Thandie Newton Says She Turned Down Charlie's Angels After Racist Meeting with Producer Amy Pascal
Thandie Newton revealed in a new interview that she almost starred in the 2000 movie Charlie's Angels
Thandie Newton had uncomfortable meetings ahead of Charlie's Angels that led her to pass on the blockbuster.
The actress was approached to star in the 2000 movie but decided to drop out on starring after meeting with director Joseph McGinty Nichol and then-Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal. The action comedy would eventually feature Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu in the title roles.
“One of the biggest movies I didn’t end up doing was because the director said to me, ‘I can’t wait for this. The first shot is going to be … You’re going to think it’s like yellow lines down a road, and you pull back and you realize it’s the stitching, because the denim is so tight on your ass it’s going to look like tarmac,” Newton, 47, said in a new profile for Vulture. “I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think we’re going to go down this road together.'”
A rep for McGinty didn't immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
She then met Pascal, who she claims made several racially stereotyped suggestions on how to make Newton's character "believable." Pascal later stepped down from her position in 2015 after emails leaked in which she discussed whether then-President Barack Obama preferred movies with Black casts.
Pascal later issued an apology for remarks made to producer Scott Rudin in the leaked emails.
"The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am," Pascal wrote in a statement at the time. "Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended."
“She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character,” Newton said. “Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal. That’s not really a surprise, is it? Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result.”
In a statement to Vulture, Pascal said she did not recall the meeting and was "horrified to hear" Newton's description.
“While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session,” Pascal said. “I’ve long considered Thandie a friend; I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to make movies with her; and I hope to work with her again in the future.”