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Casting Call for Lead Role in Steve McQueen's HBO Project

by Sergio
June 21, 2014 8:58 AM
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As Tambay reported last fall (HERE), Steve McQueen's new project after "12 Years A Slave" is a dramatic series pilot he is making over at HBO, with "World War Z" co-writer, Matthew Michael Carnahan. It will be co-produced by Russell Simmons and "The King's Speech" producers, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.

The project is still untitled, and the exact details of the pilot are vague, except that it will be, according to McQueen's words, "an exploration of a young African American man's experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems."

And if you're an actor or someone who wants to get into acting and you think you're right for the role, have the chops to do it, or just want the experience of working with McQueen, you're in luck.

Casting for the lead role is currently going on right now in Philadelphia, and, according to the description, McQueen and his producers are looking for a "male, 22-35, African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race, extremely handsome, must be an excellent actor."

Does that sound like you? Then why not give it a shot? For more info go HERE.

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  • Lynn | August 13, 2014 5:54 AMReply

    How about Redaric Williams, he is one gorgeous specimen with a whole lot of talent! Redaric can match Jeremy Meeks looks but he also has the proven acting chops to carry a lead acting role, he is oh so perfect.

  • gregnoir | June 29, 2014 4:40 PMReply

    uhmmmm, Jesse Williams anyone? This seems like a no brainer but he's on Grey's so that must be the problem right? Jesse Williams + Steve McQueen + HBO = Everyone I know watching, for a variety of reasons.
    Hope we get more info on the story soon

  • Randy | June 24, 2014 1:15 PMReply

    Sounds like something along the lines of Imitation of Life.

  • Erica | June 23, 2014 6:06 PMReply

    Why is everyone jumping to conclusions regarding the casting description? We have NO IDEA how the story is being told and, truthfully, the physical "look" of the lead may be an important element of the story. *Geez* Calm down folks. Btw, an example of an "ambiguous" race person would be someone Sergio did a "Race Shifter" post on earlier this year ... Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

  • guest | June 24, 2014 7:42 PM

    I think the casting call was for a Black actor of any shade. I think they are casting a wide net for this role.

  • Stay on a blog | June 23, 2014 5:15 PMReply

    Wtf is ethnically ambiguous... Somebody actually put that in a casting call breakdown... Lol Black Hollywood and the struggling black identity... Or lack their of...
    Does that mean a black person that can pass for white lol or a non black that can pass for black. You have so many of those in Hollywood you are going to try to tell me they are having a hard time casting.. Lol how about a black person that actually likes being black and looks ethnic and gorgeous.
    Lmaooooo y don't they use a white actor and kardashian them with makeup to look the black ambiguous part using makeup lol oh wait that would be creative..

  • Amanda Williams | June 23, 2014 4:56 PMReply

    Russel Simmons being attached to this project makes me scared.

  • eric | June 23, 2014 1:23 PMReply

    Actually sounds a bit more like that fake Sidney Poitier's son story that Will Smith starred in.

  • Manni | June 23, 2014 5:15 PM

    "Six Degrees of Separation". What a great movie!

  • Michele | June 23, 2014 12:32 PMReply

    I have to admit that the African American/racially ambiguous casting note caught me off guard as well. Whose to say a white person can't look racially ambiguous as well? It also makes me wonder if this is going to be something along the lines of The Human Stain (Wentworth Miller, Anthony Hopkins) where a young man lies about his black heritage in order to pass for white.

  • michele | June 23, 2014 12:33 PM

    *who's (I'd love if this site had an edit button)

  • Elaine | June 22, 2014 6:25 PMReply

    There is no problem with mixed race African Americans getting lead roles. There aren't any roles specifically for any mixed race men in Hollywood. Also, men don't have the same colorism issues, that women face in Hollywood. There are plenty of dark brown men working in Hollywood that get meaty roles like Denzel Washington, Anthony Mackie, Wesley Snipes and so on

  • Tanisha S, | June 24, 2014 3:09 PM

    #truth!! @AccidentalVisitor

  • Lol | June 23, 2014 6:47 PM

    Mixed race is mixed. It is not black. Stop Obama is half African half white America not black. It's true. Get real.

  • AccidentalVisitor | June 23, 2014 8:29 AM

    Agreed . Light skinned/mix raced black men tend to be underrepresented in Hollywood while light skinned/mixed race black women are typically over represented. Anyone complaining about McQueen's casting preference on this project need to get a grip.

  • Peggy | June 22, 2014 5:12 PMReply

    That breakdown is problematical. If you are racially ambiguous, then you aren't African American. Which is it? Jenji Kohan said it was impossible to pitch shows to the networks with black leads. That's why she did Orange is the New Black where the lead was white, but most of the cast black.

  • AccidentalVisitor | June 23, 2014 9:02 AM

    Kohan was the showrunner who dumped the entire black portion of the cast of Weeds after its third season. That included getting rid of the black dude who was not only a fan favorite but was wooing the lead female character of that show. She replaced the black cast with new Hispanic characters and not surprisingly kept basically the entire white cast of the series intact. I don’t trust anything that comes out of her mouth on the subject. She has a history of putting together shows in which a white female is the focus of a racially diverse collection of characters, so she should stop pretending if she would have preferred to done Orange is the New Black (or any other show based on some book) with a non-white lead. Besides over the last few years quite a few showrunners have taken chances by creating shows, for both network and cable, with black leads. That’s something Kohan either didn't have the guts or the desire to do.

  • Peggy | June 23, 2014 1:28 AM

    Elaine, did you stop to think that's WHY she picked this particular book to adapt? Because she would be free to have as many minorities as she wanted because it's expected at a prison?

  • Elaine | June 22, 2014 8:07 PM

    Jenji Kohan will never pen a script or create a series with an African American woman lead. She adapted the series from a book about a white woman. Did she list the books or scripts she wanted to adapt about about an African American woman? OITNB is not at all a milestone. It may have a diverse cast, but isn't funny that the only time a place,town or community is diverse in the media, is when it's a prison?

  • beemooree | June 22, 2014 4:22 PMReply

    sankhofa you're absolutely correct. They will later go on to regret. Nina premiered at Cannes and theres been no news about the film and the director is suing the producers. She knows the film is doomed. I'm sure the Aaliyah film will be awful and i love Aaliyah

  • dei | June 22, 2014 10:15 AMReply

    No russell simmons please. He ruin everything black

  • lauren | June 22, 2014 9:20 AMReply

    How about Jeremy Meeks? Lol

  • Michaela | June 22, 2014 7:03 PM

    RE: "Meeks"
    Dear Lauren, painfully not funny.
    Some women who go on about how "attractive meeks is?" A low point for us women right now and a very telling of the state of mind that a lot of women have today. This showcases a ridiculous form of hypocrisy. We chatise Men for their reaction to women, and their looks and how they treat us and here many of you are fawning over a criminal!
    We'd be all over men if the roles were reversed.
    Get disrespected. Then after we have a high body mileage we want the good man. We want him to play Daddy to the children we had with the bad boy or bad boys.

  • JayTeeDee | June 22, 2014 8:27 AMReply

    Let me dust off my old headshot then.

  • Alex | June 22, 2014 8:26 AMReply

    Sounds like 'The Great Gatsby'...

  • Miles Ellison | June 22, 2014 8:47 PM

    That's what I thought. There was a movie that came out a few years ago called G that had the same premise. It was basically a black Great Gatsby.

  • SANKHOFA | June 21, 2014 6:44 PMReply

    Does anybody hire real blacks anymore?

  • SANKHOFA | June 22, 2014 11:35 AM

    @ALEX I do understand the problematic nature of that question. I didn't remove it and rephrase because well honestly I wasn't sure how (I'm a first time user of the comments section here and figured in both best and worst cases the comment would be ignored). Nevertheless, here is what I mean: Black (looking) people aren't being hired to play black people in these mainstream projects. This particular story is about an African-American male, yet they are looking for a racially ambiguous actor to play the lead. Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone. The Disney girl has been cast as Aaliyah. It seems as if darker-than-tan blacks won't get a job no matter the role.

    Am I crazy?

  • Alex | June 22, 2014 8:27 AM

    Please, elaborate on this definition.

  • Alex | June 21, 2014 5:05 PMReply

    "And if you're an actor or someone who wants to get into acting and you think you're right for the role, have the chops to do it, or just want the experience of working with McQueen..." Sheesh...what incredibly poor writing skills!

  • Alex | June 22, 2014 8:28 AM

    I concur.

  • Mike | June 21, 2014 2:24 PMReply

    Excuse me SHUT UP URIAH! You don't get to decide what we need. What we do need is more SHOWS about BLACK MALES!!!! I suggest you keep your mouth SHUT!!! You got that!!

  • Mike | June 21, 2014 2:20 PMReply

    Excuse me SHUT UP URIAH, but you don't decide what we need! What we do need is more SHOWS about BLACK MALES!!! So please SHUT UP AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!!!!

  • Dei | June 22, 2014 10:14 AM

    Isn't that what she just said, ur so busy trying to be disrespectful. What the hell is your problem?

  • uriah | June 21, 2014 11:37 AMReply

    i will be very disappointed if the main character isn't a full on black man. None of this Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race crap. That would be a cheat regarding the race aspects of the show. A dark skin brother as the main character of a prestigious HBO show is whats needed.

  • Lisa | June 22, 2014 8:09 PM

    @Dei and @Forrest, Mike was agreeing with Uriah. He was just responding to "Shut Up Uriah's" post about not needing anymore shows about black males, not telling Uriah to shut up. @Shut Up Uriah, you have the right to your own opinion, but don't make assumptions about what "we" need. If you don't want to see it, then don't watch it! I am wondering what "shows about black males" come to mind, for you to say we don't need anymore of them.

  • Forrest | June 22, 2014 5:41 AM

    I can't believe that a weirdo on here responded to Uriah by saying, that we're "not needing anymore shows about black males." Boy, morally degenerate people like this can be so bold when they're anonymous and online. ( and it's clearly obvious that "mike" and "s.u.u" are the same people)

  • shut up uriah | June 21, 2014 2:06 PM

    Oh, please. We don't need anymore shows about black males.

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