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Jon M. Chu and In the Heights Actors Address Colorism in the Film’s Casting


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The Root’s Felice León asked director Jon M. Chu and some of the cast about the movie not having more afro latino actors in it

Chu: "In the end, when we were looking at the cast, we tried to get people who were best for those roles. But I hear you on trying to fill those cast members with darker skin. I think that's a really good conversation to have, something that we should all be talking about."

Leslie Grace (Nina): “I didn’t realize until making this movie that I didn’t really get to see myself or people that looked like my siblings, that are darker than me, onscreen. I hope that this is cracking that glass ceiling. Because I do hope to see my brothers and sisters that are darker than me lead these movies.”

Melissa Barrera (Vanessa): “In the audition process, which was a long audition process, there were a lot of Afro-Latinos there. A lot of darker skinned people. And I think they were looking for just the right people for the roles. For the person that embodied each character in the fullest extent. Because the cast ended up being us, and because Washington Heights is a melting pot of Black and Latinx people, Jon and Lin wanted the dancers and the big numbers to feel very truthful to what the community looks like.”
Tags: film director, latino celebrities, race / racism, viral
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