Golden touch for casting lands at Globes
Sunday was a golden moment for a Lake Nebagamon woman, and everyone who knows her.
At 8:39 p.m. that night DeLisi, whose maiden name is Kaszynski, shared her delight on Facebook for friends and family.
“Hard to post pics! Cell dying!! Dream Come True! The best date in the world!! Old friends, new friends, bonding, laughter & the great adventure that is this life!! THANK ALL OF U AT HOME .... UR w/me always!!”
The Lake Nebagamon native, whose casting touch is golden, wore a glittering gold dress and stopped for a snapshot with former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. She and her husband Adam led the casting call in Minneapolis two years ago that “discovered” Abdi and three other unknown actors, all friends, who would go on to portray the film’s pirates. As she told Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press in October, “We’re living the dream with them, and they could not be kinder individuals.”
Abdi is a former limo driver who moved to Minnesota at 14 after being born in Somalia and living mostly in Yemen. The newcomer has been peppered with best supporting actor nominations, from the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Thursday, he was revealed as an Oscar contender.
He told a reporter he asked DeLisi to be his guest to the Golden Globes “because if it wasn’t for her; this would have of never have happened.”
DeLisi is a Northwestern High School alum. She caught the acting bug while attending the College of St. Scholastica and headed to Minneapolis with a grad picture and a dream.
To date, she’s spent years on both sides of the business —acting in front of the cameras and theater audiences as well as finding the perfect people for roles.
Friends and family sent shout-outs to Lake Nebagamon’s golden girl on Facebook, some as they were watching the awards.
“Just saw you in the crowd — so awesome!” wrote Tricia Follis Bartylla of Lake Nebagamon.
“You are gorgeous ... and I knew you ‘when.’ What a fun night for you!,” wrote Marnie Christopherson of Duluth.
“That is so cool! Way to go. Her mom would have been so proud her as I am sure her dad is,” wrote Cheryl Ormston of Lake Nebagamon.
“I have to say, I watched the ceremony basically to get a glimpse of Debbie living out her dreams!! So happy for her and very proud of all she is doing!! Love you, Debbie DeLisi!!” wrote Rhonda Soyring Montavon of Maple.
“Debbie you’ve had such an awesome impact on so many lives in a positive way, and last night was just further proof of that! So great to see Barkhad getting so much nice attention from Amy and Tina,” wrote Charles Wilson with the New York Times.
This isn’t her first brush with gold. DeLisi assisted casting director Rachel Tenner in the search for a girl to play the role of Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers’ film “True Grit.” The search turned up another unknown, Hailee Steinfeld, for what turned out to be an Academy Award-nominated role. She also helped cast the critically-acclaimed Coen brothers film “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
There is no word yet on whether DeLisi will make an appearance at the Academy Awards with Abdi.