Friday, January 13, 2012

"Red Tails," To Pave The Way for POC Actors? -Fingers Crossed-

There's a buttload of hope that's riding on the film, Red Tails.

And with good reason, of course. First off, it's a film with an all star cast. But this cast is indeed special because it's a cast made up of Black actors. Yeah, sure there have been many movies with Black actors/actresses as the lead, but why this cast and this movie is special brings me to the next point. The movie is action packed. If you think about action films and the stars that bring the anticipation to the film, you think White males/females, such as Bruce Willis, Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angelina Jolie... so on, so forth. Black actors don't come to mind at all, mostly because Black actors haven't starred in action flicks, period. And if they have, please bring it to the attention of the public, because we're not convinced.

So, you've got the Black all star cast, you've got the black all star cast leading an action film... Now, you have the person behind the film who hopes that this movie opens the doors to many of us black folk who want to make it into this industry, George Lucas. Yes. THE MAN WHO BROUGHT US STAR WARS. And Indiana Jones. I mean, seriously. Imagination stimulating genius, George Lucas. He has written the story, about a group of African American pilots who have been benched for most of World War II based on their color, who finally get the chance to serve for their country when they are called into the skies to fight against the Nazis. And from what it seems, George Lucas really wants to shed light for the POC (People of Color) in the film industry.

Apparently, the movie has been refused by many studios in helping him bring the story to life, and part of the reason was because the cast was all Black. If you don't believe me, watch the interview he did with Jon Stewart for The Daily Show below:

I mean... Thank God for people like George Lucas, for he has been trying to get this movie made, not only because he believes in it, but because he wants to give some passage to the people who are just as gifted, but aren't given the chance. Gosh, 23 years of working on it? Damn. It's always a breath of fresh air to see Black people push through a barrier that are still placed in front of us because of our color, even with years and years of segregation supposedly behind us.

How many times have I seen a film and say to myself, "I could have played that part..." when I see a female character that I definitely could have played, had the slot been open to any girl and not just a White/Caucasian girl. I love to act, have been doing it for a long time, and as someone who dreams of being on the big screen someday, it is discouraging to notice that there's a slight chance that may not happen the way I want, which means I'm not entirely given a range. Because face it, many Black actors that you've seen in the for front have been movies made for Black people, solely. How about a movie made for white folks starring some black people as well? There are many Black people that want to step out of that box. Those Black actors are unfortunately placed in the sidekick/supporting character sideline.

Take Anthony Mackie for example. That man has been acting for a while. I've watched him in a few films, and he's got the goods to be major Hollywood gold. But so far, I've only seen him star in Black oriented films, and seen him appear or take the role of a supporting character, behind major white actors. I have no idea when he'll get his shine, but he, among others, need to have it.

It is great, though, to see some actors take the role of a character meant for a white person, such as Donald Glover, who did a read of his character, Troy, in Community, who was supposed to be white. Apparently, he did such a great job, they decided Troy was going to be Donald, who happens to be black, and who happens to be one of the best characters on the show.

We've gotta break mold here. Black actors are just as top notch as white actors, and should be given the chance and choice to expand to roles not so cliche of generic. So when I see films like "Think Like A Man," with the same Black actors who could be stepping way outside the box, especially since they've been in the Hollywood game for years, it gets me a tad frustrated.

Let's support this movie. I know I will. I believe in the obvious and behind message of it all, and I fully support it. Do you?

"To the last bullet, to the last plane, to the last man! We fight! (We fight!) We fight! (We fight!) We fight!" 

...I'm sorry, that chant is very uplifting.

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