Diversity in Hollywood was just dealt another casting oddity. In 2001, one of the strangest road trips in history (allegedy) took place. Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando drove from New York to Ohio in an attempt to get home following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It’s being made into a movie starring –are you ready?– Joseph Fiennes as Michael! Stockard Channing will play Liz and Brian Cox is Brando.
Details of the improbable trip emerged in 2011 in Vanity Fair. The story goes;
Jackson invited the pair to his concert at Madison Square Garden. Following the 9/11 attacks, when air travel to and from New York was cancelled, the trio rented a car and began their quest back to California. “They actually got as far as Ohio – all three of them, in a car they drove themselves,” claimed a former employee of Jackson. Brando apparently insisted on stopping off at various fast food restaurants en route.
But one of Taylor’s ex-assistants told VF that the actor stayed behind in New York, visiting Ground Zero and praying in a church. Fiennes said after the casting was announced,
“It’s a light comedy look. It’s not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing. And the more I actually looked at Michael – it’s great, as an actor, to have so much to copy and look at in interviews – the more I kind of fell in love with him.”
On the surface, casting a white actor as Michael Jackson isn’t much of a stretch, all Fiennes has to do is stay out of the sun for the look. But it seems there are scores of good African-American actors out there that would jump at the chance to play the King of Pop. Usher, are you pissed? Amy Poehler? Oh, why not just throw your hands in the air. Wheeeee!!
(via The Guardian)