All Articles Tagged "The Princess and the Frog"
Casting Director Shares Why Bey, J-Hud And Others Were Passed Over For Roles In ‘The Princess And The Frog’
Every once in a while we hear about actors and actresses who were up for a super popular, über coveted Hollywood roles. For example, Being Mary Jane actress Gabrielle Union has no qualms with admitting that she really wanted the role of Olivia Pope in ABC’s hit political thriller, Scandal.
“I was one of the last five or ten to audition and was absolutely eliminated, for good reason. When Kerry got it, I congratulated her,” Gabrielle said in the December issue of ESSENCE.
Learning after the fact about all of the dynamic talent that went out for certain roles, always leaves us wondering what things may or may not have been like if casting directors decided to go with someone else. In her new book, Confessions of a Casting Director, Jen Rudin dished on the casting process for filling the coveted role of Princess Tiana 2009 Disney movie The Princess and the Frog. Jen revealed that there were some pretty popular singers and actresses vying for the role of Tiana, including Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks.
Jen revealed that Beyoncé was actually passed up for the role partially because she felt a tad too entitled.
“Beyoncé expected an offer, but wouldn’t audition and so she didn’t get one,”said the native New Yorker.
She went on to say that Tyra, Alicia and J-Hud were also passed over for the role for various reasons.
“Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson wanted it. Alicia Keys auditioned three times. They had to sing, so we made it clear they needed sheet music.”
“Tyra came in with a CD, but it didn’t matter because she was so pretty and nice.”
Of course, Jen ultimately decided to give the role to Dreamgirls actress Anika Noni Rose.
“It went to Anika Noni Rose, who was the most qualified.”
We certainly agree! Anika did a stellar job as Princess Tiana.
How do you think the other ladies would’ve done as Princess Tiana?
We don’t have to pretend like we aren’t aware of the stereotype that black folks love watermelon (and fried chicken) to say that the assumption that Disney’s only black princess, Tiana, covering a package for Watermelon Dipping Candy being labeled “racist” is a bit extreme.
I’m no fool to the subtleties of racism but I think it’s a stretch to draw racism out of this Valentine’s Day candy that was marketed by Dig N’ Dips. On one side of the packet, white princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty covers a vanilla-flavored dipping stick, while on the other, Tiana is the face for the watermelon treat. Sociological Images has called the marketing “insensitive” at least “In light of this history [of black people being stereotyped to love watermelon], as well as the ongoing racism [that's still perpetuated].” But that conclusion is hypersensitive in my opinion.
Tiana seems to have landed on the watermelon candy by default. To be fair, in other packaging Princess Belle of Beauty and the Beast appears on the vanilla-flavored candy and Cinderella covers the Cherry-flavored dips. Is there a hidden message in that? I’m not even sure I would have a problem if this was vanilla- and chocolate-flavored candy. Sure, it may make you pause for a second, but “racist” can’t be the default response every time something that deals with black people catches our eye—and incites our on racial hypersensitivity.
Do you think Tiana being featured on the watermelon candy is a coincidence or subtle racism?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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As children the first love messages we receive outside of the home often come from movies. For many of us those happened to be Disney movies. As children, with little experience, we couldn’t help but think that stories we saw through the eyes of our favorite 2-D characters represented universal truths when it came to love.
But a writer over at Your Tango.com argues that the “happily ever after” endings we clung to as children have tainted our relationships as adults.
Read the story over at Your Tango and see if you agree.
Anika Noni Rose’s star took off after her role big screen role as Lorrell in “Dreamgirls.” Since then she voiced the story of Disney’s first Black princess and most recently she starred in Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls.” The singer/actress answered 20 questions with Black Voices about the relationships she developed with the other actresses in “For Colored Girls,” the lack of diversity with the Oscar nominations this year and how she’d like to see more multicultural movies.
Check out the interview here.
As young girls we visualized being swept off of our feet by our Prince Charmings. Oh how times have changed. Now we’re lucky if our Prince Charming even arrives, let alone whoo or wow us. While the hope of finding love isn’t a far-fetched notion, the beliefs that we shared as young girls are fairy tales that have been replaced with the somewhat harsh realities of what being in love really entails.
As we’ve grown out of our naïve anticipations we suddenly realize that those fairy tale love stories must have been reserved for fairies only, because real love is sometimes far from what we could have ever imagined. While love isn’t always a fairy tale, we still hold on to the hope of finding and sustaining real love, just as we did as young girls.
Now as adults we don’t necessarily have to let go of the ‘fairy tale’ love stories completely, but for the sake of not being naïve, we should re-mix these beliefs with doses of ‘real life’.