Casting director Lucy Bevan determined to make colour-blind choices


One of Britain's leading casting directors has told how she still faces "obstacles" when it comes to colour-blind casting.

Lucy Bevan's movie credits include Cinderella and Pirates Of The Caribbean, and she also gave Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston their first big-screen breaks.

Bevan, who is one of the judges of this year's EE Rising Star Award, selecting the best up-and-coming actors to be shortlisted for a Bafta, cast Ewan McGregor and black actress Naomie Harris in this year's movie thriller Our Kind Of Traitor.

Eddie Redmayne
Lucy Bevan gave Eddie Redmayne his first movie role (Yui Mok/PA)

She admitted the glut of period dramas on TV can pose a problem and that she can face obstacles casting colour-blind.

"I always like to cast colour-blind. We worked on Our Kind Of Traitor this year. Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris are the lead couple and there is nothing about their ethnicity in the film," Bevan said.

"I look at every role that I've got and say 'it could be every ethnicity'."

She told the Press Association: "I would say 'yes', there can be obstacles.

"But that's our job as casting directors, to fight for what you believe in and who you think is right and who you think is talented, and that's got nothing to do with the colour of somebody's skin."

David Oyelowo (Richard Shotwell/AP)
David Oyelowo (Richard Shotwell/AP)

Selma star David Oyelowo recently admitted he had to leave the UK to find roles as it was revealed almost 60% of British films over the last 10 years failed to cast any black actors.

Bevan insisted that, overall, it was a good time to be an actor from an ethnic minority.

"Everything that happened at the Oscars last year lit the fire for change and I think it really is changing," she said.

"I think If you're a young actor from any background right now it's a good time because we are all actively looking for people."

She dismissed complaints that acting is becoming an "elitist sport" with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston rising to the top.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images)

"Obviously, if you've been to public school you've got certain advantages," she said.

"But now with the internet, being able to make films and make short films and post stuff, I think there's a lot more opportunity for people who don't have the money to put themselves through drama school to find a platform in their own way."

She said she agreed with Hollywood star Michael Fassbender - who recently suggested a female play a "Jane Bond" if Daniel Craig steps down from the 007 role.

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender (Jordan Strauss/AP)

"I think that's a great idea. When the producers asked Angelina Jolie whether she wanted to be a Bond girl she said 'no thank you, but I'd like to be Bond' and that's why (the film) Salt happened," Bevan said.

"A Jane Bond everyone would like to see."