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What we lose when biopics cast actors who are the wrong age

What we lose when biopics cast actors who are the wrong age

Judas and the Black Messiah revolves around two powerhouse performances. As Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, Daniel Kaluuya captures the magnetism of a man who just might be able to change the world, while LaKeith Stanfield, as FBI informant Bill O’Neal, channels the visceral desperation of a man who might sell that first man out. They’re the kind of roles that make headlines, level up careers, and collect awards, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing them better, so perfect is the casting.

Except in one regard: These actors aren’t even close to the right age. And that makes a subtle but significant difference in how we as viewers experience this story, keeping us from feeling the fullest weight of the tragedy these characters are headed toward — and altering our perception of the world we ourselves live in. Read more…

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