put yourself out like that over and over again and we appreciate all their preparation and effort.

Our casting director on Bad Moms, Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, is such a pro, has amazing taste, and is wonderful and kind with everyone who comes in. I loved working with her!


A: Kristen Bell is a joy. Hardworking, smart, funny, collaborative, and supportive in every way. We had one rehearsal we were all in New Orleans and Kristen was Skyping in from LA and that morning, at the last minute, her nanny cancelled! Her husband had already left for work and she was home alone with her two very young children. We said we would reschedule, but not our KBell. Ever the pro, she pressed on with the rehearsal, juggling feeding and entertaining a baby and a toddler while she did it, gave an amazing performance, and smiling through the craziness of it all. This was one of the first moments on the movie when we realized the movie we were trying to make was really about all of our real lives - how hard we try to be good moms, how difficult is it to juggle everything, and how being kind to ourselves really goes along way. I hope to work with Kristen again soon and often; she is truly a ray of sunshine and so much fun to work with. Plus, she left the cutest "Anna" voicemail for my daughter on her birthday - so sweet!


A: I like gaming with my children, but every family has to decide what's right for them.

Right now, we are all of course obsessed with Pokemon Go! What a fun game to go out and run around the neighborhood and enjoy. Last week I took two of my children and my two nephews down to the Santa Monica Pier and there were hundreds of other people playing Pokemon. So fun to share "we saw an Electrabuzz at the end of the pier" and other people went and caught one too.

I grew up playing games - from the original Pong on my mom's first computer, to Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, Paper Boy, and arcade games, then the genius of Mart Kart at home on Nintendo, the evolution of more advance home consoles, up to these days when we play everywhere on every screen!

I also love games like Scrabble and Sudoku, which I originally played off screens, but now technology allows more choices and more community in gaming even for those.

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