Tom Hanks says diversity in modern films is “a hallmark of our social and professional responsibility” and that it’s important that they “reflect the era” in which they were made.
The Hollywood star said there was “no reason” why people of color shouldn’t play big roles and that filming was done in a way that was “improved… for who we are now”.
Hanks stars alongside Cynthia Erivo and Luke Evans in the upcoming Disney film Pinocchio, as puppet producer Geppetto, which premieres on Disney+ on Thursday.
The film is a live-action remake of the 1940 animated classic, based on the 1883 Italian children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.
Speaking at the event’s world premiere in Burbank, California, Hanks said that to make the film “every single actor the same” would be “boring”.
He told PA news agency: “I think it’s important to reflect on the time when we made the film, with the growing diversity that I think is a hallmark of our social and professional responsibility, ‘ he told the PA news agency.
“There was no reason why Blue Fairy wouldn’t be played by an African-American actor… so throughout the making of the film, we were constantly aware that the film was better in an improved way. How good it is just for who we are now.
“If we go back and make it shoot-for-shoot, actor-for-actor the same, I think that would be boring.
“It’s better to do it like this.”
Erivo, who plays the Green Fairy in the film, said it was “emotional” to see the growing diversity on screen and that the industry is now “a larger space that we all have can participate”.
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“I think that’s really important… I grew up not seeing myself in things like this, not seeing us in fantasies and playing fairies and what not,” she told PA.
“When I arrived (attending the premiere), there were brown girls dressed as fairies and it was amazing, it’s thrilling to see everyone getting involved right now.
“Because now it’s not excluding anyone, it’s saying ‘this is a larger space that we can all be a part of,’ which is lovely.”
The British actress and singer added that she had “loved the process” and was able to showcase her musical talents singing the hit song When You Wish Upon A Star.
“It’s a sweet role… I feel really lucky,” she said.
Pinocchio also stars Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the voice of the puppet of the same name, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as his insect friend Jiminy Cricket, Keegan-Michael Key, and The Sopranos star Lorraine Bracco.
The film was directed by Oscar-winning Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/tom-hanks-diversity-in-films-is-hallmark-of-our-professional-responsibility-41970781.html Tom Hanks: Diversity in our films is a sign of our professional responsibility