The director of Hollywood blockbuster The Huntsman: Winter’s War has defended casting fully-sized actors to play dwarves in the film.
British stars Sheridan Smith , Nick Frost and Rob Brydon are among the actors who play dwarf roles in the new movie, which is a follow-up to 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman.
The first film reportedly sparked plans for a protest march on Universal, while Danny Woodburn – an actor with dwarfism who appeared on Seinfield – told the New York Post that the issue was “akin to blackface”.
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who directed The Huntsman: Winter’s War, said the dwarf characters in the film were a “fantasy race” and he wanted to use actors who had appeared in the first film.
Speaking at the film’s US premiere in Los Angeles, the Frenchman said: “We were staying with the first movie. In the first movie it was about the actors who had been chosen to play the parts.
“We brought Nick back because he was part of the first movie. I was not like ‘oh we’re going to change that’. I just kept the same concept.
“In this movie the dwarves are fantasy race, it’s a very different thing.”
Despite anger at the casting decisions, stars of the film turned out at last night’s Hollywood premiere.
Chris Hemsworth , who stars as The Huntsman alongside Charlize Theron , Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, said he wanted to make a film involving strong female characters that his daughter would enjoy.
He said: “Fairytales in the past were predominately the damsel in distress and the female being rescued by the male or the prince. This time it’s the other way round which I think is great.
“I think about my daughter and I would love her to see a film like this, where women are empowered and in charge of their own destiny.”
The Mirror UK