Sienna Miller says diversity type-casting is 'dangerous': 'Everybody should be able to play everybody'

Hanna Flint
Contributor
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: Sienna Miller attendss La Mer By Sorrenti Campaign at Studio 525 on October 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Sienna Miller has hit out at the push for diversity type-casting.

The actor, currently promoting American Woman, believes she should be able to play any role she wants to regardless of her background.

“I feel everybody should be able to play everybody,” she told The Telegraph. “It seems absurd to me to start to legislate on creativity. That’s not trying to be insensitive – of course, there are people who have a deeper understanding of experiences, and they should definitely be considered.

'It feels like liberal is becoming almost fascistic in its controlling of what can and cannot be done. It feels dangerous to me.'

Miller is the daughter of a model and an American-banker-turned-art dealer who went to boarding school in Ascot and later studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

Sienna Miller in American Woman (Credit: Signature)

In American Woman, she plays a poor, single mother living in Pennsylvania who is forced to raise her grandson after her daughter goes missing.

“If you started to restrict me to playing English women who went to boarding school at eight,” she said. “I would give up.”

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Her comments echo that of Scarlett Johansson, who has been widely criticised over certain casting choices including the Japanese anime character Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell and the trans man, mobster and massage parlour owner Dante “Tex” Gill, in the biopic Rub & Tug.

“You know, as an actor, I should be able to play any person, or any tree, or any animal, because that's my job and the requirements of my job,” she said in an interview with As If.

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2019/10/04: Scarlett Johansson wearing dress by Dior attends premiere of Marriage Story at 57th New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“I feel like [political correctness is] a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions,” she added.

“I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.”

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Johansson stepped down from playing the role of Gill in the biopic, saying in a statement: “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.

“I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”

American Woman is in cinemas this Friday.