Oct 11 2019, 1:42am
My first impression from reading these casting calls was that they want actors of disparate heights as stand-ins / body doubles for full shots, much in the way Peter Jackson used Kiran Shah and Paul Randall when a short or tall character, respectively, interacted with the principle cast of roughly average height. So it behooves Amazon to have a list of short-statured (4’ 6” - 4’ 11”, 137-150 cm) and very tall (6’ - 6’ 5”+, 183-196 cm) actors on hand when dealing with the wide range of Tolkien's fantasy character heights.
Note how the call for taller actors fits the average Númenórean height (6’ 4”, 193 cm); of course some were taller, and not just Elendil who was exceptionally so. If Númenóreans and Elves will be a strong focus for the show, which I think most of us assume by now, having mostly tall actors to play them would certainly simplify things when it comes to camera work - medium shots, full shots, close-ups, various angles - when interacting with the shorter people of Middle-earth. But a large group of tall actors is not necessary. The show’s principle cast can be fairly average in height so long as they portray same-height characters. Only when needing to contrast their heights with other races would the uncommonly short and tall actors be needed. That could range anywhere from infrequent (a few times per season if same-height Númenóreans occupy most shots) to very frequent (multiple times per episode if there is more height variety amongst the characters, à la Fellowship’s fellowship). If the latter, then casting tall actors for Númenóreans makes more sense.
I concede the possibility that Dwarves, Drúedain, and other diminutive peoples (alas, even Hobbits) could be featured at some point, thus the shorter actors could play a larger role. But my guess is the use of these shorter actors will be mostly for distinguishing the average-height and taller actors.
(This post was edited by Marmoon on Oct 11 2019, 1:44am)