Damian Bao Casting is a top global creative casting studio that does traditional casting by considering represented actors and models and specializes in a seamless hybrid authentic casting style that combines actors, models, artists, real people, and dynamic street finds to create bold and striking visual projects in film and advertising.

We advocate for authenticity, inclusivity, diversity, and empathy and celebrate individuality and unique voices through storytelling. We help clients and collaborators worldwide break rules and break the glass ceiling on screen and behind the scenes. Meticulously led by casting director and producer Damian Bao, we are unapologetic visual troublemakers.


“As a casting director, Damian uses his position of power to help thousands of Black and brown bodies, especially queer ones, be seen and recognized and, most importantly, respected in all forms of art spaces in today’s society, creating the blueprint for the future of media. He has given many of us the first opportunity to be seen, heard and auditioned in these often closed spaces. A lot of queer folks of color working in entertainment are now in important positions because of his courage and vision for the future. I am nominating Damian Bao to highlight his leadership and kindness. Through it all, he has fought tirelessly both publicly and behind the scenes for not only me, but so many others, to create real equality and change. He is a great example of what other gatekeepers in the industry should aim to be.”

– Leyna Bloom (American transgender actress, model, dancer, and activist) on Good Morning America


Damian Bao

Damian Bao (he/they) is an award-winning queer Asian American filmmaker, producer, casting director, visual artist, impact strategist, photographer, and human rights advocate.

At 6 months old, his family escaped Vietnam as boat people. His early memories in refugee camps in Thailand and Indonesia, and his colorful adolescence in a diverse trailer park community on the outskirts of New Orleans, inspired Damian to always seek to tell authentic stories and give voice to humans and sentient beings who are voiceless, unseen, and disregarded in the world. 

Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the media in the early 2010s as a fashion photographer, Damian started working in casting and production so that he could be involved in the hiring of talent both in front of and behind the camera. His unique life story, as a marginalized outsider belonging to multiple disenfranchised groups, has allowed him to speak from the heart when fighting for change. His distinguished portfolio in the past decade has bridged the worlds of film, art, fashion, and music with raw and unapologetic authentic representation.


Casting Director Damian Bao and Model Xiao Wen Ju

Damian has cast diverse campaigns and commercials for brands, such as Estée Lauder, Prada, Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Cavalli, L’Oréal, Maybelline, DKNY, Balmain, Burberry, DVF, Nike, Gap, Adidas, Puma, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Facebook, Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, Instagram, and Vogue. He also works with celebrities such as Rihanna, Drew Barrymore, and Priyanka Chopra on the casting of their beauty and fashion brands. In 2020, he became the casting director for Black Opal, the most long-standing and popular beauty brand associated with serving the cosmetic needs of black women since 1994, and Fashion Fair, which in 1973 became the first international prestige cosmetics brand for darker skin tones. He has been working directly with CEO Desiree Rogers in reviving both brands and attaching actresses Ryan Destiny and Kiki Layne as brand ambassadors. Leiomy Maldonaldo also made history becoming Black Opal’s first openly trans model. The 2022 HBO’s documentary THE BEAUTY OF BLACKNESS (2022 Tribeca X Feature Film Award Winner) featured Damian’s casting for the historical relaunch of Fashion Fair.


International music artists, such as Beyoncé, Nas, Coldplay, FKA Twigs, A$AP Rocky, Princess Nokia, Father John Misty, Ludacris, Flo Milli, Super Junior, Seventeen, and BTS J-Hope, have all seeked Damian to help them cast and discover unknown faces for their music videos and visual projects. He worked with legendary rapper Nas‘s company Mass Appeal and Showtime on live pop up experiential spaces for Hip Hop 50, a 3-year multi-media program celebrating Hip Hop’s 50th birthday.

In the art world, Damian’s casting work for artist Adam Pendleton‘s exhibit “Who Is Queen?”, dubbed one of the museum’s most complex projects by The New York Times, was on display at The Marron Atrium of the Museum of Modern Art from 2021-2022. The project explored Blackness, masculinity, abstraction, and the avant-garde. During the pandemic, he collaborated with critically acclaimed visual artist Mika Rottenberg on her first feature-length film REMOTE (2022), which stars MacArthur Fellow “Genius Award” performance artist Okwui Okpokwasili, Korean newcomer Joony Kim, and 4 other female or non-binary talent all speaking different languages in the futuristic 7-languages feature narrative. Co-created by multidisciplinary storyteller Mahyad Tousi, the film is touring the globe from 2022-23 at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) – Canada, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) – Los Angeles, Busan Biennial – South Korea, Artangel at the Tate Modern –  London, Moderna Museet – Stockholm, X Museum – Beijing, and other major international art venues. In a partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem and Public Art Fund, Damian’s casting for artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s video for the inauguration of the Lincoln Center’s new David Geffen Hall is currently displayed on a 50-foot video media wall in the building’s lobby. Showcasing the work of more than 100 music and dance students found by Damian from local schools in all 5 boroughs, the ambitious project is a reimagination of the New York Philharmonic’s historical lack of diversity. It is the biggest and most diversely cast public artwork ever made in NYC and will be live until the end of 2024.


Damian Bao is known for his expertise spearheading a distinct hybrid casting strategy combining professionally trained actors and artists with cinematic and dynamic street finds and real people. He often works 6 months to 3 years on the casting of a narrative feature film, leading and directing a team to scout, research, and outreach all over the world to find unique talents. He started his film career as the associate casting director on Oscar-winning director Andrea Arnold’s AMERICAN HONEY (2016 Cannes Jury Prize winner) and Ryan Gosling’s LOST RIVER (2014 Cannes Un Certain Regard nominee). He then went on to start his own casting studio to lead the casting for Sam de Jong’s GOLDIE (2019 Berlinale Crystal Bear nominee) for Vice Films & 20thCentury Fox. Damian street scouted Slick Woods before she became Rihanna’s Instagram muse and immediately introduced her to Sam and Vice after reading the GOLDIE script. For Danielle Lessovitz’s PORT AUTHORITY (2019 Cannes Un Certain Regard nominee), Damian street scouted and discovered Leyna Bloom at an underground voguing ball in Philadelphia on his cross country drive talent scouting for the leads. His team auditioned thousands of trans and queer POC from all over the world for the lead and supporting roles. Leyna became the first trans person of color to lead a movie at the Cannes Film Festival. The casting received unprecedented press as Leyna Bloom was the most written about casting discovery in the festival’s 72-year history. In the world of documentary,  Damian cast for Oscar nominated director Garrett Bradley’s work for Netflix’s TRIAL BY MEDIA (2020) and Emmy nominated director Lana Wilson‘s feature documentary LOOK INTO MY EYES (2024), which world premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival to highly rated critics reviews for its funny and compassionate portrayal of real psychics and their clients. He recently worked on the global UGC casting for Sam & Andy Zuchero‘s LOVE ME (2024), which won the Sundance Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.

In an effort to elevate the voices and careers of ​​female, queer, and non-binary directors and writers and create space for a more truly diverse and equitable film industry, Damian still occasionally produces and casts short films when his schedule is open. He cast Erin Lau’s award-winning Asian-led queer romantic comedy ALL I EVER WANTED (2022

HollyShorts Best Comedy winner) for Film Independent’s Project Involve. He recently cast Ragini Bhasin’s HAPPY RAKHI (post production) and Banban Cheng’s HEARSAY (post production). Both scripts are winners of the 2022 Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge and are executive produced by Janet Yang, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), and Damian Bao.

Damian Bao also served as associate producer under executive producer Martin Scorsese on PORT AUTHORITY. He is an associate producer on the Korean-American-Italian co-production ABROAD (post production) by director Giovanni

Fumu. He recently wrapped casting on Peter Vack‘s Sundance double granted sci-fi social satire www.rachelormont.com (post production), of which Damian is also an executive producer.

As a creative producer, Damian is currently developing 8 film projects and 2 biopics, as well as adapting 2 books. He is currently producing and casting 2 Asian American-led feature films: William Kwok‘s Sundance-backed CHINESE SCHOOL and Jing Ai Ng‘s Film Independent-supported FORGE. Both films will be shot in 2024.