Exclusive: How Damon Herriman Was Cast as Charles Manson for Both David Fincher and Quentin Tarantino

It’s highly unusual for an actor to play the same role in two completely unrelated projects, but that’s just what happened for Damon Herriman. The Justified actor went out for auditions on Charles Manson for both David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. Steve Weintraub got a chance to talk to Herriman at Sundance for the movie Judy & Punch, and in the video above Herriman explains how he ended up getting cast as Charles Manson twice:

“Mindhunter came about first. That was something that came about at the end of 2017, actually, which is a very long lead up for TV, for a TV guest role. Usually when a TV guest role comes about you audition for it and you’re doing it in about four days. So they got in like six months early. And then the Quentin Tarantino thing was kind of coincidental, but not totally. Someone on his film had heard I was playing it in Mindhunter and knew it wasn’t cast in Tarantino’s film yet, so suggested to him that he audition me. He was a Justified fan, which is a show I had been on before, and so he said, ‘Sure, let’s audition that guy.’ I didn’t mention I was already playing the role in David Fincher’s show, which I think was a good thing; he probably wouldn’t have wanted to see that guy. Then I auditioned and ended up getting both and shooting two different things within two weeks of each other.”

Surprisingly, Tarantino was cool with Herriman playing Manson for Once Upon a Time… even though he had also been cast in the role for Mindhunter:

“The day I landed in America to do the makeup test for Mindhunter, the day after that I got the call saying I got the role in the Tarantino movie, which was immediately the best and worst news I ever got in my life because I thought I’m definitely now not going to get this because we have to tell him now that I’m already doing it. The reason I auditioned was because I thought I might get something else in it, possibly. I thought I can’t not audition, but there’s no way he’s going to cast the same guy. But anyway they called back and said, “No, he’s cool. He doesn’t care.” And then when I met him was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like a cool little bookend thing because one is 1969 and one is 1980,’ and he kind of dug it.”

Even though the two projects aren’t connected by anything more than the same actor playing Manson, it should be neat to see them both this year with this kind of connective tissue. Mindhunter Season 2 should arrive on Netflix sometime in 2019 and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is due out in theaters on July 26th.

Look for Steve’s full interview on Judy & Punch this weekend.