Last Friday, the BBC’s Front Row aired an interesting discussion about the recent demand for British actors in America. Mark Lawson speaks to various British actors such as Clive Owen, Hugh Laurie and Thandie Newton. The actors share their thoughts on this demand and highlight the pros and cons of working overseas.
Thandie specifically talks about her experience as a black actress in America. Although America has more roles for black actors, there is still some “alarming stereotyping”. For example, Thandie was cast as a slave in three of her earlier movies. She also goes on to talk about her experience with a head of a studio who didn’t want her to play a role as a black character because the character had a university education. Thandie believes that ignorance such as this should be influenced through “action and example” rather than allowing that person to continue having that idea.
Even-though Thandie has experienced stereotyping, she highlights the “hugh leap forward” in the variety of roles available to black actors today. She concludes that more directors are now casting actors based on the actor’s skills and not their skin color.
You can listen to the discussion at bbc.co.uk. Thandie joins in approximately 11 minutes into the discussion.