I recently read a newspaper article covering the movie Life Of Pi and the director Lee Ang, and I was struck by Lee Ang’s search for perfection and authenticity.
Here are a few examples:
1) He drove his animal handlers crazy when filming Taking Woodstock (2008) because he insisted on having the cows pose in specific ways, even though the cows were only part of the background.
2) Suraj Sharma, the teenage actor in Life Of Pi, said that sometimes when they are about to start filming a particular scene, Lee will tell them to stop and walk into the set and move a certain prop by one centimetre, claiming that the shot will look better.
3) Instead of hiring casting agents to scour Hollywood for Indian-American boys, he insisted on searching in India.
What struck me the most was number three. He did not want an Indian-American actor as although he will look Indian, he will act as American and Lee did not want that. This is different from an industry where Caucasians can pass off as Asian characters like in The Last Airbender (2010). This makes me a little upset. Because of this, Asian hopefuls have less chances of being actors or actresses, even though roles suitable for them are created, just because Caucasians snap them up. Shouldn’t they give these roles to Asians instead, to make the movie authentic?
(Just my thoughts:P)