When I was a kid, I didn’t see a whole lot of Black people on film and television unless the show was about a Black family or the movie was a historical piece. Hollywood has grown leaps and bounds over the years, but I still don’t think I’ll ever stop getting excited about diversity. The Right One has me particularly excited, and the writer/director explained how he achieved organically diverse casting in this film.
The Right One stars an interracial couple, but that is not the focus of the film. It’s never even discussed, it simply is, which to me is amazing. Beyond that, there are so many different kinds of people represented throughout the film in every single scene. Seriously, I found myself saying, “there’s another one!” multiple times so of course I had to talk to Ken Mok about this when I got to interview him for CinemaBlend. He was very intentional with the casting of this film, and here’s what he said:
Can we get a standing ovation for Ken Mok? If you’re a fellow person of color you understand, and for everyone else just know that this is the dream. Inclusivity in a way that isn’t saying, here’s a film made by a specific group for a specific group and starting that specific group, but instead telling a story that has absolutely nothing to do with any specific group and just including as many kinds of people as possible so everyone can have a chance to see themselves on the screen when they watch.
It hits differently when you watch something and think to yourself, “that could be me. I could do that.” I think I look a little bit like The Right One’s leading lady, Cleopatra Coleman, so that was another exciting thing when I watched the film. Her reaction when I shared this with her was the coolest because she understood my energy. Here’s what she told me:
To have people in the business like Cleopatra Coleman and Ken Mok who are actively thinking about how to increase representation in all of their projects is exactly what we need. Ken Mok also elaborated on his own experience and why diversity on set is so important to him with the following:
The Right One is a movie to love all around. It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy released at a time where we can all use more laughs. It’s not a cliched romantic comedy and has a darker subject matter that will leave you questioning life, but still leave you with warm fuzzy feelings. And it reflects the real world the way it is. The Right One is now available on demand, on digital, and in select theaters.
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Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.