Netflix seeks DC extras to play 1960s civil rights activists in new film ‘Rustin’

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews casting for Netflix's 'Rustin' (Part 1)

How would you like to act in a major Hollywood production in D. C.?

Netflix is seeking D.C. extras to appear in the new film “Rustin,” which will recreate the 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

“It is a period piece,” Extras Casting Director Rose Locke told WTOP. “We’re coming to Washington, D.C. to recreate the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

Produced by Barack Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, the film follows unsung hero Bayard Rustin, assistant to Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.

“Bayard Rustin was basically the right-hand man of Martin Luther King,” Locke said. “His story has sadly been untold for many years and most Americans probably don’t even know who he is. He planned the entire March on Washington … the entire organization to make a march that 250,000 people showed up to from all around the country.”

Rustin’s personal life makes for a fascinating subplot.

“He was actually homosexual, and that’s often why his story doesn’t get told,” Locke said. “He was one of the only openly gay men that were leaders of the Civil Rights Movement … he was actually arrested in Pasadena for ‘lewd behavior’ with other men.”

The role of MLK has already been cast, but the information has not yet been made public.

The film will be directed by George C. Wolfe of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which won Oscars for Costume Design and Hair & Makeup in the late Chadwick Boseman’s final role.

“I worked with Chadwick Boseman on ’42’ many years ago,” Locke said.

Send your name, age, height, weight, phone number and three photos (either professional headshots or well-lit selfies) to

“We’re accepting all ages, all ethnicities,” Locke said. “You need to have natural color hair … men need to be clean-shaven … because you’re recreating an entire period that’s different from modern style … I always say that doing a period piece is like a human jigsaw puzzle, finding the right individuals that can pass that they lived in 1963.”

Union members receive SAG rates, nonunion folks will be paid $250 per day, $75 for COVID testing and $75 for costume fitting. Filming is in D.C. over four days from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8.

“The majority will work all four days,” Locke said. “You need to have a clear schedule throughout the whole entire day, because filming can go from 12 to 16 hours. … This is not an eight-hour day, this is not a six-hour day, it is a 12- to 16-hour day.”

Applications are open now, because pre-fittings begin on Sept. 20.

“Apply as early as possible,” Locke said. “We would set up a COVID test, then we would set up your fitting where they dress you in your period outfit, you meet hair and makeup … then you’ll take another COVID test before your work day, then you’ll also be COVID tested on set as well.”

See the casting call flyer below:

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews casting for Netflix's 'Rustin' (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up