Even without including The Incredible Hulk and the Netflix shows, there are well over a thousand roles in the MCU at this point. And Sarah Finn is the woman who cast all of them. So on the one hand, I guess it’s on her every time you think, “I can’t believe they wasted [person] on such a minor role!” (Though if the MCU has taught me anything, it’s that you never know who might come back.) However, she’s also the one who risked casting “no-names” as Thor and Loki, who helped realize that Robert Downey, Jr., perfectly embodied the qualities that she and Jon Favreau had listed for Tony Stark. And cast the background dancers for Captain America’s USO show, and every goon, and on and on and on.
And, as is so often the case for certain kinds of behind-the-scenes people, there’s little information out there about her. She has a BA from Yale, though I don’t know in what. She was invited to join the AMPAS, though I don’t know if she did. And every article I read about her seemed to be taken from the same interview, so I’m not going to repeat that ifnormation here—everyone else has already done that effort.
But really, why should we expect to know more about her? If you think about it, it’s a little unsettling how much we know about people just because they do jobs that involve our entertainment. I don’t need to know who she’s married to or who her parents are/were or if she has kids to know that she’s done one of the best jobs in entertainment history by casting all those roles—and by casting well. Her personal history doesn’t change that.
Even beyond the MCU, she’s done a lot. I’m morally opposed to the outbreak of Disney remakes (because the original scriptwriters aren’t getting paid for their work the way they should be, when their scripts get reused), but no one has ever complained about the casting of The Lion King, and that’s also her work, as is The Jungle Book. She’s done several movies for Oliver Stone and several for Martin McDonagh. She’s cast the upcoming Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and the one thing everyone agrees on about that is that the casting looks delightfully bonkers.
She’s made stars of Tom Hiddleston and Tom Holland, helped Robert Downey, Jr., back into film prominence, and helped Chris Evans become America’s Captain. She gave us Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. Now, I’m sure the directors of the various films had input; I kind of suspect I know who cast the voice for Korg, for starters. On the other hand, she had to cast Thanos without knowing anything about where the MCU was going with him or what the character would be like in movies to come—and apparently had to persuade Josh Brolin to take the role. So yeah, credit for that alone, not to mention all the dozens and dozens of characters too small for directors to take credit for themselves. We know she gave us Letitia Wright as Shuri, too, and that’s worth a lot.