Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
Nancy Kwan was so cute. I figure she should have been a major star, rather than just a borderline star-- and that only for a handful of years.
I still remember her late-night TV ads for Pearl Cream moisturizer when she was no longer getting film roles.
Hollywood's institutional racism continues to hinder the careers of actors
(it seems worse for men than women) and actresses (who tend to be cast
as the white hero's romantic interest or sexual plaything) of East Asian
ancestry today, apart from stereotypical niches such as the martial arts genre.
And a disproportionately high number of the comparatively most successful
actors cast as East Asian characters have some, if not mostly, white ancestry.
American television chose to cast a white American actor, David Carradine,
rather than Bruce Lee as the Chinese star of 'Kung Fu'. Some of Nancy
Kwan's success might be attributed to the fact that she's Eurasian (her
mother was a white Englishwoman), though she was perceived as 'exotic'
and cast as East Asian women. While Kate Beckinsale's 1/8 East Asian by
ancestry, she always has been perceived and cast as a white woman.
If there were an actor with the dramatic skills of, say, Laurence Olivier in
his prime, but he had a conspicuously East Asian face, then how would
Hollywood cast him? Almost certainly in a stereotypical role, if even that.
I doubt that he ever could be cast as a romantic hero--playing opposite
a white actress--in a Shakespeare play.