French actor Gerard Depardu is getting his beret handed to him because he is playing mixed race writer Alexandre Dumas in a movie.
M. Dumas wrote such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. Also, he was the of color grandson of a Haitian slave. But thanks to French cinema, Dumas will largely be remembered by the current generation as a white dude. Though Depardieu sports a tan and curls his hair, his European heritage proudly shines through.
So chin up, Oreos. Though you may spend your life being black, do enough and Hollywood may reward you by lightening your legacy with clever casting.
This issue comes up every now again, like when Angelina Jolie played widowed and of color writer Marianne Pearl.
But just like Mickey Rooney’s performance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, sometimes, you put someone in a role just because they’re the best person for it, or maybe because you can’t find the right person of color, or part color for the job. So, sorry Leila Ariceri, Saili Richardson, Michael Michelle, Giancarlo Esposito, Jennifer Beals, Thandie Newton, Vin Diesel, Shemar Moore, Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy, Rashida Jones, Kidada Jones, Karyn Parsons, Mowry twins, Tatyana Ali, Rae Dong Chong, Victoria Rowell, Boris Kodjoe, Lonnett Mckee, Rain Pryor, Troy Beyer, Carmen Ejogo, Nicole Lyn, Taimak Guari, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Gloria Reuben, Clark Johnson, Rosario Dawson, Cree Summer, Mario Van Peebles, Maya Rudolph, Tammy Townsend, Sherri Saum, Gina Ravera, Tamara Taylor, Jaye Davidson, Rachel True, Stacy Dash, Maya Davis and Persia White.
While collectively you guys may have strong roles in television and film, write satire, speak German, sing opera, write indie music, are the daughter of royalty, produced fashion shows, speak Spanish, develop groundbreaking comedy, dance ballet, win national pageants and bring home Oscars, you’ll have to content yourselves with those things. Because when it comes to portraying actual and historic figures, some folks just do it better.
It’s just like the way your stories about high school change and morph over the years. Ten years out and according to you, you weren’t nearly as awkward as you probably were. I mean, how would you rather remember history? Accurately, or comfortably?
Wait a minute, Depardieu is black?
He’s not. Which makes him the perfect choice to play a mixed race role.
Mario Van Peebles AND Tatyana Ali? Didn’t know that…