After being told she was ‘too old’ to cast in ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ Nia Long says it was code for ‘too Black’

Lucy Liu, who is two years older than Nia Long, was selected for the role of Alex Munday in the 2000 film adaptation

Nia Long at the world premiere of “The Banker” at the National Civil Rights Museum on March 02, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Greg Campbell/Getty Images for AppleTV+)

Actress Nia Long believes she was passed up for a lead role in the 2000 blockbuster film Charlie’s Angels because she’s a “little too Black,” according to an Insider report.

Long, 49, told the digital outlet that she auditioned for the role of Alex Munday, one of the three lead characters in the action-comedy film. When she was passed up for the role in favor of Lucy Liu, Long’s agent said it was because she “looked too old” to play opposite Drew Barrymore, who was cast as Dylan Sanders.

READ MORE: Nia Long and Omar Epps star in ‘Fatal Affair’ on Netflix

Long, who is four years Barrymore’s senior, is not convinced that was the lynchpin.

“I love Drew Barrymore, I think she’s amazing, but I think that was just a nice way to say you’re a little too Black,” the Fatal Affair actress said. “Personally, that’s what I think. Because if you notice there were no brown skin [actors]. I mean, honestly, I would have been the Blackest thing in the film.”

Fatal Affair was released on the Netflix streaming platform Thursday.

Long also went on to say that, with such a rationale for her not getting the role, she was content not being part of the film.

“The feedback that I received from my agent was, ‘She just looked too old and sophisticated to be next to Drew Barrymore,'” Long explained. “And I’m thinking to myself: ‘It’s an actor’s choice to walk in the room how they want to look, but it’s a director’s vision to help create and curate a character.’ So if you couldn’t see beyond the fact that I had on a blazer and a pair of jeans then that was clearly not the job and opportunity for me. So, no problem, I’ll keep it moving.”

READ MORE: Nia Long is executive producing ‘Dreams of the Moon’

The irony is that Liu, who played Alex Munday in Charlie’s Angels, ultimately is two years older than Long. The hit movie, which grossed $264,105,545 in global box offices, also starred Cameron Diaz. The plot follows the three women detectives, who have a mysterious boss, in their quest to retrieve stolen voice-ID software.

This news comes off the heels of actress Thandie Newton disclosing during an interview with Vulture that she turned down a chance to be in Charlie Angels. One of the reasons being an uncomfortable meeting with former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal, who tried to tell Newton how to act Black.

“She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character,” Newton said. “Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal. That’s not really a surprise, is it? Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Share: