What We Do
Real People & Actor Casting
Nef Jones Real People Casting is a full-service casting company specializing in commercials, music videos, documentaries, and more.
Nef Jones Casting was established in 2015. Nef has been a leader in real people casting since 2003. We bring the best of real people and actors together to bring projects to life. Our experienced team has worked with some of the biggest brands in the country, including Meta, Canon, Target and Revlon. Nef and Juliet have worked together to build on the tradition of street casting and street scouting by creating an extensive real people database, expanding to a nationwide reach by utilizing social media and online research. In addition to overseeing a NYC street casting team, NJC also has a trained research team to source hard to find-specific specs from all over the country. Our goal is to help bring projects to life that are memorable, captivating, and truly unique.
Work includes feature length projects with Ron Howard's production company Imagine Entertainment, Apple TV, and Disney+, music video casting for J Balvin and The Black Keys, influencer casting and real people casting for Planned Parenthood, Revlon, McDonalds, Canon, Target, Meta, a fan talk-show for Netflix, voiceover casting for GoToll, RoC, and Booking.com, research-based casting for Vanguard, Alzheimer's awareness, Yves Rocher, and actor and model casting for Square, Oatly, Chili's, SBU Hospital, and Salesforce - among many others.
While the majority of casting post-pandemic has happened via self tapes and ZOOM client sessions, NJC also has the capability to handle live in-person sessions under specific circumstances if needed. With a combined 35 years of experience in casting, the NJC team has a keen understanding of which unique resources to strategically lean into to bring human stories and authentic faces into each and every casting.
Nef Jones was born and raised in Alphabet City and has been a leader in real people casting - and now actor casting - for over 20 years.
Nef's casting career took off in the early wave of documentary style street casting in the early 2000's. Nef would walk throughout the city - ducking into night clubs, corner stores, talking to neighborhood locals sitting on their stoops - and become known for her strength for scouting the authentic faces and personalities that make up the rich fabric of New York City.
Casting was a natural extension of Nef's background in music. She began her creative life at LaGuardia HS of the Arts, and went on to front the band JonesBones - sharing Lower East Side and San Francisco stages with artists like Sinead O' Conner, Debbie Harry, Erykah Badu, Sarah Mclachlan, Ledisi and Natalie Merchant. Nef also runs Haven Kids Rock, a non-profit music program for kids in the South Bronx, under which she co-created Unstoppable the Musical, currently in development with Dolphin Entertainment.
Nef trained in casting under Genuine Casting (fka Strickman Ripps) and went on to lead House Casting's real people department prior to starting her own company. Casting triumphs include: casting a mother and daughter who had never seen the ocean for North Carolina Tourism, finding urban farmers who were providing food for their community during COVID-19 for Wells Fargo, seeking out first responders with lingering health effects from 9/11 who were willing to learn to sing again in front of an audience for Philips Simply Go (Cannes Lions award), and interviewing patients with deteriorating brain health who were willing to discuss their experience with a new drug for Alzheimers. Nef has contributed to many award winning campaigns.
Casting Director / Partner
Juliet has worked in casting for over 10 years. With a background in theater, film and TV, Juliet uses her love for storytelling to pull authentic stories from real people in documentary style casting. She is skilled at interviewing people in a way that puts them at ease on camera and supports them in honing in on the most interesting parts of their story. She also has a strong eye for talent when working with actors.
Juliet's first casting experience was for MySpace - scouring arts venues around NYC to scout up and coming artists, cast with Nef under House Casting in the real people casting department. In January 2015 Juliet was brought on as a Casting Associate with Nef Jones Casting and grew into a partner as NJC expanded.
Juliet's work in narrative casting includes the casting of the 2021 Academy Award Shortlisted 'Takeover' (dir. Emma-Francis Snyder), 'Molly Robber' (Tribeca '21, Dir. Austin Hall and Zach Visvikis), 'Buckets' (Tribeca 2016, Dir. Julia Jones), among others. She has been a casting associate under Allison Twardziak on several features including 'Catch The Fair One' (Tribeca '21, Narrative Winner), 'Swallow' (Tribeca 2019, with Haley Bennett - Winner Best Actress), and 'Appropriate Behavior' (Sundance 2014).
Juliet found her way to casting through her love for performing. Working under a different name, Juliet has shared the NY stage with actors such as Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Jessica Hecht, and Mikhail Baryshnikov among others. She's worked on projects produced by A24, Focus Features, AMC, Amazon, CBS, FX, Searchlight, NBC, Hulu, including the Emmy Award winning show Fosse/Verdon opposite Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell. Juliet is passionate about casting because it combines her love of storytelling and performance with the more research oriented and strategy focused side of her personality. Real people documentary style casting is a particular love of hers, as it introduces her to so many unique and interesting characters.