Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

spikebrennan

Opportunities to cast non-white actors

Recommended Posts

^Yes it would, because Davos is from Flea bottom. You want to cast a black actor, then the name of his characters is Jhalabar Xho, or Chataya, or Alayaya, or anyone a possible dornish character, or from the free cities, etc.

A black actor does not fit with any character that hails north of dorne, and i do feel it would be adding diversity for the sake of doing it, and the show would suffer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Yes it would, because Davos is from Flea bottom.

Seriously? :P That's your response? How does Davos' birthplace affect the story in any way? Why couldn't he be half-Summer Islander/half Westerosi (for example)? The very fact that he is a captain on a ship means that he could have been born anywhere. Although i'd prefer some Westerosi connection.

i do feel it would be adding diversity for the sake of doing it, and the show would suffer

As I said, its adding diversity for the sake of getting a good actor. How would the show suffer from having the best actor?

Remember, there have already been a number of changes. People have been aged, people have different motives, people no longer appear in Season 1. If you are one of those people who think any change is bad, well, i'm not sure how you can enjoy the series. OTOH, if you are willing to accept all those changes, I can't see why you'd draw the line here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously? :P That's your response? How does Davos' birthplace affect the story in any way? Why couldn't he be half-Summer Islander/half Westerosi (for example)? The very fact that he is a captain on a ship means that he could have been born anywhere. Although i'd prefer some Westerosi connection.

It was said that the he was born and raised in flea bottom. Unless your parents are foreigners then there's no reason why he shouldn't be Caucasian. Now I have no issus with a foreign actor at all if he looks the part. A latin actor, or middle-eastern actor, you can play the sunburned card well as a ship captain...but a black man? There's no logical reason why he should be black, he would simply be out of place unless you change Davos whole background.

As I said, its adding diversity for the sake of getting a good actor. How would the show suffer from having the best actor?

There are plenty of great actors that also fit the role. You are talking as if actors were in great scarcity or something.

Remember, there have already been a number of changes. People have been aged, people have different motives, people no longer appear in Season 1. If you are one of those people who think any change is bad, well, i'm not sure how you can enjoy the series. OTOH, if you are willing to accept all those changes, I can't see why you'd draw the line here.

There are reasonable changes an unreasonable ones. Robert is still fat, Tyrion is still a dwarf, etc. Making Davos a black man would be completely out of place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't know the appearance distribution of the people in Flea Bottom, and King's Landing is the principal harbour of the entire continent, with probably the easiest access across the Narrow Sea -- it would be more unusual if it were totally "unmixed". We already know that Summer Islanders live there, and apparently not in so infrequent numbers as to make Chataya and Alayaya people to simply gawk at (or no more than other beautiful women). I think people are just assuming that KL / FB is all white because it's never explicitly stated differently. People tend to do that about places like Medieval London too, as Thelonious already alluded to. Bear Island? Or even Winterfell? Yeah, I'd be more likely to be surprised, because we're told they're so isolated. King's Landing? I personally don't buy it's 100% "pure" in any sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no logical reason why he should be black, he would simply be out of place unless you change Davos whole background.

Isn't that what i'm suggesting? Change Davos' birthplace! Fine with me. It does not change the story 1 iota. :) Although as Aoife said, we already know there are some non-white people in KL. So its easy to identify a few more if you insist (for some reason) that he has to be born in KL or the show is ruined. :)

There are plenty of great actors that also fit the role. You are talking as if actors were in great scarcity or something.

No. I'm saying that you can audition 10 people (or whatever) for a role. For such roles, you can ignore skin colour and pick the best actor based on ability. Its not about how many actors there are in the world. Its purely about picking the actor that fits best based on ability.

Making Davos a black man would be completely out of place.

How does it change the story? I said it doesn't change the story in any way but you ignored that point and merely state the exact opposite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Davos Seaworth would be a great choice for a character who could be shifted to a non-European racial group. He's of low birth and from one of the top 5 seaports in Westeros. He is specifically scorned for his ancestry and is from the poorest part of the city. Why not make him the son of a sailor and a whore? Kings Landing would have emissaries and traders from all over the planet as regular visitors. In fact, pretty much any actor of half-European ancestry would be awesome.

We know from the text that other ports have generated mixed race children (or at least couplings). Sarella was probably sired while her father was forging his links at Oldtown. Asha Greyjoy had her first sexual experience with a Lysene sailor (though she had the good sense to find a moon tea to keep her belly flat). Westeros has a good half dozen major trading ports where such things would be if not common at least not unheard of. In addition to those mentioned, I would expect Gulltown, Lannisport, and White Harbor at the very least to have sufficient trade to where mixed blood children were significant presences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would anyone be for a story set in a fantasy world of tribal Africa where there were characters were described as having African features in the book. There were some Euorpean type people in the North called, the Winter Isles. However only one or two characters had been introduced from the Winter Isles. Everyone else is from the African fantasy land. However HBO comes along and decides to make the books into a great excellent tv show. However the shows are show popular that fans of all races love the books. So HBO decides to cast a few non-African actors to play intregal parts of the show, and also as extras. However most of the cast will be black. So in the middle of an all black crowd you see a ginger and then an Asian. All in traditional African attire. Also one of the main characters, who is described as having an African appearnce black ebony skin, is cast as a blue eyed blond man. It would disapoint readers and not be true to the books. Then even better an awesome African battle commander is casted as Jakcie Chan. It would be lame. Just like trying to cast a bunch of different types to play what should be, by MARTINS ownd descriptions people of European stock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lord Raul - that's just it; there is actually no such description. There are, in fact, countering descriptions throughout all four books. There are also practical reasons to support a cast of characters that's not all "European" (not just because this is fantasy), as well as historical backing as to whether this is likely in a large city, especially one that's a centre of trade. If you don't like it, that's entirely your opinion, but it's hardly implausible. It's actually more implausible for such a city to remain monocultural and monoracial.

Will they start looking for actors who aren't "any race, especially Caucasian"*? I don't know. But I'd like it, and I'd think they were still being perfectly faithful to the books.**

*This is a reference to some of the recent casting controversies, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Akira, where there were explicit preferences for white actors, even for roles where the source material had nothing to do with that.

**As faithful as they are in general, anyway. I mean, we have no Donal Noye, AFAIK, and he has some of the best bits. Was there a Beric cast? Part of what comes up in ASoS/AFfC was all about how the BwB was still fighting in Robert's name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to get a copy of the books that some folks around here have read. I've only read the Dunc and Egg stories and ASOIAF. Apparently I missed out on the three volumes of The Davos Seaworth Chronicles. A Song of Salt Fish and Onions, Four Fingers For Justice and Would One Daughter Be Too Much To Ask For...

Integral part of the show my pasty white ass...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the concept that so long as changing the appearance of a character doesn't change the story there's no problem with it. I'm perfectly fine with Davos being played by a black actor. He's lowborn and a smuggler, he could basically have any ancestry and it doesn't change anything. So yeah, cool with that.

Its actually less of a change in my minds eye than Natalie Tena playing Osha. If the right actor comes along they should go with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lord Raul - that's just it; there is actually no such description. There are, in fact, countering descriptions throughout all four books. There are also practical reasons to support a cast of characters that's not all "European" (not just because this is fantasy), as well as historical backing as to whether this is likely in a large city, especially one that's a centre of trade. If you don't like it, that's entirely your opinion, but it's hardly implausible. It's actually more implausible for such a city to remain monocultural and monoracial.

Will they start looking for actors who aren't "any race, especially Caucasian"*? I don't know. But I'd like it, and I'd think they were still being perfectly faithful to the books.**

*This is a reference to some of the recent casting controversies, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Akira, where there were explicit preferences for white actors, even for roles where the source material had nothing to do with that.

**As faithful as they are in general, anyway. I mean, we have no Donal Noye, AFAIK, and he has some of the best bits. Was there a Beric cast? Part of what comes up in ASoS/AFfC was all about how the BwB was still fighting in Robert's name.

Beric Dondarion was indeed cast, but Dona Noye was not. They gave his parts to dinkalge, to further develop tyrion's relationship to Jon. They did the same with the blackfish, by giving his parts to the actor that plays vardis eagan. I'm sure those two will be cast in later season though, well at least the blackfish for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to get a copy of the books that some folks around here have read. I've only read the Dunc and Egg stories and ASOIAF. Apparently I missed out on the three volumes of The Davos Seaworth Chronicles. A Song of Salt Fish and Onions, Four Fingers For Justice and Would One Daughter Be Too Much To Ask For...

Integral part of the show my pasty white ass...

So you're saying that you see no problem with a 250 lb black woman cast as Davos, gotcha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you're saying that you see no problem with a 250 lb black woman cast as Davos, gotcha.

It would be harder to imagine a stupider counter-argument. Congratulations. I've seen some dumb comments here over the years, but that one makes the top ten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:thumbsup: I'm honored to be in your list.

But i also happen to think that the argument of "we should use the best actor avaialbe regardless of weather or not he actually fits the part" to be rather stupid, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Whitebeard's real argument is he doesn't want anyone to change from the images in his head, which is fair enough, but overall not strong enough to base an argument around. If you think about it, black Davos is no different to white Davos. It doesn't change anything related to the character or story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One consideration that must be made, is that any groups cast as slaves or criminals or something otherwise of ignoble origin, must be cast racially considerate.

Imagine the hate mail and controversy if all the murderers and slaves are cast with actors and extras of black skin and african features, and the slave owners are dutch-European?

Black Davos could work fine, but all of Flea Bottom must be a more melting pot of skin hues.

ETA: I hope the point of this post comes across, it feels muddy to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Whitebeard's real argument is he doesn't want anyone to change from the images in his head, which is fair enough,

Maybe it is but Whitebread really hasn't explained why he thinks Davos has to have the same skin colour as in the book. Except that it has to be so. :)

But i also happen to think that the argument of "we should use the best actor avaialbe regardless of weather or not he actually fits the part" to be rather stupid, too.

It keeps coming back to this. "Actually fits the part". What does that mean? How is Davos having a different skin colour changing the story? Fitting the part to me revolves around changing the story in a meaningful way or not. So Davos been a woman would change the story. Davos been blond or having black hair doesn't change the story. Its quite simple. I don't know why Whitebread doesn't seem to understand it.

Sandor been 5 foot tall changes the story, Sandor having his scar on the right not the left side of his face doesn't. How is this not easy? :)

well padraig, aren't i glad you are not involved in the casting of actors for the show in any way. :laugh:

True. At least I don't have to worry about every little detail changing. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it is but Whitebread really hasn't explained why he thinks Davos has to have the same skin colour as in the book. Except that it has to be so. :)

I'm not sure if this is a typo or not, but either way it's hilarious. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I used this example elsewhere, but Morgan Freeman's character in Shawshank Redemption was supposed to be white - he was written in the book as a white Irish guy named Red. They didn't even change his dialogue in the movie, and it worked. It was not important that he be white, so he wasn't. Eartha Kitt and Halle Berry were Catwoman. Michael Clarke Duncan was Kingpin. Will Smith was West in Wild Wild West. Samuel L Jackson is Nick Fury. The list goes on and on. If it's not important to the character (and Davos is a good example where it is not) then it's great. Someday we'll probably see a black Bond (Idris Elba, yesssss). Does it mean they HAVE to cast minorities in roles where "it doesn't matter"? No, absolutely not. But nothing wrong with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×