My fab pal, the incredible Aiesha Turman, is premiering (and fundraising for) her documentary, The…
Month: August 2010
By Arturo R. García
Good news from Racebending yesterday: Marvel Studios responded to questions over the casting of Nico Minoru in the best possible way.
As you’ll recall, the character is one of the core characters of Marvel’s Runaways comic-book series. But the original open call, while specifically asking for African-American actors to audition for Alex Wilder, left Nico’s description open, aside from the problematic description of “uniquely beautiful.”
But as posted on Racebending Thursday, the company sent them this statement:
Thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns over Marvel’s recent casting notice for THE RUNAWAYS. We appreciate your interest in our production and with Marvel Entertainment.
To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.
We thank you again for your correspondence and the opportunity to clarify our process.
And it’s true: the film’s casting call website now specifies that the “Girl 1” character is not only “uniquely beautiful” (whatever that means), but Asian-American. Also, the audition deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 15 to give applicants more prep time. So why does this matter? As we did in the case of The Last Airbender, we’ll let Racebending break it down:
By Andrea (AJ) Plaid and Arturo R. García
If you don’t follow the show, here’s the premise: The Adventures of Unemployed James Bond, with a side of Bruce Wayne Angst for the protagonist, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), who does the whole A-Team “help those who can’t help themselves” thing while figuring out who and how he lost his job as a spy. Assisting him are his not-really-an-ex-girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), professional kept man Sam (Bruce Campbell, chewing scenery like Sam drinks mojitos) and his increasingly conflicted mother Maddie (Sharon Gless).
Shot with an Ocean’s 11-style pizazz and buoyed by Michael’s “Dummy’s Guide To MacGyver” internal monologues for the audience’s benefit, Burn Notice slots in well alongside shows like Psych and White Collar as shows that get by on “quirk” – sometimes to the point of excess. But as Andrea learned, there’s definitely a method to the mirth. Ain’t that right?
AJ: Basically, when I complained on twitter that I didn’t understand the point of the USA Network shows, beyond an excessive amount of quirk, some head honcho from usa network tweeted back that they tested the shows and found that the formula of funny action-packed show with happy ending worked. I responded that winning formulas win winningly … what I should have added is that it becomes a formula of diminishing returns if every blessed show is the same formula.
Arturo: Now, unless you’re willing to “turn your brain off,” the ::ahem:: monochromatic nature of the principal cast, as seen above, looks especially problematic when you consider the show’s set in Miami, a city with a sizable Latino population. In what might be a back-handed way to address this disparity, two POC players entered the fold this season: spy-master Vaughan (Robert Wisdom) and, more prominently, counter-intelligence officer Jesse Porter (Coby Bell).
By Arturo R. García Latoya is too modest to bring this up herself, but we’d…
Hosted by Thea Lim, featuring Joseph Lamour, Tami Winfrey Harris, Latoya Peterson, and Andrea Plaid
Blah Blah Fairies Blah
Thea: Was it just me, or was this eppy a little blah?
Tami: It was. In fact, I am honestly having a hard time talking about it, because it was so not memorable. An episode packed with two (supposedly) big reveals should be a lot more entertaining.
Thea: Yes. They are not giving us very good snarking material.
Latoya: I can’t remember. All I know is I kept screaming “FUCK YOU SOOKIE!” about every 15 minutes or so, before my anguished scream after Sookie tells Tara to get over her relationship with Bill, then listens to Tara confess and gives her a half-assed hug. WHAT? Renounce his ass already! DAAAAMN! And he probably killed Claudine!!! *pant pant*
Okay, clearly, I had something to get off my chest. Continue, Thea. *sits in the corner*
Thea: We find out what Sookie is, but no one really cares at this point. Also that is not such an interesting revelation.
Andrea: All I’m saying is my happy ass was right, and I didn’t even read the book. Damn, I’m good… ::pats self on back:: My thing is, in this episode, Sookie being a fairy melds two racialized stereotypes: 1) the stereotype of the white woman as an ethereal, inspirational being, which further feeds into the stereotype of the Idealized White Woman, as well as 2) the white woman who very being deserves protection on the strength of her white femaleness. Note how Bill and Eric are running to her aid. I’m sort of surprised Alcide didn’t come running when Bill and Eric had their “little talk” about revealing Sookie’s “true identity.” I think it’s all rather yawny.
*expletive* You Sookie!
Joe: I’m pretty sure Bill didn’t kill Claudine. But! Honestly, Sookie. If I found out my friend were in trouble and my boyfriend not only did nothing to help, but stayed in the same house while it was happening, I would have a little more than a non-committal hug and an “Aw, I’m sorry” to offer. It makes me madder than fish grease. I am so furious about that. Also, there was no feeling of true condolence even in that moment.
It appears from last weeks weepy breakup that Anna Paquin is a pretty good actress, so it leads me to believe that the way she reacted to Tara’s news will lead to some intense conflict down the line. Like, are we not supposed to like Sookie? Because anyone with two eyes can see that Tara (even with her tough exterior) was in a particularly bad way. Her boyfriend got shot in the head. She was kidnapped. She was raped. Her rapist literally exploded in her face. Sookie, the worst friend of the year award goes to you. *End of my rant*
Andrea: As y’all know, I feel the exact opposite about Paquin’s acting skills as far as this role is concerned. To me, she’s one-dimensional in this role, and Sookie is a one-dimensional character as Alan Ball and the crew have been playing it on this show. Not too much matters to Sookie beyond herself–not even her supposedly bestest’s pain. But again, we’ve seen that Tara’s and Sookie’s friendship isn’t really based on anything but, as someone said in an earlier roundtable, nostalgia. So, yeah, I’m pissed, but I ain’t surprised…and Paquin’s acting really didn’t help with that scene.
Tami: And what’s up with Sookie’s “Yeah, Jason, you really should tell an already hurting Tara that you shot her boyfriend. OK, then, gotta run do Sookie business.”
The character is so clueless in her interactions with other people.