By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 22, 2011 at 5:17PM
While posting the new poster for Matthew Cherry's feature debut, The Last Fall, I thought about its 2 young stars, Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie; and that led to thoughts on up-and-coming young black actors and actresses who'll eventually replace *our* current seasoned veterans.
It's something that we've touched on previously on S&A, and something that just keeps coming up, as if, in discussing it, a change in course will somehow be forced... maybe... maybe not.
But, as I type this, I'm having a really difficult time coming up with names of young black actors and actresses we'll likely be exalting in future years, as the older generation of thespians become less *desirable;* specifically, I'm thinking of black actors/actresses in their 20s, whom we can consider leading man/woman (or potential leading man/woman) material.
Who are they?
We can certainly name countless Caucasian up-and-comers in their 20s (some of them are already major stars in their own right); but just try doing the same for black 20-something up-starts.
So, I'm wondering... here's the challenge folks... if you were a studio head with the power to greenlight a moderately-budgeted movie with two 20-something black leads - one male, one female - who would be the 2 actors at the top of your short list? The movie can be a romantic comedy like all the others, or an action comedy like Mr And Mrs Smith, or even a crime drama like Bonnie And Clyde; give me your top choices for leads - who you think could put butts in seats AND also be lauded for their performances. Or, essentially, they have the potential to be box office draws, and are also good actors.
Also, give your reasons for picking them.
"Potential" is the key word. I realize that there really aren't many who fulfill both suggested criteria; so, another way to look at it is to think of those you believe have the potential to fit both criteria, if only they were given the kind of push that's necessary for studio dealmakers to take notice of them.
But give it your best shot, and your reasons.
Again, only those in their 20s - so from 20 to 29 years old. In the case of The Last Fall, Lance Gross wouldn't count because he's actually 30; BUT Nicole Beharie would because she's 26 or so.
By the way, the above photo was created by publicist Arian Simone in response to Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue, which, as you probably recall, was heavily criticized for the lack of diversity evident in its cover photo. So here's another pair of questions... how many of the young ladies in that photo can you actually name; and secondly, how many would fall into either (or both) criteria, with respect to the main question of this post?