Monday, September 20, 2021

‘Charlie’s Angels’ Directors Told Nia Long She Looked ‘Too Old’ for Role (Code for ‘Too Black’)

Nia Long - Getty
Nia Long – Getty

*First, it was Thandie Newton revealing that she said no to a version of “Charlie’s Angels” back in 2000 because of the sexist and racist stereotypes.

Now comes Nia Long, in an interview with Insider, revealing that her agent told her directors for the film didn’t give her the role of Alex Munday ” because she looked too old” to appear alongside Drew Barrymore, who was only four years younger.

Whoa, that must have a blow to the ego.

“I was like, “What?” Long recalled. “I love Drew Barrymore, I think she’s amazing, but I think that was just a nice way to say you’re a little too Black. Personally, that’s what I think. Because if you notice there were no brown skin [actors]. I mean, honestly, I would have been the blackest thing in the film.”

But then guess what happened? Those same directors went and gave the role to Lucy Lui, who is two years older than Long. As previously reported, Thandie Newton, who was offered the part before Lui, explained that she turned it down because of comments made by director Amy Pascal.

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Nia Long (Getty)
Nia Long (Getty)

“One of the biggest movies I didn’t end up doing was because the director (Pascal) said to me, ‘I can’t wait for this. The first shot is going to be … You’re going to think it’s like yellow lines down a road, and you pull back and you realize it’s the stitching, because the denim is so tight on your a– it’s going to look like tarmac.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think we’re going to go down this road together,’” Thandie shared during the interview with Vulture.

Worse, Newton accused Pascal of trying to perpetuate stereotypes about Black women.

“I had a meeting with her, and she said, ‘Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable,’” Newton said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?’”

“She’s like, ‘Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated,’” Newton continued.

“I’m like, ‘I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.’ She went, ‘Yeah, but you’re different.’ She’s like, ‘Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.’ She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character.”

Meanwhile, Nia would appreciate it if you would check out her new thriller, “Fatal Affair,” co-starring Omar Epps. It’s streaming now on Netflix.

 

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