Eva Husson explains why all the actors in Bang Gang are white

The French writer/director on the non-diversity casting of her intimate ‘modern love story’.

As told to

Sophie Monks Kaufman

It is particularly striking that a film’s entire cast is white when they are also naked. French writer/director Eva Husson’s first feature begins with a teen orgy, before flashing back to show how the dynamic between five characters created this scene, via more teen orgies. We are shown a fiesta of flesh, not shot exploitatively or pornographically, but still disappointing in its pale, slim uniformity.

LWLies spoke with Husson, an expressive woman who answered our question about the non-diversity of the bodies by pointing to the finite resources of independent productions coupled with the population make-up where they shot in Biarritz, in the south of France.

“You have to realise that we are in France, so there is a vast majority of people who are white to start with, and, if you go south, it is a disaster. In Biarritz, you hardly have any black people walking the streets.

“So, when you consider that in the casting process you reject 99 per cent of the people, you don’t have that much play room to work with in terms of who you really want in terms of appearance. You end up casting the people who you find good acting-wise and they fit the characters that you have in mind.

“I did have a little actress that I liked in the role of George (played in the film by Marilyn Lima) who was black and she was 14. It was really the age. I was like, ‘I’m just not going to do that to her, she’s just too young.’ I wanted someone who had lived a little bit. Do you know what I mean? I’ve had that reproach and I think people don’t realise how hard it is to cast under certain budget restrictions and in certain localities. If I had made this movie in Chicago, it would have not looked like that. In my other work I always try to be as diverse as I can.”

Bang Bang is in cinemas and on-demand 17 June.

Published 23 Jun 2016

Tags: Eva Husson French Cinema

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