Archives for posts with tag: Rooney Mara

The Fairy Princess had a pretty busy week, and she has a busy week ahead. For those who read my blog regularly, yes, I am working on something in regards to performing PACIFIC OVERTURES without Asians in the show, however, it will take a bit of time, and you will have to wait a bit on that – although she is hoping when it is published, it will stand as a ‘definitive’ post on P.O.

However, just because you do not hear from The Fairy Princess all the time, does not mean that she is not fluttering about, paying attention to various things.

Here I am, paying attention...see - eyes WIDE open....

Here I am, paying attention…see – eyes WIDE open….

And when one pays attention, they can get their wings a bit bent, and that is what happened when she read this article in the LA Times by Betsy Sharkey on ’30 Actors Under 30 Who Matter”.

What The Fairy Princess noticed most on this list was that when it comes to ‘who matters’, the answer is quite clear – blondes. In fact, of all the women on this list – 17 in total, only 4 are brunettes. Only one, Hailee Steinfeld, is ‘ethnic’, she is Eurasian. There are no Latinos or Latinas on this list – at all. Two African American men. No African American women. One South Asian man.

To be fair, writer Betsy Sharkey acknowledges that her ‘list’ is whiter than I would like because of Hollywood’s continued bad casting habits‘, however by titling those listed as the ones ‘who matter’, Ms. Sharkey is contributing to the problem, not helping solve it.

While we can all acknowledge that television is leading the way in bringing Diversity to our screens, Indie film falls sadly behind. This is due of course, to most Indie films that make it to the big screens being written and directed by Caucasian males – and a large majority of them are based on some sort of retrospective of the writer/director’s life as a coming of age young man. Apparently they all lived in some generic American town that was quirky in the extreme and they were bereft of even a token ethnic friend, (which could be in part why they left), but really…who knows?

Bland upbringing means blonde casting. If they want the female lead to have depth, she is a blond with roots or a light haired brunette. She is wry, quirky, self-deprecating, but as this list points out, she is startlingly similar to the last Indie darling found by the last hailed Indie genius.

What is ‘wrong’ with this list is not, in fact, that these Actors are working, but that they are being held up in a way that Actors of Color are not – which takes an already un-level playing field and tilts it even further away from Diversity towards a very specific look.

Should Indie films continue their ‘all look same’ policy, the breadth of stories being told will become far narrower, their appeal far less, and all in all – it will contribute to the decline of Indie film as a place to go for exciting stories – after all, how many ‘coming of age gawky teen films full of desire for the cheerleader AND the ‘alt’ girl‘ are we, the general public supposed to swallow? We can only be sidetracked by their wearing some sort of superhero or 1970’s garb for so long before we realize they are, indeed, all looking and sounding quite similar.

What is happening to you, Indie Filmmakers? Why so bland?

May The Fairy Princess make a suggestion? Do not just ‘write what you know“, write what you can imagine. SEE people, SEE that stories come in all shades and sizes, and that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in how the DP lights you. If you cannot cast your film with a Person of Color in a major role or large supporting, then perhaps you should look to another profession – because the art of cinema is in how you visually paint your palette – and if there are no other colors, what are you painting exactly?

It was not that long ago that Indie film was where people looked to see diverse stories – let us remember America Ferrara, who starred in the breakout film, Real Women Have Curves – which was directed by Patricia Cordoso and written by Josefina Lopez and George LaVoo in 2002. Ms. Ferrara has had a great career in television and voice over since then. Her success in Indie film helped changed the television landscape with the show, Ugly Betty.

696bb368-fce3-40eb-84a2-5c3e25898c23

Another was Gabourey Sidibe who starred in Precious, which was directed by Lee Daniels, based on a book by Sapphire in 2009. She too, has gone on to a successful career in film and television.

large_yLALDlvIPQG5wiSEsJhURFzaWEr

Or the Cast of Better Luck Tomorrow, directed by Justin Lin, in 2002. All still working.

L-R: John Cho, Karin Anna Cheung, Parry Shen, Roger Fan, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang

L-R: John Cho, Karin Anna Cheung, Parry Shen, Roger Fan, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang

2002 was a good year for Diversity in Indie Film. It is now 2014 – and now, we have this list to tell us who are the ‘breakout’ stars for this new generation, and it includes no Latins and no Black women.

Diversity behind the camera, brings Diversity to the camera.

Here’s the truth, The Fairy Princess does not have a problem with any of the Actors on this list, she enjoys their work. TFP does not even have a problem with the writing OF this list, because the list is based on box office and Q ratings and numbers, but the title of the list IS a problem. Because it says that these are the 30 ‘who matter‘, and by inference, anyone not on that list does NOT matter.

So who does ‘not matter’ in show business, which is the subliminal take away from Ms. Sharkey’s article? Latinos, Black Women, Asian Men, South Asian Women, Middle Easterns and most Mixed Raced people.

Those are who do NOT matter.

This list is now in the hands of every Casting Director, Show Runner, Executive, and Aspiring Director as a veritable ‘who’s who’ of how to get your show or film funded, the people on this list are now ‘bankable’, and bankable means green-lit.

This list gives a play by play of how to get your film to the next level of serious consideration and the great thing about it is, as demonstrated, if you cannot get Elle Fanning, you go to Chloe Grace Moretz, and if she passes or is unavailable, and you can bring yourself to even envision a brunette, you could think about offering it to Hailee Steinfeld. If you want super hot but slightly weird you can turn to Ellen Page, and if she is not available there is always Rooney Mara, who managed this year to get cast as a Native American, simply by dint of hair color!

Because she ‘matters’.

That is the danger of this list.

With respect to Ms. Sharkey, she is not ‘responsible’ per se for up and coming actors and who they are or what ethnicity they inhabit. What she is responsible for is the way in which she has them presented. To her credit, when The Fairy Princess tweeted her about the lack of diversity on her list, she responded with a request to be enlightened (something that is presented as open minded while wearing blinders).

The Fairy Princess took it as an honest invitation, but perhaps it was not.

Ms. Sharkey also mentioned via Twitter, and it is worth repeating, that Diversity is more apparent in Actors ages 30 and up, which is somewhat hopeful and yet, appalling. Because she writes about film, and she could not name Diverse Actors in their 20’s.

The Fairy Princess has asked around and has done some research and while she may not get to 30 because of the ‘rules’ of the list – she is limited to rising film stars and not television stars (where it is acknowledged there is growing diversity), she wants to be clear that the Actors and Actresses of Color who are in their 20’s working in film ALSO ‘Matter”.

In fact, they matter more – because they are the .001% of those who have the talent to already be working in the film industry despite their not being a petite blonde whose grew up in show business or the willowy one who can do stunts while being gorgeous and wry. In fact, TFP will allow up to age 30 to be considered for this list because once upon a time, those who just turned 30 were in their 20’s. For some, it may be only moments ago.

These 20 somethings have succeeded in spite of the Industry. If TFP misses anyone who should be considered, please of course, list them in the comments – her hope is that this list too, will become a ‘short list’ of who to go to.

The parameters are again, film – successful and noted Indie films and Blockbuster Hollywood Franchises. Not the short that got you a mention in the Film Festival in your town. Not the grad school film that you appeared in for a copy on DVD. No Youtube ‘stars’  who are ‘famous‘ – just because you have ‘hits’ and money from those hits to live on does not make you an actor or actress of note.

Blockbuster Films and well lauded Indie films are the requirement to be on this list. Future projects are listed, but they are not ‘required’ to be on this list – the requirement is age, and credits.

Anything else would prove the point Ms. Sharkey has unwittingly made – that there are few Diverse actors to choose from when making film, and we all know that is NOT true in the slightest.

The Fairy Princess pulled from the world wide web, her memory, and friends to make sure she had options, so come with her now and see how she did….

PATINA MILLER (29) TONY Winner for her role in the Broadway Revival of PIPPIN, TONY Nominee for originating the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the Broadway musical version of SISTER ACT. Next to be seen on the big screen as Commander Paylor in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY.

PATINA MILLER (29) TONY Winner for her role in the Broadway Revival of PIPPIN, TONY Nominee for originating the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the Broadway musical version of SISTER ACT. Next to be seen on the big screen as Commander Paylor in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY.

TAO OKUMOTO (29) A model turned actress, she played opposite HUGH JACKMAN in The Wolverine, and will next grace the big screen in the Blockbuster BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

TAO OKAMOTO (29) A model turned actress, she played opposite HUGH JACKMAN in The Wolverine, and will next grace the big screen in the Blockbuster BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

FREIDA PINTO (29) another of the breakout stars of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and will play a heroine addicted Iranian Artiste in the upcoming film, DESERT DANCER

FREIDA PINTO (29) another of the breakout stars of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, she will play a heroine addicted Iranian Artiste in the upcoming film, DESERT DANCER

ROMEO MILLER (24) First appeared in a mainstream film in HONEY opposite Jessica Alba in  2003. In  2011 he starred in JUMPING THE BROOM. He appeared in MAEDA's WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM in 2012, and will play the lead in the Urban Strip Drama,  CHOCOLATE CITY from Writer/Director  Jean Claude LaMarr - just announced by Nikkie Finke.  Mr. Miller has 3 films currently in Post-Production: LOOSE, BROTHERLY LOVE, SHAKER POINTE, and ONE HEART

ROMEO MILLER (24) First appeared in a mainstream film in HONEY opposite Jessica Alba in 2003. In 2011 he starred in JUMPING THE BROOM. He appeared in MAEDA’s WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM in 2012, and will play the lead in the Urban Strip Drama, CHOCOLATE CITY from Writer/Director Jean Claude LaMarr – just announced by Nikkie Finke. Mr. Miller has 3 films currently in Post-Production: LOOSE, BROTHERLY LOVE, SHAKER POINTE, and ONE HEART

UTKARSH AMBUDKAR (30) began his film career with ROCKET SCIENCE in 2007, and went on to do quite a lot of TV work before appearing in PITCH PERFECT in 2012,  he is currently rumored to be reprising his role in PITCH PERFECT 2, according to IMDB.

UTKARSH AMBUDKAR (30) began his film career with ROCKET SCIENCE in 2007, and went on to do quite a lot of TV work before appearing in PITCH PERFECT in 2012, he is currently rumored to be reprising his role in PITCH PERFECT 2, according to IMDB.

 

KATIE LEUNG (26) this Scottish Actress is best known for playing Cho Chang in the HARRY POTTER film franchise. Her acting career seems to be growing most on stage - WILD SWANS, WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS (The Shed at The National Theater 2013), and on the BBC in the Father Brown series. She was also named one of Scotland's Most Stylish Females

KATIE LEUNG (26) this Scottish Actress is best known for playing Cho Chang in the HARRY POTTER film franchise. Her acting career seems to be growing most on stage – WILD SWANS, WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS (The Shed at The National Theater 2013), and on the BBC in the Father Brown series. She was also named one of Scotland’s Most Stylish Females

KARAN SONI (25) Appeared in the Indie hit film, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, which won numerous awards.  He is currently filming a GOOSEBUMPS movie and an indie called B-Roll in addition to appearing in numerous TV shows.

KARAN SONI (25) Appeared in the Indie hit film, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, which won numerous awards.
He is currently filming a GOOSEBUMPS movie and an indie called B-Roll in addition to appearing in numerous TV shows.

NATHALIE KELLEY (29) this Aussie is of Peruvian and Argentinian descent. Best known for appearing in THE FAST & THE FURIOUS; TOKYO DRIFT she also appeared in the feature TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT and will reprise her role in FAST & FURIOUS 7

NATHALIE KELLEY (29) this Aussie is of Peruvian and Argentinian descent. Best known for appearing in THE FAST & THE FURIOUS; TOKYO DRIFT she also appeared in the feature TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT and will reprise her role in FAST & FURIOUS 7

 

NATHALIE EMMANUEL (25) this UK Actress has a combined heritage that included Dominican, St. Lucian, and British. Though most may know her as Missandei,  the Interpreter for Khaleesi in GAME OF THRONES, she is set to light up the Big Screen in FAST & FURIOUS 7. She has also appeared in the stage musical of THE LION KING in The West End playing Nala.

NATHALIE EMMANUEL (25) this UK Actress has a combined heritage that included Dominican, St. Lucian, and British. Though most may know her as Missandei, the Interpreter for Khaleesi in GAME OF THRONES, she is set to light up the Big Screen in FAST & FURIOUS 7. She has also appeared in the stage musical of THE LION KING in The West End playing Nala.

TYLER  JAMES WILLIAMS (21) starring in the upcoming Indie film DEAR WHITE PEOPLE from writer/director Justin Simien.

TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS (21) starring in the upcoming Indie film DEAR WHITE PEOPLE from writer/director Justin Simien.

VANESSA HUDGENS  (25) has a mixed ethnic background of Filipina, Irish and Native American, she is known for the Indie film THIRTEEN, THUNDERBIRDS, SUCKER PUNCH and SPRING BREAKERS. Her next project is a Pre-Broadway workshop of the musical, GIGI by Lerner & Lowe

VANESSA HUDGENS (25) has a mixed ethnic background of Filipina, Irish and Native American, she is known for the Indie film THIRTEEN, THUNDERBIRDS, SUCKER PUNCH and SPRING BREAKERS. Her next project is a Pre-Broadway workshop of the musical, GIGI by Lerner & Lowe

KEKE PALMER (20) shot to fame as the lead character of Akeelah in the indie, AKEELAH AND THE BEE. She has a long resume that includes the Animated feature ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, JOYFUL NOISE, THE CLEANER, and BARBERSHOP 2:Back In Business. She will next reprise her role as Peaches in ICE AGE 5, she has a film called THE PIMP in Pre-Production, and another film, BROTHERLY LOVE in Post Production.

KEKE PALMER (20) shot to fame as the lead character of Akeelah in the indie, AKEELAH AND THE BEE. She has a long resume that includes the Animated feature ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, JOYFUL NOISE, THE CLEANER, and BARBERSHOP 2:Back In Business.
She will next reprise her role as Peaches in ICE AGE 5, she has a film called THE PIMP in Pre-Production, and another film, BROTHERLY LOVE in Post Production.

ADAM BAKRI (26) star of the Palestinian film OMAR, which was nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD for Best Foreign Film in 2013. The Film won the Special Jury Prize in Cannes. He self identifies as a Palestinian Israeli, who now lives in the US full time. His next project is the feature film ALI AND NINO directed by Asif Kapadia. The story is regarded as 'the jewel of Azerbaijiani literature' and charts a romance between a Muslim Prince and a Georgian Christian Princess, the book was published in 1937 and written by Kurban Said

ADAM BAKRI (26) star of the Palestinian film OMAR, which was nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD for Best Foreign Film in 2013. The Film won the Special Jury Prize in Cannes.
He self identifies as a Palestinian Israeli, who now lives in the US full time.
His next project is the feature film ALI AND NINO directed by Asif Kapadia. The story is regarded as ‘the jewel of Azerbaijiani literature’ and charts a romance between a Muslim Prince and a Georgian Christian Princess, the book was published in 1937 and written by Kurban Said

HANA MAE LEE (27) This Korean American Actress started modeling at 16 for major brands before making the leap to Acting. She is known for her roles in PITCH PERFECT and will reprise it for PITCH PERFECT 2.

HANA MAE LEE (27) This Korean American Actress started modeling at 16 for major brands before making the leap to Acting. She is known for her role in PITCH PERFECT and will reprise it for PITCH PERFECT 2.

JAMES FLOYD (28) This UK Actor who is half Indian-Singaporean and half British won the Best Newcomer Award last year at the British Indie Film Awards for his role in MY BROTHER THE DEVIL. He has also been seen in THE INFIDEL (2010) and EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE (2011)

JAMES FLOYD (28) This UK Actor who is half Indian-Singaporean and half British won the Best Newcomer Award last year at the British Indie Film Awards for his role in MY BROTHER THE DEVIL. He has also been seen in THE INFIDEL (2010) and EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE (2011)

TESSA THOMPSON (30) - WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (2006), MAKE IT HAPPEN (2008) ,FOR COLORED GIRLS (2010). Next up for her, the highly anticipated Indie DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

TESSA THOMPSON (30) – WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (2006), MAKE IT HAPPEN (2008) ,FOR COLORED GIRLS (2010). Next up for her, the highly anticipated Indie DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

BRITTENY ALGER (25) is listed as having Mixed Ethnicity by her Agent, and hails from New Orleans. She has appeared in the films PITCH PERFECT, 21 JUMP STREET, and THE DEMENTED. She will next appear in FAST & FURIOUS 7 as Jasmine.

BRITTENY ALGER (25) is listed as having Mixed Ethnicity by her Agent, and hails from New Orleans. She has appeared in the films PITCH PERFECT, 21 JUMP STREET, and THE DEMENTED. She will next appear in FAST & FURIOUS 7 as Jasmine.

DARREN CRISS (27) appeared opposite comedic heavy hitter Kristen Wiig, in GIRL MOST LIKELY. Mr. Criss is Eurasian, having heritages of Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, English, German, and Northern Irish

DARREN CRISS (27) appeared opposite comedic heavy hitter Kristen Wiig, in GIRL MOST LIKELY.
Mr. Criss is Eurasian, having heritages of Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, English, German, and Northern Irish

ODETTE ANNABLE (29) She has been seen in CLOVERFIELD (2008), THE UNBORN (2009), AND SOON THE DARKNESS (2010), YOU AGAIN (2010) She will next appear in the feature film, THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES, which is in post

ODETTE ANNABLE (29)  whose heritage is French, Italian and Cuban took her Husband’s name, her original surname was Yustman. She has been seen in CLOVERFIELD (2008), THE UNBORN (2009), AND SOON THE DARKNESS (2010), YOU AGAIN (2010)She will next appear in the feature film, THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES, which is in post. She was raised in a Spanish speaking household and is fluent.

TRISTAN WILDS (24) has appeared in THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (2008), the Indie HALF NELSON (2006), and RED TAILS (2012) TRISTAN has been quoted as saying "I get offered a lot of black roles because apparently, I don't look Latino enough"

TRISTAN WILDS (24) has appeared in THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (2008), the Indie HALF NELSON (2006), and RED TAILS (2012)
TRISTAN has been quoted as saying “I get offered a lot of black roles because apparently, I don’t look Latino enough”

ALEXA PENAVEGA (26)  started off her film career with the SPY KIDS films, and also appeared in the film REPO, THE GENETIC OPERA. She has 5 new films coming out - DWELLER (pre-prod), SPARE PARTS (post-prod), SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR (Post Prod), 2 BR/1BA, 23 BLAST, and THE REMAINING.

ALEXA PENAVEGA (26) started off her film career with the SPY KIDS films, and also appeared in the film REPO, THE GENETIC OPERA. She has 5 new films coming out – DWELLER (pre-prod), SPARE PARTS (post-prod), SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR (Post Prod), 2 BR/1BA, 23 BLAST, and THE REMAINING.

LEILA BEKHTI (30) is a French Actress of Algerian descent. She won the coveted Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress for her role in TOUT CE  QUI BRILLE,  which was a critical and commercial success. She starred in THE SOURCE, competed at Cannes in 2011.  In 2013 BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL, and in 2014 Maintenant ou jamais.

LEILA BEKHTI (30) is a French Actress of Algerian descent. She won the coveted Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress for her role in TOUT CE QUI BRILLE, which was a critical and commercial success. She starred in THE SOURCE, competed at Cannes in 2011. In 2013 BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL, and in 2014 MAINTENANT OU JAMAIS

DESIREE AKHAVAN (29) is a Writer, Filmmaker, and Actress whose feature, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is being shown at LA's OUTFEST 2014. She has been called "The next Lena Dunham" and refers to herself as a Bisexual Iranian American.  This film was her thesis for NYU's Graduate Directing Program, and premiered at Sundance Film Festival.  The LA Times just did a feature article on her - coincidentally, the same paper that the 30 under 30 list appeared.

DESIREE AKHAVAN (29) is a Writer, Filmmaker, and Actress whose feature, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is being shown at LA’s OUTFEST 2014. She has been called “The next Lena Dunham” and refers to herself as a Bisexual Iranian American.
This film was her thesis for NYU’s Graduate Directing Program, and premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
The LA Times just did a feature article on her – coincidentally, the same paper that the 30 under 30 list appeared.

MALESE JOW (23) has appeared in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, BRATZ the movie. Upcoming she has the film, PLASTIC

MALESE JOW (23) has appeared in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, BRATZ the movie. Upcoming she has the film, PLASTIC

Ki HON LEE (24) has appeared in SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND (2013), THIS IS HOW WE NEVER MET (2013). He will be playing Minho in the film adaptation of James Dashner's THE MAZE RUNNER

KI HONG LEE (24) has appeared in SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND (2013), THIS IS HOW WE NEVER MET (2013). He will be playing Minho in the film adaptation of James Dashner’s THE MAZE RUNNER

AML AMEEN (28) this UK Native appeared in Lee Daniel's film THE BUTLER playing a younger version of Forrest Whittaker's character, Cecil Gaines.  He will appear in THE MAZE RUNNER Trilogy later this year, as well as in the the feature LILA & EVE opposite Jennifer Lopez & Viola Davis. He will also appear this year in the feature BLACKBIRD alongside Minnie Driver and Danny Glover.

AML AMEEN (28) this UK Native appeared in Lee Daniel’s film THE BUTLER playing a younger version of Forrest Whittaker’s character, Cecil Gaines. He will appear in THE MAZE RUNNER Trilogy later this year, as well as in the the feature LILA & EVE opposite Jennifer Lopez & Viola Davis. He will also appear this year in the feature BLACKBIRD alongside Minnie Driver and Danny Glover.

NATASHA WANGANEEN (30), This Aussie Native is shown here with her 2004 AFI Award for her turn in the film RABBIT PROOF FENCE. She also appeared in JESSICA in 2004

NATASHA WANGANEEN (30), This Aussie Native is shown here with her 2004 AFI Award for her turn in the film RABBIT PROOF FENCE. She also appeared in JESSICA in 2004

JESSICA HILDA MAUBOY (25) is an Australian Actress who gained International notice when she starred in the Indie film, THE SAPPHIRES (2012). She earned a AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She appeared in the Aboriginal Musical Film,  BRAN NUE DAY. She is also a Pop Star in Australia  and was nominated in 2013 for "Young Australian of the Year". She is of Indonesian and Indigenous Australian descent.

JESSICA HILDA MAUBOY (25) is an Australian Actress who gained International notice when she starred in the Indie film, THE SAPPHIRES (2012). She earned a AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
She appeared in the Aboriginal Musical Film, BRAN NUE DAY. She is also a Pop Star in Australia and was nominated in 2013 for “Young Australian of the Year”.
She is of Indonesian and Indigenous Australian descent.

QUVENZHANE WALLIS (10) is known for her roles in 2 Oscar Nominated Films - BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012) and 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013). Next up for her is starring in the reboot of the latest film version of the musical, ANNIE

QUVENZHANE WALLIS (10) is known for her roles in 2 Oscar Nominated Films – BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012) and 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013). Next up for her is starring in the reboot of the latest film version of the musical, ANNIE

KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES (24) nothing like launching an Indie career by riding in on the back of a Cetacean, but this actress from Western Australia is known for her debut in WHALE RIDER (2002). She also has been seen in THE NATIVITY STORY (2006), STAR WARS REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), RED DOG (2011), with a rumored part in GAME OF THRONES coming up. She has completed filming on 2 features - MILLION DOLLAR MATE and QUEEN OF CARTHAGE

KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES (24) nothing like launching an Indie career by riding in on the back of a Cetacean, but this actress from Western Australia is known for her debut in WHALE RIDER (2002). She also has been seen in THE NATIVITY STORY (2006), STAR WARS REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), RED DOG (2011), with a rumored part in GAME OF THRONES coming up. She has completed filming on 2 features – MILLION DOLLAR MATE and QUEEN OF CARTHAGE

Well heavens, The Fairy Princess made it to a list of 30!

Now, of course, Dear Reader,  this will spark your memory and you will OF COURSE comment on who was left off of this list – AS WELL YOU SHOULD. Let us make the list longer!

One group which she wanted to include was Native Americans, there are quite a few from The Twilight Movies, however – they generally did not have their birth dates listed on IMDB, so The Fairy Princess could not determine – given the parameters of the list – whether or not she could include them on this particular list.

The Fairy Princess did want to let you all know that there is a wonderful list of NA Actors on IMDB, and if you click HERE, you will find it – and Congratulations to them all, TFP was glad to know that there were so many.

The Fairy Princess is not a professional writer who patrols screenings and looks for new talent as part of her job, she is someone who blogs about Diversity and what lack of Diversity does to our culture at large – and this list took her one day to compile.

ONE. DAY.

And, there is NO DOUBT that she could have written more, there is not a doubt that she could have gotten higher than 30, but… she has to go to bed. That is the truth. The Fairy Princess has a toddler who will be awake and chatty at 5:30 am, just as he is EVERY morning, and simply put….she has to call it a day.

However, she wants you to remember, that the next time someone deigns to tell you who or what ‘matters’, that it is clearly something to ignore.

We all matter – whether it is to your Family, your Friends, your Career – YOU matter. Do not let Hollywood and it’s lack of creativity in Casting have any effect on your personal feelings about yourself because The Fairy Princess SEES you, she does, and take it from her – YOU MATTER.

10 smacks with the wand to Ms. Sharkey, who in one fell swoop, managed to push the Hollywood agenda steadily forward, by paying lip service to the problem, but not, in any way, becoming part of the solution.

Dear Ms. Sharkey The Fairy Princess has no idea why your list was so heavily stilted towards blonde actresses…

Betsy+Sharkey+AMPAS+Celebrates+30th+Anniversary+XyLiSO04rtZl

but she could take a guess.

Let’s do better next time.

Also, please take a look at this new film’s trailer…because we are getting restless, and when we do, we People of Color,  we get funny….

 

 

The Fairy Princess just wanted to have a peaceful Thursday.

She wanted to watch Scandal, and see if anyone ate their arm off to escape twenty years of incarceration, and perhaps sip a hot chocolate while doing so.

There were some excellent things that occurred this last week, and while she generally sticks to commenting on theater, attention must be paid to Hollywood who has made some cool decisions this week.

To begin with, Reggie Lee– aka Sgt. Wu on NBC’s GRIMM got his own mythical creature of horror to love and rear and name Aswang.

Obviously, the Aswang is on the right....

Obviously, the Aswang is on the right….

The Aswang is so completely a creature that Filipino parents would use to scare children, that I cackled with laughter when I saw it. An Aswang sneaks into a pregnant woman’s bed and eats her unborn child. (I mean, of course, that is really, really bad, but that is definitely an Asian fairy tale – because most of them lead to someone having bodily harm, dying, or getting stuck in a mountain for millions of years – all designed to make us behave and continue to practice piano as we study to be a doctor while doing math problems in our heads.)

The ratings  were FANTASTIC – so yay for Diversity, for Reggie Lee, and for Grimm fans who, let’s face it, might like to not always have to look to a Teutonic dictionary to figure out what is going on every week. Yes, I watch the show, and yes I love the show, but change is good too.

Alec Mapa, currently seen on the ABC Family show, Switched At Birth, as Lea Thompson’s new Gay “Bestie”….

This photo screams subtle, nuanced drama...or maybe that's just my take

This photo screams subtle, nuanced drama…or maybe that’s just my take

is getting an award this coming Saturday in Hollywood – The Fusion Achievement Award from OUTFEST’s Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival – which is the only multi-cultural film festival of it’s kind – dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting LGBT Media. Oh – and, speaking of OH – Sandra Oh is going to be on hand to present him with his award, and therefore I give you THIS little gem to enjoy….

Although they probably will not talk about that kind of stuff when she’s presenting him with his fancy award, which coincides with the World Premiere of his new Concert film, Baby Daddy. The Fairy Princess has seen Baby Daddy several times live, and gives it a hearty recommendation – especially if you are a Parent.

Finally, a THIRD good thing announced this week, was the completion of the Casting of Far East Orlando, formerly known as Fresh Off The Boat. The pilot stars Randall Park as the Father, Constance Wu as the Mom, Ian Chen (Gary), Hudson Yang (Eddie), and Forrest Wheeler (Freddy). It is based on the memoir by Celebrity Chef, Eddie Huang – and if it gets ‘the order’, it will give us the first funny Asian American Family on a major network since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl. 

Photo by Jeff Yang

Photo by Jeff Yang

If it gets a ‘order’ and runs at least 4-5 seasons, these small children will be able to buy and sell us all, so finger’s are crossed for you, Kids!

So everything was going good, yes? Seems like Hollywood was doing way better than Theater (Particularly theater in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, ahem). Until I read about Rooney Mara being Cast as Tiger Lily in the new big screen film being directed by Joe Wright.

Just so we are all on the same page – there is a play and a novel – called  Peter Pan, Or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, and it was written by J.M. Barrie  – who was Scottish. He wrote the play in 1904, and the novel later in 1911.

Author, J.M. Barrie

Author, J.M. Barrie

Scholars believe that the character of Peter is based  in part on Barrie’s brother, David, who died in an accident at age 14. His Mother, Margaret had a hard time with David’s passing, as he was her favorite, and the way she coped was by enjoying a fantasy that David would never grow up, and therefore never leave her. He also based Peter on his friendships with the 5 young sons of Arthur  & Sylvia Llewelyn Davies – to whom, after their parents passed, he became Guardian. The boys were named George, John, Peter, Michael, and Nicholas. He made up the “Peter Pan’ stories to keep the boys amused – but of course, he needed to create a world in which the characters lived, and so he decided upon “Neverland”.

Neverland is not a real place, of course, it is a dream. But, as with all dreams – and as even, with the character of Peter himself, Barrie based them on what was happening around him – he even named most of the characters for people that he knew. Peter, Wendy, John – all people he knew.

Though he may have known someone who was Native American, upon whom Tiger Lily was based, the odds are that she is simply a ‘made up’ character because he, as had most of the UK at the time, would have grown up hearing about stories of the American West and the British wars with the Native Populations of America, playing ‘Cowboys and Indians”.

Or, it could have been a fun story device – whatever the reason, he made up a name of a Tribe – the Piccaninny, which he based on Native American tribes, and made Tiger Lily their Princess and to a certain extent, a rival for Peter’s affections for Wendy Darling.

The description of Tiger Lily is, according to Wikipedia:

  • Tiger Lily is the proud, beautiful princess of the Piccaninny Tribe. In the book, the Indians of Neverland were portrayed in a nature that is now regarded as stereotypical.[9] Barrie portrayed them as primitive, warlike savages who spoke with guttural voice tones.[9] She is apparently old enough to be married, but she refuses any suitors because she desires Peter over all. She is jealous of Wendy and Tinker Bell. Tiger Lily is nearly killed by Captain Hook when she is seen boarding the Jolly Roger with a knife in her mouth, but Peter saves her.

Having studied literature at the University of Edinburgh,  Barrie would have been most familiar with the British image of the ‘noble savage, which became very popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. J.M. Barrie was born in 1860, so when he created the character of Tiger Lily and her tribe in Peter Pan, the images he may have seen of “Noble Savages’ might have been something like this:

Description: Portrait of a Native American woman, half-length directed to right, wearing feather headdress and holding a quiver with arrows Etching on thin paper Dimensions: Height: 97 millimetres (trimmed), Width: 71 millimetres Inscriptions: Lettered in top left corner: "Rembrandt f. / 1632". Print made by: Rembrandt (Follower of) Date: 1650-1750 (c.) Curator's comments: Possibly a later pas

Description: Portrait of a Native American woman, half-length directed to right, wearing feather headdress and holding a quiver with arrows
Etching on thin paper
Inscriptions: Lettered in top left corner: “Rembrandt f. / 1632”.
Print made by: Rembrandt (Follower of)
Date: 1650-1750 (c.) 

as this etching is in a collection in the British Museum.

He may have walked past this Ashinaabe outfit collected by Lieutenant Andrew Foster during his military service in North America circa 1780, also in the British Museum.

242000_500

However even if J. M. Barrie was not patrolling the Native American collection at The British Museum in the name of researching a character called Tiger Lily, there were dozens of images of young Native American women around, because there was this lovely invention called photography – so let’s see if The Fairy Princess can find images of NA Women from say, the 1800’s and up, upon who he could base images of his ‘Tiger Lily’ –

Portrait of Marcia Pascal, a young Cherokee Woman, taken 1880 (Collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology)

Portrait of Marcia Pascal, a young Cherokee Woman, taken 1880 (Collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology)

Isabelle Perico Enjady, a Jicarilla Apache Girl

Isabelle Perico Enjady, a Jicarilla Apache Girl

Portrait of Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache, in 1899 by F.A. Rhinehart

Portrait of Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache, in 1899 by F.A. Rhinehart

Ah, so there were images of young Native American women on whom J.M. Barrie could have based the character of Tiger Lily floating around. Now, in 1904 – it would have been HIGHLY unlikely that J.M. Barrie or anyone else was looking to cast for ‘authenticity’ when casting Tiger Lilly, but here is the interesting thing, when they made the 1924 film of Peter Pan, they cast Anna May Wong as Tiger Lilly.

Anna May Wong in the 1924 film, Peter Pan

Anna May Wong in the 1924 film, Peter Pan

As most people know now, it is believed that an land bridge  of some kind existed, and that people crossed over from Asia into what is now known as North America.

DNA Migration Pattern detailing the now widely accepted 'Land Bridge" theory of migration, which indicates that 'the ancestors of the First Americans came from an East Asian Homeland"

DNA Migration Pattern detailing the now widely accepted ‘Land Bridge” theory of migration, which indicates that ‘the ancestors of the First Americans came from an East Asian Homeland”

Ah, science says that Asian peoples and Native American peoples share some DNA, and are somewhat, super distantly, related! This is not a stretch to believe, after all, we have some shared traits in eye shape and hair, the difference in skin tones would have been because of growing up in different climates and exposures.

Anna May Wong was Chinese American, and our first Asian American film goddess.

Wasn't she gorgeous?

Wasn’t she gorgeous?

Which means that the casting of Anna May Wong as Tiger Lily in 1924 was much closer to the mark than the casting of Rooney Mara in 2014!

Before she had a Dragon Tatoo...

Before she had a Dragon Tattoo…

No one denies that Rooney Mara is a talented actress, or that she is fully capable of investing into a role. But while it is perfectly fine for an actress to dye her hair, or lose weight, or gain weight to play a part, or allow herself to wrinkle, or present herself as a total mess in the film, but totally glamorous on the red carpet promoting the film – in 2014, this casting strikes a bad note. The mildest description would be ‘insensitive’.

Or you could read this article on The Huffington Post, they have a few words for it.

Now, on the off-chance that Ms. Mara was going to claim some percentage of Native American heritage, a la Johnny Depp, in order to divert attention from the fact that in today’s world, this casting is in poor taste, I looked her up. Her Dad’s Family owns the New York Giants football team and they hail from County Down in Ireland. Her Mother’s Family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they are Irish and Italian.

My Father, who was 100 per cent Irish American, was a lawyer. His people were from Kerry. He passed away in 2012.

The One and Only, Himself

The One and Only, Himself

In the course of his practice, he represented two Native American tribes who were fighting for State and Federal recognition. My Dad did not get paid as the tribes did not have the money to hire an attorney such as himself, because they had all sorts of internal issues.

When I asked him once about why he chose to do this – because it was hours and hours on the phone talking to the Chiefs, and so on, he told me that America could never make up to the Native Americans for all the crimes that were done to them. He told me that America had been very good to the Irish people, that they had done very well in this country, and that Irish people and Native Americans should stick together – because the English had treated the Irish almost as badly as the Americans had treated the Native Americans – almost.

It struck me, as I was reading about Rooney Mara’s casting that my Father, who was made “Tribal Judge’ for one of the tribes, would not approve of the casting of an Irish American, whose family had done particularly well in America, to be portraying a Native American.

Even if it is a mythical tribe in Neverland, which is based on an idea, but which does not truly exist. The Piccaninnys may not exist, but they are based on people who do.

Native_American_map[1]

But you know – no Actress casts herself, she is offered the part. So while we can question Ms. Mara’s decision to accept it, it’s perfectly within her rights to do so.

I have read some quotes from the director that this is a ‘re-imagining‘ and it is going to be a multi-cultural cast but I will say this again – and again, and again, and I will keep saying it until people who are trying to justify their insensitive casting decisions get it:

Multi-racial is not an excuse for when you want to culturally ‘skin’ a minority & wear us like a coat

Multi-cultural is not supposed to take away from people whose representation is already marginalized.

Multi-cultural is not supposed to be a buzz word defense for being ‘called’ on casting choices that amount to appropriation.

Also, as The Fairy Princess looks to see who has been announced as the Cast of this film – Rooney Mara, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund – she does not see a lot of ‘diversity’.

Maybe she’s being silly. Maybe Director Joe Wright is one of those guys who claims he ‘doesn’t see color’ –

MV5BMTMyNTI5NjUxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzI3ODQ1MQ@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_

Here’s the thing, Joe – may I call you Joe?

If you don’t see color,  how do you drive?

Ten smacks of the wand to Director Joe Wright – because you could have helped move everyone forward, and you chose not to. It’s not a ‘creative’ decision you made there, Joe – may I call you Joe? It is a decision steeped in a  ‘world view’ that does not view the world at all.

You could have done a remarkable thing and cast the first Native American as Tiger Lily on screen since, ummm, well, EVER!
(Apologies to Anna May Wong). But YOU chose not to, and that makes The Fairy Princess’s wings do a ‘sad flap’- because once again, the white guy refuses to ‘see’ people of color.

Which means that as in days past, the White Man is trying to erase Native Americans from the cultural landscape.

Man, The Fairy Princess just hates when people do not ‘get it’! You would think people were tired of being stupid and lazy, but apparently not. Frightening.

I guess, Mr. Wright, you can join the ever growing list of cultural arbiters with little progressive vision and…

Kiss My Fan, Tan Fannie!