From Black Voices — In a day and age when box office flicks — like ‘Lottery Ticket’ and ‘Takers’ — star rap elite such as T.I., Ice Cube and Bow Wow, one acclaimed Hollywood actor is disgruntled about how rappers are ruining his profession.
Juilliard-trained Anthony Mackie, who starred in the Academy Award-winning film The Hurt Locker, isn’t biting his tongue about how he feels about today’s movie casting.
“I don’t go into the hospital and let the janitor perform surgery on me, you know what I mean?” Mackie told Details magazine.
He continued, “If you look at what Ice Cube, LL Cool J and Queen Latifah have been able to do, it’s ridiculous to say their talents should be disregarded because they started out in music. At the same time, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Sam Jackson these days, because young actors wouldn’t be given those roles now.”
Jackson was one of the first leading African American actors to take a staunch stand against rappers being cast in movies over trained actors.
Back in 2002, despite starring in films alongside many mainstream rappers, including Tupac Shakur (‘Juice), Latifah (‘Sphere’), Eve, Ice Cube and Xzibit (‘XXX’), and David Banner (‘Black Snake Moan’), the ‘Star Wars’ actor was vocal about his feelings on rappers.
”To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility and weight that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker — that’s like an aberration to me; you just can’t do that,” Jackson said.
“‘It’s not my job to lend credibility to so-and-so rapper who’s just coming into the business,” he continued. “I know there’s some young actor sitting in New York or in L.A. who’s spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft but isn’t going to get his opportunity … because of some actor who’s been created — and you can use the word ‘actor’ loosely.”
Mackie, who early in his career was Don Cheadle‘s understudy in the off-Broadway show ‘Topdog/Underdog’ but quit when Mos Def replaced him, echoed Jackson’s sentiment.