Nia Long Was Told She ‘Looked Too Old’ To Star In ‘Charlie’s Angels:’ I Think That Was Just A Nice Way To Say ‘You’re A Little Too Black’
It seems the 2000 blockbuster “Charlie’s Angels” went through several roster changes before settling on their three leading ladies. Actress Nia Long recently revealed that she was cut from the runnings after she auditioned for the role of Alex Munday. Nia Long said that the film’s crew felt she looked too old to star in the action favorite. Nia commented:
“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.”
Lucy Liu, who’s two years older than Nia Long, ended up landing the role. She continued:
“The feedback that I received from my agent was, ‘She just looked too old and sophisticated to be next to Drew Barrymore.’ 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.“
This comes after Thandie Newton‘s comments on almost starring in the film. She, too, felt racially stereotyped:
“…the head of the studio — 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.’ 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.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.’…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. Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal…Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result. Charlie’s Angels. It was a big deal for me.”
But Nia Long has enjoyed her fair share of successful roles since 2000. Her most recent film, “Fatal Affair,” just premiered on Netflix – in which she stars alongside Omar Epps.
What do you think about Nia Long’s “Charlie’s Angels” experience? Let us know in the comments.