Los Angeles, Jul 16 (PTI) Actor Nia Long is the latest actor to criticise the problematic casting process of 2000 Hollywood movie 'Charlie's Angels', days after Thandie Newton spoke out about facing racial stereotyping when she auditioned for the same part in the film.
Long, best known for her performances in shows like 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Empire' and movies 'Friday' and 'Soul Food', said her agent notified her that she would not get to play Alex Munday as she looked too old opposite co-star Drew Barrymore.
Long said she believed the rejection had racist undertones.
'I was like, 'What?' 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,' Long told Insider in an interview.
'The feedback that I received from my agent was, 'She just looked too old and sophisticated to be next to Drew Barrymore',' Long recalled.
The 49-year-old actor said she did not pursue it further as she realised it was not the opportunity for her.
'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.' Actor Lucy Liu ultimately played the role. The film also starred Cameron Diaz as the third Angel.
In a Vulture interview earlier this month, Newton, who recently featured in 'Westworld', said the director McG spoke about the character in crude terms, adding Sony executive Amy Pascal said she didn't think the actor would be 'believable in the role because Alex went to university and is educated'.
Newton said she reminded Pascal that she attended Cambridge, to which Pascal responded, 'Yeah, but you're different. 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,' the actor said.
Pascal, in a statement, said she did not remember the conversation.
'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,' she added.
A follow-up to 'Charlie's Angels', a continuation of the TV series of the same name, 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' was released in 2003.
Last year saw the reboot of 'Charlie's Angels', in which the titular roles were played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska.
The film was directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also starred as one of the Bosley characters. Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou played the other two Bosleys. PTI BK RDS RDS