The casting for The Ballad of Des & Mo involved many twists and turns. The original casting posts in the UK and Ireland attracted little attention but a few good contenders. It was difficult to secure any potential cast whilst the budget was still fluctuating and hadn’t been completed, therefore James Fair (director) flew out to Australia without any formal cast in place. It was whilst surfing Facebook one day that he noticed that Kate O’Toole was following the 72 project and he wrote to her asking if she’d consider playing Mo.
Mick Cahill came onboard though a casting call in Melbourne and immediately endeared himself to the team by his Birmingham accent, Irish roots and Melbourne address. He also mentioned how he envisaged Des to be the ‘kind of man who made flatpack furniture without reading the instructions’. He had to have the job!
The role of Freddy the Fish was written specifically for Graham Hawkins, as he had worked with James Fair in a teddy bear shop in Dublin. James said he’d give Graham a role in the film if he could get to Australia!
The role of Mike was originally given to a different actor that struggled with the lines. Mick Cahill suggested Don Bridges, and he was brought onboard only three days before principle photography started.
Jennifer Hall won a Channel Five competition to audition for the Australian TV show “Neighbours”; a competition that James Fair’s dad had been asked to vote for. He emailed Jennifer to say that James was in Australia too, and when she didn’t end up making it on to Neighbours, she became available to appear in The Ballad of Des & Mo.
Michael F Cahill… Des
Kate O’Toole… Mo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Randall Berger… Mr. Adams
Don Bridges… Mike
Anita Clements… Tracy
Jennifer Hall… Mindy
Graham Hawkins… Freddy the Fish
Erin Hutching… Receptionist
Aaron Jakubenko… Mal
Minel Louis… Checkout Operator
Jalen Lyle-Holmes… Bendy Traveller
Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik… Maberly
Suzy Sampson… Susan
Elijah Ungvary… Steve
Francesca Waters… Shopkeeper
Joshua Dean Williams… Baxter