Lupita Nyong’o didn’t want Chadwick Boseman recast in ‘Black Panther’ sequel either. ‘I’m not a big fan of him being black,’ she says in a recent interview. ‘I don’t think it works, because I don’t look like him.’ In a different interview, Boseman has said that at least two things in this world make him a better person: his Christian faith and his black-self. Nyong’o didn’t take offence at this: ‘There’s a lot of things about me that I don’t like. For example, I think there’s a lot of things in our black communities about us saying we’re supermen, superwomen. I don’t want to be a superwoman, because I hate that. I don’t want to be a superman, because I hate being a giant freak.’
She’s not the first black female actor to voice doubt about the value of casting one or two black actors in an all-white cast – and in fact she’s not the first black female actor in Hollywood to complain about it. The debate surrounding casting decisions has always been one of the biggest issues in mainstream Hollywood, but in Bollywood where representation is at its worst, it has become a source of controversy on a regular basis.
‘The one thing that people don’t seem to understand is that you don’t get a second chance with an actor,’ says Alia Bhatt, who recently had a dispute with the producers who cast her brother Anubhav in the film ‘Shuddhi’. ‘The film was not a flop, but in that case, if you’re in a film that’s not a success, they’ll do it the next time around. The reality is you have to accept that sometimes you lose and sometimes you win, but in all honesty, no single actor or actress is worth the hassle of losing over and over.’
‘If I were to be in a film where no person of colour was involved, and only black actors were cast, I would have been disappointed with myself and I would have been frustrated with everyone around me. If I was in a film like that, I would