According to reports, there are few or no Native Americans up for the part of Leah Clearwater, the Quileute tribal member and werewolf, in the newest installment of the Twilight movie series, New Moon. Instead, Vanessa Hudgens auditioned for the part.
Who the hell are they kidding?
She doesn’t look Native and barely passes for ethnic. I didn’t even know that she was Filipino until I read it online.
I know that opinions are everywhere, but please don’t ruin the movie. The Native American characters need to be who they are. No Disney actors please. I would much rather see a total unknown in the part than some silly teen idol. That equates to pandering for teen fans, but it will only eliminate the true fanbase.
In addition, the tribes are speaking out. In an article on IndigenousPortal.com, there has been a call to peaceful protest by Native Americans who feel much the same and want the parts to go to the proper people. They cite additional details, such as Taylor Lautner’s (Jacob) agent saying of his heritage, ““Well, we had to work around that. We had to fudge it. No one will know the difference.”
I hope this isn’t true. He’s got the perfect look, but I don’t like people trying to deceive me intentionally. So, I’m behind the tribal response 1,000%.
In all honesty, I have to admit that it moves me also because of my own roots. My great grandmothers on both sides were Native American. Even though I don’t look the part, I have a healthy dose of Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Cherokee. They’d never accept me with my very mixed pedigree and I was raised like any other white kid, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel a certain fondness for the characters in the series because of my lineage. I still feel that very prized role shouldn’t be squandered to someone who isn’t the best fit for the role just because a few teenagers squeel their names.
Perhaps all is not lost…
MTV, Melissa Rosenberg is quoted as saying, “Well, you know Taylor Lautner will be back as Jacob Black. I can tell you the original cast will all be coming back…They’re on set right now in Vancouver. They’re all up there prepping the movie to start shooting very soon.”
While that’s comforting, it makes me wonder about the cast. Still, Rosenberg did note that Leah wasn’t to appear until Eclipse. So, there’s still time for the appropriate actress to be found. If they screw this up, I may have to forego my trip to the theater to see that adorable Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save myself the frustration.