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Movies & TV > Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, Taraji P Henson and other black women to lead (separate) TV pilots

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message 1: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) About time they got a black chick for Charlie's Angels! I always wondered why they didn't do it for the new movies. They had Lucy Lu and there wasn't any Asians in the original Charlie's Angels so why not a black chick? LOL! This will be cool. Angela Bassett is my FAVORITE actress so I will check her out. Gabrielle Union is one of my favorites too! She had a show on before but it was canceled. I'll be checking for Taraji P's show too.

And good heavens, how many shows is Raven gonna get? I won't be watching. I am not a Raven fan. She's an okay person but I am not into her acting or the shows she's been on.

I don't know the other women and barely know Kerry Washington. Never heard of the lady who is gonna be on Charlie's Angels.

Thanks for the heads up even though I can't see all of these shows making it. Not trying to be negative but I've been watching television enough to know how shows with blacks are hard to keep on and shows with black females are even harder. But all we can do is hope and support if these shows are any good.

message 2: by new_user (new)

new_user Thanks for the list! I'll probably see Jumping the Broom. Person of Interest sounds good too, and I have to see Little in Common for Kevin Hart (although I have my doubts about a Fox racial comedy). He is hilarious.

message 3: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 07, 2011 02:55PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Halle's not as big as she once was because she's not the best actress in the world. I have nothing against Halle as a person. I think she's very sweet and positive but Halle got where she is on her looks, some people even believe because she was biracial as well. There are way more qualified black actresses that should have won the Oscar before her or instead of her. Angela Bassett for one and many others I could name that act way better than her.

But what's happening to Halle now is what happens to a lot of celebs who skated on looks and not really talent. It gets old, they get to be a certain age (Halle's in her 40's now) and they are not the "in" thing anymore. Halle was the in thing at one point, getting every role for every black woman. Hollywood acted like no other black women existed, now she's not as popular anymore and older so she's not gonna get the praise or the following she once had. She's not popular with the younger crowd who go to the movies these days. The 90's crowd who followed Halle are older now as well and when you get older, you become interested in new things and in new people. Fans grow and sometimes they don't always stay your fans.

Once you're hot, you're hot. Once you're not you're not. But those with actual talent can last even outside of Hollywood. I think it takes range to act on a television show and a lot of Hollywood folks don't have that range. So I don't see it as a step down in my opinion. I admire an ex-movie actor/actress who comes to television and can prove they can hold an audience from week to week. It takes more dedication than being in a movie once in a while. It's hard work to have a show and try to make it a hit. Nothing's wrong with coming to television because at least you'd be working and getting a pay check. A lot of actors can't even find work.

When it gets to where being pretty or being handsome or being sexy isn't cutting it, that's when some folks no longer have the opportunities they once had. Now Zoe Saldana is the Hollywood it girl for minority females. I have no problem with that because to me Saldana is a very good actress and has proven range in many different roles. She's more than a pretty face.

But a lot of people aren't. And once again, I have nothing against Halle. I think she's a sweetheart but I think most would agree her looks helped her a lot and she wouldn't have gotten what she did without them. I've seen some of Halle's films and her acting just wasn't there to me. It just never moved me. I felt like she never got down and dirty in her roles. Every time I saw her it wasn't like I was watching a character but just watching Halle because she acted the same in everything. The best she acted in was Losing Isiah but the other films I saw, no. She never got out of her "pretty-glamorous" stage enough to make me believe any of her roles.

There are tons of black actresses who are extremely talented but never got the shot at mainstream that Halle did. Nia Long, Regina King, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, etc.They're known but as far as Hollywood mainstream, they're ignored.

For years Hollywood acted like Halle was THE only black woman to put in a movie but like everything else, it gets old.

Best Wishes!

message 4: by Tina (new)

Tina | 1383 comments But in Hollywood black actors fall under The Highlander Rule: There can be only one. At a time that is.

Even in 2011 Studios feel they have absolutely no obligation to cast anyone of color in any film. They are casting the remake of 21 Jump Street right now. A prime opportunity to cast an actress of color in the role that Holly Robinson Peete had on the tv show. But are they doing that? No. They are casting a caucasian actress in that role. And Halle and others have gone on record as saying when they do try to audition for roles they are told "we are not going black."

I don't know if we can actually put a nail in Halle's showbiz coffin just yet. She's got about four movies in pre-production, one movie in post and one movie currently filming. And she's working with some bigger names than she's worked with before: Garry Marshall, the Waschowski bros. and Tom Tykwer.

I do wish that the wealth was spread a lot more. I like Halle, but I think she is holding the flame for all of black actress-hood and it isn't fair. I am thrilled that Kerry Washington and Zoe Saldana are getting more roles and recognition. I also hope Jumping the Broom catapults Paula Patton more into the limelight. She is a nice, light comedienne who could just as easily do the types of roles that Katherine Heigl (who I despise, btw) gets offered to do. And I wish Thandie Newton was given more work.

message 5: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Mar 09, 2011 12:31PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Stacy-Deanne, I'll happily disagree with you about Halle not being a great actress. I think she's a fine actress. To each their own. I'm happy to see all actresses getting a chance, even though I have my own preferences. I wish that they would cast outside of the racial boundaries more often and recognize the diversity of our world (but if wishes were horses).

I think Zoe Saldana is the next flame hogger. Nothing against her, but I'd like to see more variety although I don't disagree with the 'There can be only one' comment.

message 6: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I've actually heard of all of those except for the last girl you listed. I love all the Asian actresses. If I wasn't black, I'd want to be Asian. :)

message 7: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Like Halle Berry I like Saldana as a person, but I don't particularly care for her acting (or her voice, which I find a bit annoying because of its squeakiness). I think Saldana is still developing as an actress so maybe like Berry she'll come into her own as she gains more experience.

I agree that she's being staged to be the next big thing in Hollywood when it comes to minorities and I'm not at all surprised. Looks wise (as was the case for Halle back in 90s) she's the only type of black actress Hollywood would seek to promote. She's light skinned, she's fine-boned, she's safe (no so intimidating for their middle America audiences when it comes to colour and demeanour) ... you see it all the time. That's why Angela Bassett with her strong screen presence and dark skin never stood a chance.

Same goes for the girl pop music industry. Look at Beyonce. Her cousin, Kelly Rowland, is a far far better singer and a stunningly beautiful dark-skinned black woman, but who gets all the fame and accolades? Beyonce. I don't have anything against Beyonce. I like her and have loads of her music on my iPod, but the fact remains: everyone in music knows Kelly is the better singer. She has a better quality of voice and she's better able to manage her breathing in order to get the best possible sound. I've listened to both their music back to back (acapella and with sound improving effects) and the difference in quality is amazing. But will she (Kelly) ever be given the same opportunities? Never. Sure, Kelly is rich and famous (mostly within America now that Destiny's Child is no more) in her own right, but my point is she has the talent AND the looks to be far more. The industry, however, won't let her flourish beyond a certain point because as someone said there can only be one and that one has to be light.

message 8: by Davina (last edited Mar 10, 2011 01:12AM) (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Some black actresses who I admire for their work:

Sophie Okonedo

Noami Harris -- her classical training as an actress comes across very well on screen. If she's able to land good, meaty roles that allow her to explore several themes, I can imagine she'd smash that performance through the roof. Oh but alas, will she ever. That is the question.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste - she famously called the industry on exactly the same issue I argue in my previous post and has been dealing with the backlash ever since. She hasn't been able to get steady work (esp here in the States) since her stint on Without A Trace back in '09.

Kimberly Elise

Taraji P. Henson

Anika Noni-Rose

Viola Davis

I seem to have a preference for classically trained actors and actresses or those with extensive experience within theatre. I think they're more convincing when working on screen.

There are a few others whose names have escaped me now, but these are black actresses who I feel have really good talent, far more so than the Halle's and Zoe's of the world. Perhaps I'm overly pessimistic I don't know, but even though they're certainly on par with or exceed the talent of Berry or white counterparts such as Kidman, Moore, Zellweger, Blanchett, Winslett I just can't see them achieving the same heights.

message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina | 1383 comments Robin played a really, nicely understated part in Tyler Perry's 'A Family that Preys' that came out a couple of years ago. As I watching that I thought of it as the natural evolution of the character she played in Boomerang.

And regards Halle, the reason I don't think you can really rule her out as a has been just yet, is because she has been stepping up her networking game lately. Career wise I think you have to give her props. She has been really tenacious and scrappy about carving out what has become an A-list career.

She has been in the game since 1990. I think people, rightly so, attribute a large measure of her success to her looks. But they, wrongly, imo, dismiss her also on that basis. It isn't just looks alone that has allowed her to remain the only A-list black actress in H-Wood for almost 10 years. By all accounts, she is well liked in the industry by her fellow actors and that goes a long way in such an insular profession.

And if you look at her filmography, a lot of her work has been consciously chosen with an eye toward to highlighting the work/lives of other Af-Am women: The Wedding, Their Eyes were Watching God,Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,Queen etc.

But by and large her career has been kinda hit or miss, without any real big Hollywood names backing her. But recently, according to industry mags, she's been hobnobbing with the Weinsteins. That is real power brokering right there. And it is no coincidence that she has four films upcoming with bigger named directors than she has ever worked with before. Also, she is starring on Broadway opposite Samuel L. Jackson.

LOL. I know It sounds like a Halle cheeleader but I'm really not. I do like her though and respect her work ethic more than I do her film choices. But I also think she is singled out just for being successful in an industry that doesn't seem to be want to foster too many successful women of color.

And, Melissa, props on name checking Shadow and Act. LOVE that website! It is a must have bookmark if want to know what is happening & up & coming in black cinema (incl. actors/actresses, films, indies, film fests etc.)

message 10: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Mar 10, 2011 11:16AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I don't think Kelly Rowland is a better singer than Beyonce'. And although it seems to be a light-skinned issue, I think Beyonce' is more successful because she has more star power. I realize that Beyonce' is not popular on this group, but I really like her and I think she's worked hard for her success.

As Tina sort of touched on, I think Halle is dismissed for her acting because of her good looks. I thinks she's a very good actress, and she shows depth in most of her movie choices, often playing against type.

I honestly don't see Zoe Saldana having the same consistent career as Halle, but that's not to say she won't be successful. I hope that all black actresses get a chance. As for her looks, she's a little too pointy-faced for my tastes. I wouldn't consider her especially light-skinned either (which is not an issue me, just stating my view).

If I were them, I'd cultivate a relationship with directors like Kenneth Branagh, who consistently employs 'color-blind' casting.

message 11: by new_user (new)

new_user Ooh, a medical/supernatural drama, interesting. And Patrick Wilson, nice! :D

message 12: by Davina (last edited Mar 10, 2011 11:23AM) (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments I agree that Beyonce has more star power, and she moves in the circle of some very powerful people within the industry, largely due to the brilliant management of her father who I think has done an amazing job nurturing her career. I really like how they manage to keep it together as a family in an industry that's so cutthroat sometimes you can't even rely on your own family. Also having a guy like Jay Z in your corner will certainly help with the opening of doors.

However, it has been an ongoing debate for years now (even back when Destiny's Child was still toghether) about Kelly having the better voice. I've read, heard, seen where many music producers have accused Beyonce of not being able to sing without sound improvers, and that she upstaged the other girls in DC who were far better singers to further her own career. Two, three years ago a music producer blasted Beyonce's abilities so badly that she, her father and her publicity team felt it necessary to reassure fans. I tend to agree with her critics. I'm not saying she's a bad singer, but to me Kelly seems to have more range. Her voice is smoother and more able to go in a variety of directions while Beyonce can only sing on one wave.

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments We can bitch about this until the cows come home, but the bottom line is until we start speaking with our wallets and our viewership, and until we start seriously threatening Hollywood with another cross-cultural boycott (and believe me it worked like a huge charm the last time), the status quo will not change. After all, the thought process in Hollywoodlandia is "well, we've given them one black/brown/asian person, aren't they happy now"? Also, and this is the hard part, we've got to seriously support QUALITY films featuring actors of color instead of the sometimes dreck that gets tossed our way and we need to hold black directors accountable for the images they project. I'm so sorry, but I was not feeling Norbit or Big Mama's House or most of Tyler Perry's films (For Colored Girls and the other film with Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates notwithstanding).

On the Beyonce/Kelly thing, I have no problem saying that Kelly was always my favorite and she definitely has the better voice and she is definitely prettier. Beyonce just has the family media machine behind her, not to mention she just keeps getting lighter, LOL, but I blame that on the retouching of her photos. On the other hand, getting out of our standard pop/R&B bubble, what about supporting singers who are in other niches like Tracy Chapman, Alexis Brown (Straight Line Stitch), India Arie, Veronica Freeman (Benedictum) and other amazing vocalists?

message 14: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Is Angela's show even on? Which show is it, if so. I haven't seen anything about her having a show.

message 15: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I Googled it. It's called Identity but I don't see any info on it besides stuff in Feb and March talking about she signed on.I assume then it wasn't picked up because I know it hasn't been on.

message 16: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I was right. A site mentioned that back in May, they didn't even pick up Angela's show. ABC picked up other pilots instead. What a shame. Probably should've picked hers up instead of that awful Charlie's Angels.

message 17: by Deviki (last edited Jan 22, 2014 01:51AM) (new)

Deviki | 204 comments Davina wrote: "Like Halle Berry I like Saldana as a person, but I don't particularly care for her acting (or her voice, which I find a bit annoying because of its squeakiness). I think Saldana is still developing..."

I agree with you completely. I am a big Angela Fan. I like a good BW in any movie. But i really don't think Halle is all that amazing. She kinda have same kind of acting thing going on. I'm not saying she is bad or anything but comparing her and angela, Angela beats her hands down. But Halle and Zoe they are ok actors not amazing. But i think they are famous because both of them are light skinned. One role Halle played that pissed me off is STORM: XMEN. I was severely disappointed. Gabrielle Union would have been a AWESOME STORM. I also agree that Kelly is a better singer and in DC i've always admire her more than beyonce. Not saying Beyonce is bad she is amazing but i think her looks also helped her. But i know Beyonce worked HARD to get where she is today.

message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments One of my favourite black actresses is Naomie Harris (from "28 Days Later", "Small Island" and the last Bond film). I think she's a fantastic actress.

Also love Sanaa Lathan--want to see her in more dramatic roles, NIa Long (still remember when she started out on "The Guiding Light" and her character had a crush on Kevin Bacon's character, Tim), and Nicole Beharie.

message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Geneva Riley (lisag22) | 82 comments Kim wrote: "One of my favourite black actresses is Naomie Harris (from "28 Days Later", "Small Island" and the last Bond film). I think she's a fantastic actress.

Also love Sanaa Lathan--want to see her in mo..."

Kim, I love Sanaa Lathan. I think she's enormously talented. I like Naomie Harris, too; she was awesome in "White Teeth".

message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments My hubby has a crush on Sanaa Lathan. He can watch her in "Something New" and "Alien vs Predator" again and again. Now, I haven't seen "White Teeth"...will have to look for it this weekend. Read the book though and liked it. :) The hubster loved Naomie Harris in 28 Days Later...he thought she was badass. :)

message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I love Naomie Harris. She's awesome!

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