'Walking Dead' star Lennie James wants a conversation over casting authenticity

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Actor Lennie James attends the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Official Kickoff Party connected  January 19, 2018 successful  Park City, Utah.

(CNN)Lennie James is calling for much statement erstwhile it comes to casting successful movie and TV, arsenic Hollywood looks to employment much actors with lived acquisition successful definite roles.

The British histrion and screenwriter, who is champion known for playing devoted begetter Morgan Jones successful the deed AMC zombie bid "The Walking Dead," told BBC News that helium would "challenge" the conception that immoderate roles indispensable lone beryllium played by actors with definite identities to sphere authenticity.

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However, helium acknowledged successful the interrogation that, successful immoderate cases, actors were seldom afforded the accidental to play roles that matched their ain experience.

    "Where cheery actors person not been fixed the accidental to play cheery parts, oregon disabled actors person not adjacent been considered for the accidental to play disabled parts, successful that concern past I would 100% beryllium portion of the speech of saying, wherefore not?" helium said. "That perfectly should change."

      The 56-year-old said decisions had to beryllium made "on a lawsuit by lawsuit basis," and that "blanket statements" connected casting should not beryllium made, arsenic it would mean "the relation of the histrion somewhat changes and is somewhat antithetic to the 1 I anticipation and commune that it is."

      CNN has reached retired to James for further comment.

      Authenticity has go a blistery taxable successful Hollywood successful caller years, with galore actors expressing regret for playing roles with identities extracurricular their ain experience.

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      Last week, histrion Maureen Lipman told the Jewish Chronicle that Helen Mirren should not person been formed arsenic the precocious Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir successful an upcoming film, comparing it to Blackface and arguing, "the Jewishness of the quality is truthful integral."

      In a November interrogation with the UK's Sunday Times, histrion Eddie Redmayne said playing transgender pistillate Lili Elbe successful the 2015 movie "The Danish Girl" had been a "mistake," acknowledging that "many radical don't person a seat astatine the table."

      Meanwhile, Darren Criss -- who played cheery characters Blaine Anderson successful "Glee" and Andrew Cunanan successful "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" -- told Bustle successful 2018 that helium would nary longer "be different consecutive lad taking a cheery man's role."

      This treatment astir practice besides extends to disabled characters, with histrion Octavia Spencer calling successful 2020 for much actors with disabilities to beryllium cast, saying "nothing tin regenerate lived acquisition and authentic representation."

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      Other actors person defended their choices, however, with Cate Blanchett, who played a lesbian successful 2015's "Carol," saying successful 2018 she would "fight to the decease for the close to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience."

        Most recently, Benedict Cumberbatch, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a sexually repressed cowboy successful 2021's "The Power of the Dog," said the formed were chosen "as actors" and were not obliged to marque their "dance card" public.

        However, immoderate LGBTQ+ actors person pointed retired that they don't person the aforesaid opportunities to play consecutive characters, with Zachary Quinto saying successful a 2018 interrogation with SiriusXM, "that doorway doesn't plaything the different mode arsenic much."

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