After nine (!) nominations, including one for her work on another show, Days of Our Lives (DOOL) casting director Marnie Saitta won her first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Casting Director for a Drama Series last Friday night at the Creative Arts Ceremony in Pasadena.
“I want to thank Ken Corday [executive producer], Bruce Evans [Senior Vice President, Current & Daytime Programming, NBC], Greg Meng [co-executive producer], Albert Alarr [co-executive producer], my whole DAYS family,” Saitta told Soap Hub after her win.
“I was honestly stunned. I didn’t think in a trillion years I’d win.”
The following actors were among the performers Saitta had on her winning reel: Marci Miller (Abby), Tobin Bell (ex-Yo Ling), Jordi Vilasuso (Dario), and Vanessa Williams (Valerie).
Saitta shares that she led off her submission with Miller, who had won over a slew of actresses for the role of Abby. “She’s a find, she’s amazing,” Saitta says of Miller.
Miller’s predecessor in the role, Kate Mansi, thanked Saitta in her acceptance speech when she won for Outstanding Supporting Actress on Sunday.
Saitta’s fellow nominees, both previous winners in this categoery, also had praise to share.
“I am delighted that Marnie won,” Judy Blye Wilson (who was nominated for Y&R) says. “So deserving and long overdue.”
“I’m so happy for Marnie,” says Mark Teschner (nominated for casting Y&R). “[She is a] wonderful casting director and, more importantly, a great person.”
Backstage in the press room, Saitta was asked what advice she had for aspiring actors.
“I would say to really come in and find where they exist in the role and remember why you became an actor in the first place and to fully embrace the joy,” she responded.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of any casting director’s job is knowing the final decision is often made by committee. But Saitta wisely remains philosophical about the process.
“You always have to feel that the right actor will get it in the end,” she says. “You can have your wish list but I really feel like the right actor always ends up in the [right] role. I’m so proud of all the actors.”
Where does Saitta plan on keeping her award? “I think I’m going to give it to my parents because they deserve it,” she says. “This has me so emotional.”
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