Written by @kristenshylin_
According to Fox News, Actress Nia Long revealed in an interview with Insider that she auditioned for the role of Alex Munday in the 2000 Charlie’s Angels film but was denied because she looked “too old” compared to her co-star Drew Barrymore.
The Friday actress said she received the feedback from her agent, which was that “She just looked too old and sophisticated to be next to Drew Barrymore.” She then condemned the movie director for failing to transform her into the character.
“And I’m thinking to myself, it’s an actor’s choice to walk in the room how they want to look, but it’s a director’s vision to help create and curate a character. So if you couldn’t see beyond the fact that I had on a blazer and a pair of jeans, then that was clearly not the job and opportunity for me. So, no problem, I’ll keep it moving,” she said.
Long, who had recently starred in the movie “The Best Man” the previous year, said she believes her race played a part in the movie executives’ decision.
“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,” she said.
One closed door did not stop Long from booking future movie roles. She went on to star in the classic comedy “Big Momma’s House” later that year.
Long’s storytime came shortly after actress Thandie Newton announced that she dropped out the same film due to experiences of being racial stereotyped and objectified by the studio executives.
According to BBC News, in an interview with Vulture, Newton said director Joseph McGinty Nichol, known as McG, described the opening shot of the movie to her, saying: “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 ass it’s going to look like tarmac.”
Newton also accused the co-chairman of the film’s producer Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal, of racially stereotyping her character to make her role more “believable.”
“I was like, ‘What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?’” Newton said. “She’s like, ‘Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.’ 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.”
Pascal reportedly responded to Newton’s claims in a statement to Vulture that said: “While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session.”
Reps for Sony and McGinty has not commented on Newton’s accusations, BBC reported.