Tips and AdviceFilm SchoolHollywood's Biggest Talent Agency Reveals the Darkside of the Film Industry

Hollywood’s Biggest Talent Agency Reveals the Darkside of the Film Industry


Femi Oguns, a former actor turned coached turned is known for bringing some of the biggest Black British actors to the silver screen. In fact, Oguns runs the talent agency that represents John Boyega, the leading man in the latest : The Force Awakens . But, in a recent interview with the Independent, Oguns explains what it took for his talent agency to get off the ground and how hard it was to make it into the being non-white.

Helga Esteb /
Helga Esteb /

“I was speaking with an old-school casting director, who said ‘I'm actually looking for an actor with more negroid features'. Then she said, ‘This other character is really educated – he's more like a white person in a black body'.”

Why are black directors in theatre only qualified to direct ‘culturally specific' works? Theatre is still dominated by white middle-class decision-makers who are qualified not only to tell their life stories but over-qualified to tell yours also.”

“I thought ‘Wow!' I put her in her place, so to speak. I said, ‘We're going to have quite a hiatus until you realise what you just said'. I kept her in exile for 18 months. She was very apologetic after that.”

John Boyega Star Wars

In fact, John Boyega had to more than anyone else on the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: “John had to audition more than anybody else in Star Wars to get that role. Is that a reflection globally of how we perceive ethnic minority groups?”

Megan Diane
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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