Samuel L. Jackson is not a fan of holding his tongue. When something crosses him the wrong way, you’re bound to receive the high-raised voice questioning the scenario at hand. Peep his call-out of Ben Carson’s ridiculous and inaccurate rhetoric.
Another issue sparked scrutiny from the versatile award-winning actor and it was addressed on “New York’s Hot 97” with Ebro and Laura Styles. Jackson criticized the casting of Black British actors in roles about American race relations.
Using Jordan Peele’s hot topic film Get Out as a prime example, Jackson questioned what a Black American actor would have done in the role as opposed to David Kaluuya, a Brit, who was cast as lead in the horror flick with a racial twist.
“There are a lot of Black British actors in these movies,” Jackson said. “I tend to wonder what that movie [Get Out] would have been with an American brother who really feels that.”
He continued, “Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years. What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but [not everything].”
Further making his point, Jackson also highlighted Ava DuVernay’s Selma, which cast David Oyelowo in the role of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“There are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks.”
Watch the full interview below (it’s a good one!):
John Boyega, a Black British actor who sparked conversation when he landed the role in Star Wars 8, dismissed Jackson’s comments in less than 140 characters.
Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don't have time for.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) March 8, 2017
Do both sides represent valid points?
Another layer of the conversation comes with the classic training listed in British actors background. DuVernay pointed this out in 2013, stating, ““I think there’s something about the stage, because they have that stage preparation. Our [American] system of creating actors is a lot more commercial.”
For Peele, his decision to cast Kaluuya came after his “slam dunk” audition.
“Once I’d wrapped my head around how universal these themes were, it became easy for me to pick Daniel, because at the end of the day, he was the best person for the role. He did the audition and it was a slam dunk.”
Interesting perspectives. So then, when it comes to the art and delivering the best possible performance, does that mean talent trumps representation?
Sound off in the comments, fam.