Stage Names No Longer Necessary in Hollywood?

Remember Derelys Perdue? She’s the actress I mentioned in the WAMPAS Baby Stars post whose career never recovered after she refused to change her name to “Ann.”

Well, according to the New York Post, Hollywood is more welcoming of people with out-of-the-ordinary names these days. “[S]tage names seem to have become less of a necessity. In fact, the more exotic a name is (to American ears, at least), the more memorable it can be.”

Some of the names mentioned in the article:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Imogen Poots
  • Lupita Nyong’o

Casting director Joanna Colbert called it a “shift of acceptance.”

“Ten years ago, could a guy named Chiwetel not have to change his name? Sure, but I think it’s shifted even more,” she says. “Ten years ago, I might have told an actor, ‘You’re new out here, your name is a little hard to pronounce, you might want to think about changing it.’ I don’t do that anymore.”

Source: How Benedict and Lupita are making stage names obsolete


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