The second movie in the Magic Mike franchise is another hit from film producer and screenwriter Reid Carolin. After grossing just under $120 million on a budget of merely $14 million, it seems like most Hollywood studios would agree with that sentiment. But is the franchise’s continued success a result of just Carolin? Absolutely not! The movie’s casting was done by Carmen Cuba, would absolutely deserves just as much acclaim.

Not only did Carmen secure Channing Tatum’s return, she also signed big-name comedian Gabriel Iglesias and award-winning actress Elizabeth Banks. All three played their roles phenomenally – Channing continues to impress as the titular character, “Magic Mike.” Gabriel Iglesias returns as Tobias, a funny, larger than life frozen yogurt truck driver whose character gets into all sorts of drug-related antics. Award-winning actress Elizabeth Banks joins the cast too, immediately following her portrayal of Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games series.

It is not always the big signings that define the casting – Carmen brings great talent to the film through her signing of Crystal Hunt to play Lauren. Although a fairly niche role, Crystal portrays her Myrtle Beach goer character fantastically, as her acting lineage would certainly suggest.

Crystal has acted in a litany of acclaimed soap operas throughout her career, from Guiding Light to One Life to Live. In the former, she played the long-running character Lizzie Spaudling for three years. IMDb shows that she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy and recognized by Soap Opera Digest as a result of her consistently outstanding performance. She followed one successful soap up with another, played bad girl Stacy Morasco in One Life to Live., which won four daytime Emmys during her tenure.

Crystal definitely proved in Magic Mike XXL that she is not defined by her successful soap opera career, but she has sought to do more in her film career, highlighted by her work in an upcoming Bev Land film. Dubbed Talbot County, Crystal is given producer credit for the tribute to Hitchockian horror that is currently in post production.  Crystal can be found on Instagram, as well as her CrunchBase profile which has more information.

So who is responsible for Magic Mike XXL’s success, exactly? Though Reid Carolin certainly deserves credit, it is highly unlike he could have achieved much without the head of casting, Carmen Cuba. Only an elite few can bring in such a diverse, critically-acclaimed, and experienced cast.

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