According to a recent article in The Miami Herald, the producers of Magic City, a 1950s-era period TV show on the Starz Network, had trouble casting actresses and extras from Miami that have not received breast enhancement.
As the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the US, breast augmentation was performed over 300,000 times last year. Rhinoplasty was second, with around 250,000 procedures. According to a report mentioned in the article, Miami has had the third highest percentages of cosmetic surgery per capita in the US, with breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tucks all popular procedures. As a result, when the Starz Network put out a casting notice for full-figured women who had not had breast augmentation, they experienced significant difficulty.
Soaring Popularity of Breast Augmentation Makes Natural Casting Difficult
Magic City, a period drama set in 1959, was filmed on a soundstage near Miami International Airport.
One casting notice sent by the production crew to the women of South Florida stated the obvious: “GIRLS HAD FULLER FIGURES BACK THEN. SO NO SKINNY MODELS. ALL-NATURAL — NO PLASTIC SURGERY/BREAST IMPLANTS.”
It got so difficult that local extras casting director Bill Marinella said he had to go all out, “finding people on the beach and literally walking up to them on the street and saying, ‘Hey, you look like you’re right out of The Great Gatsby.’”
Other productions have run into similar issues. Producers had difficulty finding natural actresses to play the mermaids in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean installment as well, noting that they certainly didn’t have breast surgeries in the 1700s.
The Magic City crew was eventually able to find enough actresses and extras to finish production, searching high and low in burlesque clubs and out of the way places. In Marinella’s words, looking in “little pockets that are very little heard of, off the main street path, where we find all these amazing figures and bodies, and that’s what we did for Magic City.”