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2.22.2011

updated asian nerd alert: revised casting call for fun size

A few weeks back, I posted a casting call for Paramount Pictures' upcoming feature comedy Fun Size, looking for a "Debate Team nerd" character, "Peng," who sounded a bit like the second coming of Long Duk Dong. Well, it looks like Paramount has posted an updated casting call with a significant revamp to the character. To refresh your memory, here's the original character breakdown:
[ PENG ]
16, the son of recent immigrants from Korea. Peng is a puny guy who talks twice his size, and sports thick glasses that darken automatically in sunlight. Roosevelt's best friend and fellow Debate Team nerd. PLEASE NOTE AGE (AND DATE OF BIRTH IF UNDER 18) AND HEIGHT ON SUBMISSION!!! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT ... LEAD
And here's the new version of the character, "Stuart":
STUART: 16 years old. Born and raised in the United States. Stuart is of Asian, East Indian or Middle Eastern descent. Slight in build, Stuart is a kid who talks twice his size. Obsessed with sci-fi and comic books, he is the co-captain of the debate team with his best friend, Roosevelt. (LEAD)
It's still a decidedly "ethnic" character, but they've definitely rounded out and softened some of the more ASIAN NERD aspects of the guy previously known as Peng. They're still hanging on to that not-so-big guy who "talks twice his size" thing... Perhaps that some kind of significance in the story? I don't know.

I guess I just find it interesting that the studio might have a been made aware of the more problematic parts of this character, re-considered Peng, then actually followed through and changed it. Could they have just shown some honest-to-goodness sensitivity? Maybe. But I'm not betting on anything until I see "Stuart" in the trailer. (Thanks, Tobit.)