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Halle and Cuba's Casting Issues

8/8/2006 6:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Who wouldn't want Halle Berry in their movie? Well, back before she won an Oscar for her role in "Monster's Ball," the film's producer, Lee Daniels, had his reservations about casting Berry in the career-making part.

Daniels tells AOL Black Voices that he was skeptical of Halle's talents because she was "at her worst publicity-wise. She had just run over somebody- backed up, took off and left them there; done the Flintstones [movie] and was being called a Black Barbie doll. But you know, I'm an underdog and at that moment she was an underdog and I'm always for an underdog"

Luckily, minus the blip known as "Catwoman", Halle's career has never been healthier.

Daniels latest project is the drama "Shadowboxer." As the director on the film Daniels also expressed concerns over hiring Cuba Gooding Jr.

Despite winning an Oscar for his role in "Jerry Maguire", Gooding has seen his once hot career fizzle.

Daniels adds "With Cuba, something wasn't sitting right with me but I remembered him in 'Boyz N the Hood.' That's when I saw the truth and went for him. [With this film], I think he's gangsta. I think he's thug. I think he's honest and good. And I think he's back."

Let's hope so because there aren't many people clamoring for sequels to "Snow Dogs" or "Boat Trip!"

32 COMMENTS

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1.

Susan    

I think this director has an issue with light skin, articulate, black actors-he wants everyone who is black to be ghettoe fabulous like Moniquie-who other than being a fat comic-is no black Meryl Streep her dam self-so I would say why would these talented african-american actors want to work with a director who trashed them??? It looks strange that you have no talents like Monique in this movie but you trash Halle and Cuba!

2967 days ago
2.

Kimmie    

This guy is ridiculous! For someone who has only produced a few movies, he should be a little more careful of who he says is talented or not. After all, Cuba and Halle have had careers a lot more distinguished than Lee's. Black actors have a hard enough time as it is without people like this guy running their mouths like this.

2967 days ago
3.

Nico    

Well, since the director has all this negative stuff to spew out, I guess I will not see this film. I was interested in the film but I am not spendig a base of 8.00 to see a movie if the director is whining and bitching. Saved me some money.

2967 days ago
4.

Gale    

This "director" needs to direct himself to a more open-minded reality. He is embarrasing and subconciously suffering from hurt, fear, and an inferior complex
of many kinds. I feel bad that he is holding ever so tightly to a stereotype that it's making him visibily uneasy and the rest of us uncomfortable. I'm sad he calls himself a director. He needs to focus in on his mind and think more positively as a human being in such a position, before even thinking about leading others, consciously and subconsciously!

2967 days ago
5.

nikki    

Well....I sort of agree with all statements above, BUT......

I dont think his issue is with light-skinned black people. Honestly, I questioned Halle's acting talents for long time. I also felt that she was just a "pretty face". When an actor is known ONLY for being beautiful, it can mask any true talent they may have. Halle was great in Monster's Ball and did things I never thought she could or even would do.

Cuba Gooding is another actor that I had doubts about. I liked him in Boyz in Hood & Jerry Mcguire but I still didnt feel he was worth my time. Many of his movies have FLOPPED bigtime and I think he's boring.

This director/producer is the only person who had doubts about Halle & Cuba's acting talents....trust me!

2967 days ago
6.

David    

Was that director high? I know he just didn't diss the actors who worked on his film. WOW. This guy gives black directors a bad name....because i don't know of any directors, black or white, who talked so negatively about the actors who just labored on their film like this guy just did. Great job buddy!!!

2967 days ago
7.

Nico    

This producer has Macy Grey in the film???? You mean she sobered up enough to utter some lines!!! How can you talk about Halle Berry when you have cast the likes of Macy Grey??? It makes no sense. If the film flops it is the fault of this prodcer guy. I hate to hear about politics behind a film when the film is barely released or I havent seen it.

2966 days ago
8.

RCG    

Lee Daniels comments on Halle and Cuba are not about them but himself.
He shows himself to be a very insecure, arrogant man with issues. This is
not the first time he has debased Halle & Cuba in the media. I had heard that
he wanted Halle to possibly help finance one of his films and she turned him down. The truth be told he is simply jealous of the attention they receive. He is buring bridges he hasn't even made. Who in there right mind would want to work with him?

2966 days ago
9.

A    

I like both actors-Cuba and Halle. However, it is time to start being honest-they are not the best the African American community has to offer. There are so many better actors which are going unnoticed within the white community. So you have to ask why them---you have to look at the face, complexion and body versus the talent.

I can remember a few scenes from Monster Ball but the only one including Halle is Halle's big sex scene. She didn't do anything else to remember.

Not to disrespect Halle or Cuba because I am fans of both but their acting talents don't compare to:

Morris Chestnutt, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Ealy, Leon, LaTonya Richardson, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox, C.C. H. Pounder, and the numerous nameless other African American actors/actresses.

It is good to support our people. However, we need to demand respect for our real talent. Why are we allowing our real acting talents to go unnoticed? Denzel Washington did a great job in Training Day....but he did a perfect job in Malcolm X which he didn't receive the much deserved Oscar. Halle did a superb job as Dorothy Dandrige which she didn't take the deserved prize....she slept with a white man and flashed her body in Monsters Ball and has been praised...she did a better acting performance in Jungle Fever. Cuba did an outstanding job in Boys In the Hood....he said Show Me the $$$ and won an Oscar. We need to stop accepting scraps and demand the respect that we deserve.

2966 days ago
10.

Whatever    

He is entitled to his own opinion but didn't Halle and Cuba just work for him? Not very nice to talk about them like that. They are both oscar winners and this guy should kiss the ground they walk on for them even wanting to be in his film. Ingrate Lee!

2966 days ago
11.

Muffins    

I cant stop laffing at the fact she hit someone, backed into them and DROVE AWAY!!! WTF i know its not funnie but How the hell did she get away with that?!

I totally agree with number 8, neither arent bad actors but they're no where near the best black hollywood has to offer. IDK about cuba but they definately ovverrated halle too much.

2966 days ago
12.

Whatever    

Halle Berry is one of the most beautiful woman on the planet! Is he threatend by her? So what if she was called a black barbie? She is very talented and has the oscar to prove it. Sounds to me like he's mad he can't get with her...............

2966 days ago
13.

Jamie    

#8(ADS):
Halle received the Golden Globe and the Emmy for "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge." You are confused. Those are the top prizes one can get for a made for cable movie. I think you thought it was a theatrical release which would have been the only way she could have one an Oscar for it. It was not.

2966 days ago
14.

Jamie    

Correcting a mis-spelling: I meant to say "won an Oscar" in my previous post. I also want to add that one thing Ms. Berry has always shown herself to have is class. I cannot imagine her doing something as embarrassing and low-class as showing her unshaven legs or discussing her armpit hair on television and then declaring it a "Black Woman's thing " like the overbearing and embarrassing Mo'nique (or however she spells it.)

2966 days ago
15.

?    

It's sad that many beautiful actresses besides Halle; Black, White or Hispanic, don't get recognized for their acting talent until they appear in a film where their looks are altered to appear ugly - Selema H., Charlize T., Nicole K, Sally F. So Halle and Cuba made a few flops, name me one actor who hasn't in their careers? Denzil won kudos for portraying a corrupt, foul mouthed black cop when worthier roles such as Malcolm X or John Q didn't. As far as Oscar goes - many have won it or been nominated for the performance that didn't deserve it. I think Hollywood knows it & then gives the statue on lesser deserved roles to make up for it. Perfect example is Paul Newman, ignored for performances in Hud, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke - all better performances then the Color of Money for which he won. For any director to criticize anyone in his employ publicly is unprofessional - is this to prepare the audience that if the movie flops it's because of the actors, not himself?

2966 days ago
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