Casting call

Search for a young Jamaican for Stacey McKenzie movie

Sunday, February 04, 2018

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Plans are moving along in earnest to commence production on the biopic of Jamaican-born, Canada-raised supermodel Stacey McKenzie.

The model is currently in town for a casting — to find a young girl to play her in the film which will chronicle her struggle for acceptance and to find her place in the world of modelling.

Titled Ugly, the film is being executively produced by Ken Mok, whose credits include being producer of the the hit television reality series America's Next Top Model with model mogul Tyra Banks, as well as Bethann Hardison, former fashion model and the founder of the Diversity Coalition.

The casting is being held today at the offices of OGM Communications on Ardenne Road in the Corporate Area, and McKenzie is urging as many Jamaicans as is possible, who meet the criteria, to come out and give it a shot.

“We are looking for a little girl, aged 10 to 12, to play me. Interested persons must come and be prepared to read a script which will be taped and submitted to the director so they can cast the role. That's all you have to do. Do not have to overdress, just wear something that is presentable. The child does not have to look like me. So don't worry about if they don't have freckles and blonde hair. Once the complexion is close then we can work on everything else,” McKenzie told the Sunday Observer.

She noted that she has been doing the rounds to gather support and the response has been all positive.

“I went to my old school, Central Branch All-Age, and everyone was so excited. It is really a big thing and I want to give a Jamaican child this wonderful opportunity. I have really stressed to the producers how important it is for a Jamaican to get this role and I hope the casting reaps success,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie was born in Jamaica. Her deep voice and unconventional looks made her the target of unkind statements from neighbours, schoolmates, and even strangers. Migrating to Canada at age 13, she thought this would have made her life easier, but instead the bullying, racism and discouragement continued.

Inspired to become a model after seeing a campaign featuring fellow Jamaican Grace Jones, she knocked on doors of modelling agencies on both sides of the Atlantic for five years before eventually making a breakthrough. Since then she has racked up an impressive list of print, television and runway work for the likes of fashion's elite, including: Calvin Klein, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, and Tommy Hilfiger.

— Richard Johnson

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