*American-Filipino actor Lou Diamond Phillips spoke with SiriusXM Urban View host, Clay Cane about playing diverse characters and diversity and inclusion in the entertainment world.
Lou Diamond Phillips to Clay Cane: “If I only played my bloodline [Filipino] I’d never work..it’s very bizarre, especially early on for me. I was very proud, and I’ve always approached it in this fashion. Whenever I am representing a community whether it’s the Latino community in ‘La Bamba’ or ‘Stand and Deliver,’ or most recently in ‘The 33’ where I played one of the Chilean miners with Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, just an incredibly international cast, most of us were not Chilean.
But early on in my career this sort of ambiguous brown did well for me in the respect that I could represent a lot of different communities, and the priority was my acting ability, and that I never took for granted. What’s beautiful is that we’ve gotten, and as far as African-American actors go, especially, there is more opportunity. We’re seeing more opportunity for Asian-American actors, we’re seeing more opportunity for Native-American actors.
When I was doing ‘Longmire’ I was able to bring Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal and Julia Jones, and a number of other Native-American actors into the fold and into some really nice roles. So, it’s not just a matter of getting ahead myself, it’s keeping the door open behind me, and also being aware of who else is out there. And I think there’s a much greater effort on the part of not only actors, but writers and directors and producers to do that sort of thing.”
source: SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show (from 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126).