Vanessa Bell Calloway Says Colorism Is Why She Couldn't Play Lead In 'Coming To America'
Vanessa Bell Calloway is a queen. She is unproblematic, ages like the best of wine (she's 67, whaaaaat!?), and is a gem to the culture. When she speaks up with that very distinguishable voice, we don't question. We just shut up and listen. Mostly because we've all basically grown up with her.
From What's Love Got to Do with It, all the way to Shameless, sis has been a household staple in many television shows and movies since I can remember--with one of her most notable, being her portrayal of Imani Izzi in the original production of Coming to America. Although small, her role was one of the most memorable, as even today, we're still hopping on one leg and barking like a dog a whole 33 years later. 33 years! *Randy Watson stomps*
But listen, as it turns out, Calloway originally auditioned for the role of Lisa McDowell.coming to america veil GIFGiphy
She recently disclosed to PageSix that says she auditioned for the lead female role of Lisa (eventually played by Shari Headley), and believes her complexion played a role in not getting the part.
"When you have white people hiring black people in movies, sometimes a certain look is wanted. I just wasn't light enough, even though Eddie had the final say on who played Lisa. [But] I didn't want the part of Imani, I wanted to be Lisa — I had read the script and I wanted the bigger role."
"That's something that we've always dealt with within our race: A lot of men were indoctrinated by having a white woman or light-skinned woman on their arm."
Well, tell us how you feel then, auntie!
DFree / Shutterstock.com
And according to the star, after much back and forth, her instincts led her to believe that the casting team "wanted a light-skinned girl," especially once production asked her to read for the part of Imani.
"At that point, I knew I was not going to get Lisa. So I went outside in the hallway, looked over the part with five minutes of preparation, went back in, and did the best I could."
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But don't misconstrue, Calloway is by no means bitter about their ultimate decision, she's just shedding more light on a very real issue. And she believes that despite her experience with colorism, the opportunity outweighed her emotions and she ultimately accepted.
"The real deal is, when you're in a situation like that, you wanna be a part of an Eddie Murphy movie. I wasn't gonna say no! I would've loved to have had the lead part, but I was very happy to be in the movie. I can't lie about that. I said, 'I'll make the best out of this and I'll be the best.' It was a smaller role but it was a glamorous part to play. And Shari did a great job."
Which turned out to be a great decision because the role's influence has proven to be legendary to black culture.
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Celebrities have rocked their best costumes as an ode to the role, with mega-spawn, Blue Ivy, famously dressing as the royal character in 2015. Blue Ivy! *Randy Watson stomps*
Danai Gurira attended Lupita Nyong'o's 2017 Coming to America-themed birthday party dressed as Imani as well.
Calloway has been tapped to make an appearance in the sequel to the cult classic, which I'm sure will be just as scene-stealing as the original. The movie premieres on March 5 on Amazon Prime.
*hops on one leg and barks like a big dog*
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Featured image via DFree / Shutterstock.com
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
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Can’t Stop Seeing 333?: Uncover What The Universe Is Guiding You To Do
Have you ever needed a sign from God or the universe to just drop out of the sky? Then, before you can recognize the coincidence, you start seeing angel numbers like 333 on your microwave clock, gas prices, or even as the total on your receipt. Numbers hold a special type of significance and influence in our lives, cultures, and spiritual beliefs and are known to hold hidden meanings, serve as guides, and act as messengers from the spiritual realm.
And one particular number that has captured the imagination of so many of us is the angel number 333.
Breaking Down the Meaning of Angel Number 333
Believed to be a divine message from the angels, this numerical sequence carries profound significance and offers guidance, reassurance, and encouragement to those who encounter it.
The angel number 333 is composed of the energy and vibrations of the number 3, which appears three times in a row, magnifying its influence.
When we look into the power of the number 3 in numerology, it’s typically associated with creativity, self-expression, communication, growth, expansion, optimism, joy, and the Trinity, representing mind, body, and spirit. Thus, when encountered in triplicate, it intensifies the message and significance conveyed by the number 3.
The Angel Number 333 Meaning: Spiritual Awakening and Alignment
The angel number 333 often appears during moments of spiritual awakening or when an individual is on the path of growth and change. It serves as a gentle reminder that you are divinely supported and encouraged to align your thoughts, actions, and intentions with your higher self and spiritual purpose. The angels are signaling that you are on the right track and should continue to cultivate your spiritual growth in a way that’s in harmony with your higher self and purpose.
The Angel Number 333 Meaning: Embracing Creativity and Self-Expression
A major theme with the number 3 is its connection to creativity and imagination. The presence of angel number 333 is a call to embrace your creative abilities and express your authentic self. Whether it is through art, writing, a new project or hobby you’ve been looking to explore, or any other form of self-expression, your guardian angels are nudging you to tap into your full creative potential. By doing so, you can inspire others and bring joy and positivity into the world, and even uncover a new level of self-actualization.
The Angel Number 333 Meaning: Reclaiming Balance and Spiritual Harmony
What’s special about 333 is how it highlights the importance of balance and harmony in your life and that you have full access to it. It’s your own personal sign to prioritize your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being despite the speed and hustle-centric of the world we live in. Your angels are tapping you on the shoulder to encourage you to maintain balance in order to live a more fulfilling and harmonious existence with yourself, your loved ones, and your purpose. So take it as a gentle reminder to seek moderation over the extremes in life, or if you need to add a little more play where there’s rigidity, allow it to flow.
What Should You Do When You Encounter the Angel Number 333?
Remember that you have help outside of what you can see with your physical eyes. And while this angel number might hold different meanings for everyone and each stage of life, the thread that connects 333’s meaning is harmony, the divine support that surrounds you, and a license to tap into your inner creativity.
If you happen to come across 333 on your path today, pause and make note of the crossroads or rumination that’s been on your mind. 333 is a powerful number for manifestation, so take a moment to speak out or write down your intentions. You have the power to bring your thoughts and desires into reality, and your angel number and guides are here to remind you of that.
Trust that the answer you seek is within your reach.
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