This images ebook places Black actors in Hollywood’s most iconic film moments
Vanessa Williams recreates a scene from the 1963 historical drama Cleopatra, one of many such re-castings in the new photography book Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments.

Vanessa Williams recreates a scene from the 1963 historic drama Cleopatra, one in all many such re-castings within the new images ebook Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Film Moments.

Carell Augustus / Sourcebooks

In photographer Carell Augustus’ new ebook Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Film Moments, he takes a few of cinema’s most memorable pictures — assume Gene Kelly in Singin’ within the Rain or Janet Leigh’s fateful bathe in Psycho — and casts them with black actors and actresses, putting them in areas which were longed denied to them.

Augustus noticed the undertaking as an opportunity to deal with an omission that continued properly into the Nineteen Eighties, when he grew up watching mainstream hits like Again to the Future and Say Something.

Actress Amber Stevens West recreates Audrey Hepburn's iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's role on the cover of the book.

Actress Amber Stevens West recreates Audrey Hepburn’s iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s function on the quilt of the ebook.


“We have been not noted of those tales,” he mentioned. “And oftentimes, once we noticed ourselves in these tales, we have been, you understand, getting arrested or in a jail scene or in a gang scene. And I simply needed to do no matter I may to type of change up the narrative, visually and artistically.”

Augustus shot his first {photograph} for the ebook again in 2010, earlier than Black Lives Matter and #OscarsSoWhite. He knew folks may view his undertaking as a response to these actions.

“At some factors, I discovered myself in tandem with these actions, and I simply embraced it,” he mentioned.

Surprisingly, you will not discover too many A-listers in these pages. No Denzel or Halle Berry, not that Augustus did not go for them.

Here's Johnny, also known as Blair Underwood, recreating that memorable scene from 1980's The Shining.

Here is Johnny, also referred to as Blair Underwood, recreating that memorable scene from 1980’s The Shining.

Carell Augustus / Sourcebooks

“After I first began this ebook, my fantasy was to get all of the Black A-listers in Hollywood, proper? After which I noticed if I did that, I might have most likely 11 folks,” he mentioned.

He expanded his internet, discovering performers who will not be family names however have constructed a wholesome portfolio of credit. As an alternative of Gene Kelly hanging from that road lamp, it is Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych). Janet Leigh will get changed by veteran actress Simbi Khali (third Rock from the Solar).

Certainly one of Augustus’ favorites was Amber Stevens West taking over Audrey Hepburn’s iconic function in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She graces the ebook’s cowl in that sultry black satin robe. A supporting participant in entertainments like 22 Leap Road and New Lady, West mentioned a centerstage film function like Hepburn’s eluded her when she first began her profession.

“It’s extremely a lot the story of numerous Black folks in Hollywood, the place they’re typecast as, like, the good friend they usually’re sort of filling a job as, like, the variety piece within the undertaking,” she mentioned.

Aisha Hinds makes patriotism sexy as Gen. George S. Patton, the titular role in the 1970 classic.

Aisha Hinds makes patriotism attractive as Gen. George S. Patton, the titular function within the 1970 traditional.

Carell Augustus / Sourcebooks

In some circumstances, Augustus even flips genders. The primary {photograph} he shot and in addition the primary within the ebook sees Aisha Hinds (True Blood, Photographs Fired) as Gen. George S. Patton, saluting an unseen viewers in entrance of a large American flag. Right here Hinds substitutes George C. Scott’s withering gaze and granite stance for a realizing smile and curvy bend on the hips. She brings some swagger and a bit of sexiness to the function. Hinds mentioned this was no accident.

“I believe the superpower of a Black girl is to occupy the area and the fullness of who she is. And, you understand, we do not have to disclaim our intercourse attraction as a way to additionally function in energy,” she mentioned.

Hinds’ Patton pairs properly with arguably her greatest function to this point as the good abolitionist Harriet Tubman in WGN’s Underground. Hinds says each interpretations can remind people who Black ladies have all the time been leaders within the battle for this nation.

“We’re always at battle with so many issues, and we’re always type of taking the battle scars and the battle wounds, you understand, and individuals are always seeking to Black ladies to steer armies of change,” she mentioned.

Not like actions like #OscarsSoWhite, Augustus would not see his ebook as a power for change, however he hopes that it subverts folks’s expectations. And by putting these actors in pictures central to Hollywood’s concept of itself, it implies that these pictures belong to Black folks, too.

“What I would like from this ebook is for folks to lastly see and understand that we must be thought of an ordinary, too.”

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