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Lou Diamond Phillips Talks “Harsh Lines” Of Authentic Casting



"You have to wonder why certain people want to draw such harsh lines on authenticity when it comes to the ethnic community. When it comes to authenticity or trying to justify yourself in a role these days, it’s almost like you have to have your American Kennel Club card."

Lou Diamond Phillips has played a number of characters of different ethnicities throughout his career – from Mexican  to Native American to Filipino American. His previous roles may not have been the most ethnically authentic, the mixed race Filipino actor says there can be a catch to diverse casting.

Phillips admits the difficulty of landing an ethnically-specific role due to not being “authentic” enough, it’s still not appropriate for white actors to take on characters of different races or ethnicities. For those casting issues, it’s not only a problem of “authenticity” but rather “the level of opportunity.”

Other actors have caught heat for playing characters outside their ethnic background, Phillips' directors, and the families and communities behind the roles he takes on can trust that he’s “not looking to exploit that role.” He touted the breath and depth of research he takes up to portray characters who are not of his ethnic background

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Tags: actor / actress, asian celebrities, casting / auditions
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