See Black stars recreate iconic movie moments – Entertainment Weekly News

While Hollywood has provided any number of iconic images that have resonated for people over the years, those images haven't always been the most inclusive.
In his new photography book, Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments, on sale Oct. 4, Carell Augustus bridges the past and the present, bringing together some of today's top Black entertainers to step into the shoes of classic Hollywood stars.
The book's aim is to create an immersive experience that renews readers' appreciation of the past while asking questions about representation in media, and inspiring the artists of the future.
Black Hollywood features more than 65 prominent Black actors and artists, including Vanessa Williams as Cleopatra, Amber Stevens West in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Blair Underwood in The Shining, Jay Ellis in American Psycho, Corbin Bleu in Mission Impossible, Garcelle Beauvais in the "Addicted to Love" video, Omari Hardwick as James Bond, and the late Nelsan Ellis as Ed Wood, photos of which can be previewed here.
The foreword is written by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker while four-time Emmy nominee Niecy Nash has written the afterword. Below, Augustus shares with EW how this all came together.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What inspired you to do this photo series? 
CARELL AUGUSTUS: I wanted to make an impact with my art as an African-American and reimagine Hollywood history by recreating famous movie scenes and iconic images of Black celebrities and entertainers. Over the past ten years of cultivating this project, I've found that it's not always easy for people to comprehend — and whether they get it or not turns out to have a lot to do with the color of their skin. My white friends asked a ton of questions. Why are you doing this? What's the point of imitating something that has already been done?
Black people, though… they get it. They understand the power of seeing someone who looks like you doing something incredible, and being recognized for it. Black Hollywood is not just a book for Black people, it's a book for all people about Black people. About the dreams we were never told we could achieve. About the places we were never told we could go. And now, finally, about how we can get there.
How did you choose your subjects and match them to the characters? 
I had very specific people in mind for specific shots and the actors and entertainers I worked with had very strong and positive feeling about the characters I suggested. For example, I knew Garcelle Beauvais was perfect for "Addicted to Love." I'm not the first person to put a new spin on it, but Garcelle struck so many poses to accomplish the look I envisioned, I couldn't resist making her every single band member.
Another example was Lauren London in Basic Instinct. Her beauty is beyond physical and capturing her as Sharon Stone was a personal highlight for me. I knew she was a class act when I had to reassure her that we wouldn't go "full Monty" to replicate this shot.
Any fun behind the scenes stories from these photo shoots?
Dressing the set for Vanessa L. Williams as Cleopatra was so fun because we pulled out every stop. Vanessa said "Me as Cleopatra? Yes … I was transported back in time with elegance, color and power. Loved my journey back to Egypt." Jay Ellis was so committed to replicating Christian Bale that he was willing to pose nude, which most people think he is in that shot. We just asked him to roll up his shorts and put stage blood on him so it wasn't necessary.
And Corbin Bleu let us hoist him in the air for Mission Impossible with a makeshift suspension system. When he arrived for the walk-though, he said, "Hey, buddy, let's do this," and that get-it-done attitude made for a better shoot and even better photos. Everyone involved in the book gave above and beyond.
Other stars featured in the book include Vivica A. Fox as Veronica Lake, Dulé Hill in Singing in the Rain, and Michael Jai White in Terminator 2.
Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments is available for preorder now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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