Why Casting JonBenét Used Unknowns to Tell JonBenét Ramsey's Murder Case

Netflix's documentary is now streaming

By Chris Harnick May 01, 2017 8:24 PMTags
Watch: "Casting JonBenet" Examines Murder From Community's View

Casting JonBenét is not like any JonBenét Ramsey movie or special you've seen this year—or ever. And that's exactly what director Kitty Green wanted.

"There have been so many JonBenét Ramsey movies—we're completely original. We went back to the city of Boulder, Colorado where she was murdered 20 years ago and we interviewed community members," Green told E! News about her Netflix documentary. "We basically asked people to audition for a series of casting tapes essentially for reenactments."

Green interviewed 200 people, but only 72 made it into the film.

JonBenét Ramsey's Pageant Portraits

"I was very honest with them up front and said, ‘Listen, this is such an experiment of a film. We're going to use your casting tapes in the film. Multiple people will be playing multiple roles, this is unlike anything you've ever been part of before,'" she explained. "People were connecting it to their own personal trauma or their own emotional baggage or what not…Often they drew conclusion from their own lives."

It's been 20 years since JonBenét Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen, was murdered. Her death remains unsolved, despite many efforts by the media and law enforcement. The Netflix documentary doesn't set out to solve who killed the young girl, but instead looks at the story as a whole. But Green didn't want people to lose focus that at the end of the day, JonBenét Ramsey was still dead and that's why they had a final sequence with young girls dancing. Green said it was "a moment to remember who is at the center of this drama."

Casting JonBenét is now streaming on Netflix.