In the heights raised an eyebrow at the lack of Afro-Latinx representation, and The root The journalist Felice Leon confronted the director and some actors about it.
Jon M. Chuadmitted it was “something I needed to be educated about”.
“In the end, when we looked at the cast, we were trying to find people who would be best suited for these roles,” he continued, adding, “But I heard you tried to include these cast members to fill darker skin. I think this is a really good conversation that we should all be talking about. “
Chu thought he was going to do something by highlighting that the dancers in the background were black, but Leon remained steadfast in their stance, which made the Afro-Latin onlookers proud.
“These are roles that we have historically been able to fill. We could be the dancers, we could be in the hair salons … but a lead role? This is the breakthrough. “
She continued, “We want to see black peopleIn the heights. We want to see Afro-Panamans, black Cubans, black Dominicans. We want to see that. We longed and hoped for that. “
The director replied, “I hope this encourages more people to tell more stories, to go out and do it right away.”
Leslie Grace, who starred in the film, spoke about how the lack of Afro-Latinx representation affected her as a Dominican American.
“Before I made this film, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t really getting to see myself or people who looked like my siblings, who were darker than me, on screen,” she said to Felice. “And I didn’t know how much that affected the limitations I placed on myself – being someone who wanted to be an artist, an actress, and even an Afro-Latina in the Latin American music industry.”
“I feel so blessed that we can express the diversity within the Latinx community in ways we couldn’t see on screen,” she added. “I hope that breaks through the glass ceiling. Because I hope that my brothers and sisters, who are darker than me, make these films. “
Another actress in the film, Melissa Barrera, revealed that many Afro-Latinxs auditioned for the role, but it just so happens that the right people for the roles were all fair-skinned.
“The audition, which was a long audition process, had a lot of Afro-Latinos there. Lots of dark skinned people. And I think they were looking for exactly the right people for the roles, ”she said, referring to the casting decisions made. “For the person who fully embodies each character … I think we are all very similar to our characters, so much so that often it didn’t even feel like we were acting.”
She continued, “And because the cast was us, after all, and Washington Heights is a melting pot of blacks and Latinx people, Jon and Lin wanted the dancers and the big acts to be very faithful to the look of the community.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the lyrics for the 2008 Broadway musical, was not interviewed by The Root, but he did bring up the subject in a recent interview.
“It is unfair to place any kind of undue burden on representationIn the heights“He told the point of sale. “There are so many millions of stories – there’s a song in thereHeightsCalled “Hundreds of Stories,” but there are millions of stories – of the cultural ins and outs of the Puerto Rican American experience, the Dominican American experience, the Cuban American experience, and we couldn’t take it all in our arms. “
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