Nia Long Tells Drew Barrymore That She Wasn’t Selected For The “Charlie’s Angels” Movie Because She Looked “Too Old” And “Too Sophisticated”

January 31, 2023 / Posted by:

Looking back on the 2000 hit movie version of Charlie’s Angels, it’s clear that it’s not the best film ever made. But bad or not, it solidified its stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as the affirmative action cast we needed to combat the narrative of beautiful big-haired white broads portraying secret agents. Another gorgeous actress, Nia Long, was also being considered for a role in the film, but she was turned down for looking too old next to Drew. Years later, Nia is speaking out on it, and I think we all know what “too old” was really code for.

Nia stopped by The Drew Barrymore Show to discuss a tale as old as time: racism. According to Buzzfeed, the subject of Nia’s Charlie’s Angels audition came up, and she immediately revealed the silly reason she wasn’t selected to high-kick and kiki with both Drew and Cameron. And she believes it had more to do with her skin tone than her acting skills.

“I go and I audition, then you go home, and you wait and you hope to get the response which is, ‘You’re going to get the job.’ I didn’t get the job. It’s okay, it happens,” Nia recalled on The Drew Barrymore Show.

She continued, “But the feedback was, ‘My eyebrows were too sophisticated, and I looked too old next to Drew.’ And that was the feedback, and I was like, ‘What?’ It just was an odd way of saying you didn’t get the job.”

“I think what was happening during that time is there were all these conversations about diversity, but people weren’t really pulling the trigger,” Nia said.

“I think this is just a result of the fear of really putting a Black woman into a film that never cast anyone Black,” she continued. “It was a first time for them. There was this initiative to cast more Black women, have more Black women on set, but Hollywood wasn’t quite doing it.”

Of course, the whole idea of Nia looking like Jane Pittman next to Drew was ridiculous since Lucy and Nia are the same age. Sophisticated eyebrows? That’s a bad thing?! And Drew was also ready to call out this stupidity, as Nia says she never blamed Drew or her Flower Films co-owner Nancy Juvonen for the issue with being cast. As a matter of fact, Drew was always on board with a more diverse cast, which was something she incorporated into all of her pitches.

“[We] almost felt nervous and bad, if you will, when it was me and Cameron [Diaz]. We were like, ‘Oh God, that doesn’t feel right for us,'” Drew recalled. “And the original Charlie’s Angels were all white women. … There was no diversity there.”

“When we even went in to present ourselves as producers for the film, all of our pitches for the combination of the trio all had diversity in it, and that was just something that felt right in our guts at the time,” Drew said.

In the end, there were no hard feelings between Drew and Nia, but hopefully, they don’t try to right this wrong with a reboot starring all four of them. Unless, in the reboot, they all take turns kicking Bill Murray’s ass since he was one of the true villains during that experience.

Check out Nia and Drew’s conversation below.

Pic: YouTube

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