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« Link Runner 2017 | Main | Doc Corner: 'Icarus' Doesn't Fly »
Tuesday
Aug292017

Beauty Break: Ed Skrein and "Hellboy" Replacement Suggestions

by Nathaniel R

Major Ben Daimio. The part will no longer be played by Ed Skrein

Well here's a delightful righteous first. The British actor Ed Skrein, whose best known to date for being the big bad of the first Deadpool movie, has taken a stand against the frequent white-washing of Asian characters on film. He has dropped out of the Hellboy reboot having learned (via the instant online backlash) that the role in the comics is a Japanese-American man. He wrote a heartfelt public letter about the decision...

As Angry Asian Man points out this will make it harder for future projects to whitewash because the backlash against this favorite Hollywood shell-game has gained even more visibility now. To have an actual actor willing to give up a role to stand in solidarity against the ugly practice will also make it very hard for future actors to say yes without looking disrespectful even if executives still want to go that route.  

In tribute to a guy doing the right thing at the expense of an actual job in a potential hit, let's gawk at the outer beauty after this inner beauty reveal and end with some replacement suggestions for his now vacant role...

a brief stint on Game of Thrones which he also left early

Whew.

Okay, now that that's out of the way. Let's talk replacement actors. Actors of Japanese descent.

A bit about the character from the official wiki

Benjamin Daimio was a member of the B.P.R.D. A former U.S. Marine who returned from the dead under mysterious circumstances, Ben joined the bureau in 2004 as a team commander. With years of military experience Ben assisted the Bureau in planning and prosecuting its war against the supernatural threats it faces, all the while dealing with his own demons and the events surrounding his rebirth.

Skrein is 34 years old and the character shouldn't be younger than that given the years of military experience and death and rebirth. So... we're only looking at thirty or fortysomething actors for these suggestions.

How about auditioning these working actors all in their 30s or 40s? 

IAN ANTHONY DALE (Hawaii Five O) Taiwanese superstar TAKESHI KANESHIRO is actually half JapaneseSHUN OGURI (Crow Zero, Gintama)TADANOBU ASANO (Thor, Mongol)And that's mostly off the top of my head. I could come up with many more suggestions if you expand the search into 50somethings there are a ton more. It's not that hard, Hollywood. There are plenty of available actors for any kind of character. 

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References (3)

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Reader Comments (25)

First person that popped up in my mind is Abe Hiroshi. I know he's not in the age range but he's fit, tremendously popular, and a damn good actor.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLars

Brian Tee came to my mind, since they are going with hot guy as casting call.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Good on Skrein. Smart.

Kōji Yakusho or Hiroyuki Sanada would make fine casting choices. (I do wonder if they tried to get Keanu Reeves.)

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Is Ed Skrein like a hyper-sexualised version of Nicholas Hoult?

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

Oh God, I LOVE Abe Hiroshi. His performance in After The Storm was wonderful, beautiful and deeply heartfelt, great in both drama and comedy.

That was a marvelous movie.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Ed Skrein is an absolute boss.

His unselfish actions further highlight how egotistical Emma Stone was in 2015 when, hot off an Oscar nomination for BIRDMAN, she accepted a whitewashed role. I've been side-eying her ever since, and the 'gee shucks the world is a bad place but films make us come together' platitudes she's spouted on the the 2017 awards trail ring utterly hollow given the consequences of her actions (deriving Asian actresses, who struggle with visibility in Hollywood as it is, visibility).

I'm east Asian by the way, so this topic really affects me.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Chuck -- uncanny. now that you say that I can't believe how true it is.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

tyr54r35

August 29, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

======================================================o--0

SORRY those two messages were from the cat i'm catsitting. (sigh)

August 29, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Emma -- i loved what you wrote about Taylor Swift's new video!

August 29, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Timely post. I read this bit of news on another site, and one of the comments suggested Alex Mallari Jr. as a replacement. A subsequent comment mentioned he was of Filipino ancestry, and I started to wonder two things:

1. Is this recast going to be like casting John Cho, a Korean-American, as Sulu?
2. What actors out there are Japanese or Japanese-American?

Thank you for anticipating the second question.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

Nat: Be careful, if it hits the wrong (or right...?) series of keys, Freakazoid could happen!

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'm sure the smoking hot Mr Skrein will have not problem getting another role.

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Thanks Nathaniel! I'm afraid I'm rather a little too invested in petty celebrity drama...

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Ed Skrein sounds like the name of a serial killer; the face doesn't match the name.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

He looks like Nicholas Hoult to me.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

@Emma, your timeline is way off. Emma Stone was in talks for Aloha in 2012, and the movie was in the can *before* Birdman was even released (see: Sony email hack). And we could blame it all on Stone—she could've said no, after all—but director Cameron Crowe, who actually wrote the screenplay (which isn't based on real people or someone else's famous work), is the real culprit here. Crowe clearly wanted a blonde actress, having previously approached Reese Witherspoon for the role, and obviously was willing to forego traits of his own character creation to cast Stone. I doubt she'd take the bait today, given the raised consciousness and repudiation (hi, ScarJo in Ghost in the Machine!) of whitewashing in cinema.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Good for him. And yes, he does look like Nicholas Hoult!

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

@Mareko - I thought Crowe repeatedly said in multiple interviews that her character WAS based on a woman he was friends with? That the character's ethnicity, appearance, and lifelong problem of appearing white while being part-Asian was all taken from this friend's life? Not defending his artistic choices, but I think I'm remembering that correctly.

Also, Skrein can get it.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

1. I have always thought that Ed Skrein & Nicholas Hoult looked alike. So much so that I have mistaken one for the other before.
2. My fear is that Ed is now going to be blackballed by the hollywood political powers that be (studios/producers) for not playing their little reindeer games.
3. Why not hold auditions & give an unknown asian actor their chance? It's not like there is a lack of talent out there...

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin H.

@Mareko: my bad on the timeline. But given all the BS Emma Stone spouted in her campaign trail this year, stuff she could have just not said, such as the Golden Globe line about 'this is for anyone who's ever had the door slammed in their face', I think I'll direct my ire at her. altho yes, he shouldn't have been chasing actresses whiter than a toilet seat for the role of 'Alison Ng'.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

It's just the brazenness of Stone uttering jarring lines like 'coming together' and saying 'this is dedicated to anyone who's ever had the door slammed in their face'. Whilst Cameron Crowe's fetichism for a blonde white woman to play a Eurasian is what caused 'Alison Ng' to be cast as Emma Stone, she could have not enabled it to occur by accepting the role. I won't ever forgive her this transgression, it hurt my people. Badly.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Emma I understand your point- Asian actors are not given enough roles in Hollywood movies.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Yes, let's direct the ire at Hollywood at large. It's so easy to talk racial bias in black and white terms (#OscarsSoWhite, etc.), but that too is doing a disservice by reducing it to a binary when Asians are far LESS well represented on screens large and small than African-Americans, Hispanics, women and so forth. Nathaniel has done a good job of pointing that out (repeatedly), although that fact rarely ever gets the kind of attention it deserves.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

P.S. Eddie Huang makes great points about this: https://youtu.be/KayBk19LnFE

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

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