One of many such re-castings is Vanessa Williams’ recreation of a moment from the 1963 historical epic Cleopatra in the new photography book Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments. hidden caption Carell Augustus/Sourcebooks
switch to caption Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus One of many such re-castings is Vanessa Williams’ recreation of a moment from the 1963 historical epic Cleopatra in the new photography book Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments.
Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus In his new book Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments, photographer Carell Augustus reimagines some of cinema’s most iconic scenes, such as Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain or Janet Leigh’s fateful shower in Psycho, by casting black actors and actresses in roles that have long been denied to them.
Augustus, who grew up watching popular films like Back to the Future and Say Anything, saw the initiative as an opportunity to correct an absence that lasted well into the 1980s.
On the book’s cover, actress Amber Stevens West plays Audrey Hepburn in her famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s role. books with hidden captions
switch to caption Sourcebooks On the book’s cover, actress Amber Stevens West plays Audrey Hepburn in her famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s role.
Sourcebooks We were excluded from these stories, he claimed. And frequently, when we recognized ourselves in these tales, we were, say, being apprehended or in a prison or gang scenario. And I simply wanted to do anything I could to creatively and visually modify the narrative.
Before Black Lives Matter and #OscarsSoWhite, Augustus took the book’s first image in 2010. He was aware that some people would see his endeavor as a response to those movements.
He admitted that he occasionally discovered himself moving in unison with these movements and decided to embrace them.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many A-list celebrities in these pages. Not that Augustus passed on Denzel Washington or Halle Berry.
Here is Johnny, who is also known as Blair Underwood, doing that iconic moment from The Shining from the 1980s. hidden caption Carell Augustus/Sourcebooks
switch to caption Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus Here is Johnny, who is also known as Blair Underwood, doing that iconic moment from The Shining from the 1980s.
Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus My dream when I first started writing this book was to meet every Black A-lister in Hollywood, am I right? Then I understood that I would likely have 11 people,” he stated.
He cast a wider net, discovering performers who may not be well-known but have amassed a sizable list of credits. Dulé Hill is dangling from that lamppost in place of Gene Kelly ( The West Wing , Psych ). Veteran actress Simbi Khali will take over for Janet Leigh ( 3rd Rock from the Sun ).
Amber Stevens West’s portrayal of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of Augustus’ favorites. With that seductive black satin gown, she graces the book’s cover. West, a supporting character in shows like 22 Jump Street and New Girl, claimed that when she initially began her career, she was unable to land a leading role in a movie like Hepburn.
It’s quite similar to how many Black people in Hollywood get typecast as the friend and serve as the project’s representative of diversity, she said.
In the 1970 classic, Aisha Hinds, who plays Gen. George S. Patton, makes patriotism seductive. hidden caption Carell Augustus/Sourcebooks
switch to caption Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus In the 1970 classic, Aisha Hinds, who plays Gen. George S. Patton, makes patriotism seductive.
Sourcebooks/Carell Augustus Sometimes Augustus even reverses the genders. Aisha Hinds (True Blood, Shots Fired), who plays Gen. George S. Patton, is seen saluting an unseen audience in front of a massive American flag in the first image he took and the first image in the book. Here, Hinds substitutes a knowing smile and a curved hip bend for George C. Scott’s withering look and granite stance. She gives the part a little bit of sensuality and swagger. It wasn’t an accident, according to Hinds.
“I believe that a Black woman’s superpower is her ability to occupy the entirety of who she is.” And, as you may know, we don’t have to downplay our sexual appeal in order to function effectively,’ she added.
Patton and Hinds’ portrayal of the famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman in WGN’s Underground, which is likely her best performance to date, go well together. Both readings, according to Hinds, might serve as a reminder that Black women have always played a leading role in the struggle for this nation.
People are continuously turning to Black women to lead armies of change because “we’re constantly at war with so many things” and “we’re constantly sort of receiving the battle scars and the battle wounds,” she said.
RACE Augustus doesn’t see his book as a force for change, unlike campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite, but he hopes that it challenges people’s preconceptions. Additionally, it implies that these pictures belong to Black people as well by featuring these performers in images that are essential to Hollywood’s conception of itself.
“What I want people to understand and know from this book is that we too should be regarded as a standard,” the author says.
Reena Advani edited the audio that was used in this piece.