Idris Elba Addresses Samuel L. Jackson's Comments on the Casting of Black Actors in American Roles
I remember watching a video of Samuel L. Jackson on a radio show a while back criticising the casting of black British actors in American roles.
I thought at the time that it seemed a bit of a strange statement to make, especially considering acting is ABOUT pretending to be someone you’re not. He followed it up saying that it wouldn’t be so bad if American actors were afforded the same opportunities over here.
I stumbled on this video of an interview with Idris Elba recently and found it really interesting. In it he voices his thoughts on the subject which, as a black British actor himself are worth hearing.
Video credit: Angie Martinez Interviews (Facebook)
I do wonder how far some of this political correctness/wokeness will go before it comes to a head. I’m all for equal opportunities but preventing actors from playing certain roles, whether it’s because they’re not from a certain place or don’t have a disability (or whatever it may be) is really limiting and can reduce people’s awareness to certain things.
For instance, there have been several award winning/nominated performances by actors playing disabled or mentally challenged characters throughout the years. A few of these are: Jamie Foxx in Ray (2004), Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988), Holly Hunter in The Piano (1994), Gary Sinise in Forrest Gump (1994) and Sean Penn in I Am Sam (2001).
In actual fact, Jessie Nelson, the director of I Am Sam recently said that if she were making that film now she’d use a mentally handicapped actor.
It’s a touchy subject I know, and I can see both sides. However, it just seems like roles are becoming more and more limited for actors.
What do you think? Should you have to have a disability to play a disabled character? Should you have to be from a certain place to play a character from that place? 🤷♂️
Let me know your thoughts.👇