“I found it interesting that Tyler did that with Temptation, hiring Kim Kardashian because she has 16 million Twitter followers, which would seem like a brilliant marketing plan […] He has one of the biggest Twitter personalities out there in his movies, and he had one of the worst box office weekends […] It’s not a failure, but it did worse than his movies usually do just based on him […] I thought that was an interesting finding. Your experiment didn’t work. […] People want to see good stories. It’s not necessarily that they want to see Kim Kardashian in a movie. They want to see her in a bikini. They want to see her with Kanye [West]. They want to see her on her show talking about her life with her sisters, but that doesn’t mean that they want to see her in a movie […] The fact that people want to see their lives and the volatility of that…. I don’t think that it translates at all.”
Words from actress Essence Atkins addressing the casting of popular personalities (instead of Actors) in films, hoping that their appearance in those films will increase audience reach and boost ticket sales.
The interview was done with S2S Magazine, published today, while Atkins was doing press for the home video release of A Haunted House (out on Blu-ray/DVD today), which she co-stars in with Marlon Wayans.
I’d take a guess and say that actors everywhere (especially black actors with training and experience) are probably applauding Atkins’ words, even if they’re doing so in private; after all, who knows when you just might be auditioning for a Tyler Perry movie.
But this is an ongoing, long-standing debate that’s bigger than Tyler Perry casting Kim Kardashian – remember all the hoopla over the casting of rappers/musicians over actors in movies and TV shows? This pretty much falls under the same heading.