8 Movie Casting Choices That Fans Greatly Appreciated
Sometimes we map out what we think characters in movies should look like. Whether it’s better for them to be portrayed by the opposite gender, a different race, or even an other actor. But it turns out these people did a marvelous job starring in each of these movies and TV shows. Actresses like Halle Bailey as Little Mermaid normalized people of color being cast in ordinary movies, bringing about more equality in people’s day-to-day lives.
1. Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell in Peter Pan and Wendy (2023)
Yara Shahidi is the first black actress to portray Tinker Bell. “Thank you for all of the love. It truly means so much to me. I’m excited for this next adventure!”
The director of the movie, David Lowery, said: “In making Peter Pan & Wendy, we wanted to invigorate our retelling with emotional sincerity, an open heart, and a great yearning for adventure. Hundreds of incredible artists spent many years bringing this film to the screen. I’m excited for audiences to see their work, to go on this ride, and to rediscover an evergreen tale from a new perspective.”
2. Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (2023)
As you might’ve understood from our previous article, Halle has been chosen to portray Ariel. She opened up about her role as Ariel, saying that it’s crucial to represent yourself and your identity. Some fans also support the movie, saying: “Tinker Bell and Princess Ariel. Yara Shahidi and Halle Bailey are doing it for Black girls.”
3. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (2016)
The original Ancient One is a male named Yao, who is voiced by Michael Ansara in the 1978 TV movie Dr. Strange. However, Tilda Swinton stepped into the 2016 version of this movie, portraying the Ancient One as a female. The director even said that she would be a perfect portrayal of this character.
“I remember, at the time, having a question mark in my own mind, and being attendant to the public response to the idea that a Scottish woman will be playing this character, and being aware that there was no resistance at all — there was widespread welcome — which shifted at a certain point, for very good reasons with which I had an enormous amount of sympathy.”
4. Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)
At first, fans were quite the opposite of enthusiastic when they heard Heath Ledger would play the Joker in The Dark Knight. They thought that Heath was really wrong for this role. However, Heath did such a fantastic job portraying the Joker that fans completely changed their minds. He put in so much effort that he was left physically and mentally drained. Heath even won an Award for Best Supporting Actor.
5. Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother (Fab G) in Cinderella (2021)
When asked about his role in the reworked version of Cinderella, he described it as magical. “Finally, to be the human being I’ve set up in my real life, it’s a magical mash-up, a confluence, to have been called for this role in this particular adaptation. It’s some change-the-world stuff! And I’m proud to be a part of it.” He was happy that his persona was expressed in a beautiful way. “My queerness, that was my liability for so many decades, and all of a sudden, it was not.”
6. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien (1979)
Sci-fi was a male-dominated genre back then until Sigourney Weaver appeared to portray Ellen Ripley — who was initially supposed to be a male character. She starred in 4 Alien movies and was cast in Avatar.
“Everything began for me with Ripley. When people talk about her, a lot of them say, ’It must be odd for you to have done so much work and have people always talk to you about Ripley.’ But she made it possible for me to do all of these other genres, and yet I always got to come home to her. So, no, I never get tired of her.”
7. Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in Salt (2010)
Salt first started as an action movie with a male lead character. As you have probably read, Tom Cruise was supposed to star as Edwin Salt. However, this role had too many resemblances to Ethan Hunt (who was also played by Cruise) in Mission Impossible. So, the crew decided that Angelina would be the perfect fit to play Evelyn Salt, a female spy and also the lead.
8. H.E.R. as Belle in Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration (2022)
This Beauty and the Beast special made H.E.R. feel like she could embrace her femininity. “There are so many things that Belle has changed about me in the best ways — and just embracing what femininity is to me. It was nice to discover something within myself I didn’t know that I had, and that’s the Disney princess.”
Originally, Belle was played by Emma Watson, who said: “When I was auditioning to play Hermione, I had this fearlessness, I just knew I loved that girl, and I loved that role, and I loved that world, and I went for it. But now I have this other thing to overcome like in Beauty and the Beast, I sang for the first time, and journalists would ask me, ’Do you think you’re going to be able to pull it off?’ There’s an incredible awareness that I have to push through.”