Brie Larson on What It's Like Not to Be 'Surrounded by White People' on Set

Over 70 percent of production on Brie Larson's upcoming film 'Just Mercy' were people of color because of Michael B. Jordan's inclusion rider.

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Dec 5 2018, 5:40pm

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The dialogue around inclusion in Hollywood has been on an uptick for quite some time now with barriers of entry being actively dismantled. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tessa Thompson, Brie Larson, and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder Stacy Smith talked about how diversity is being actively incorporated into how projects are being made. Larson, who's set to star in Captain Marvel, opened up about a recent film set she was on that staffed more than 70 percent people of color.

"Just Mercy filmed in Atlanta, so they were able to pull from a certain talent pool there, but I also think they had to fly in certain people in order to meet the quota they were committed to," Larson said of the Warner Bros film starring and executive-produced by Michael B. Jordan, who publicly announced his production company's inclusion rider last spring.

"It was the best experience I've ever had," Larson revealed. "It was the first time in my career that I had hair, makeup, and wardrobe crew that were all people of color." She continued, "I've been in SAG since I was seven years old. Twenty years, I've been surrounded by white people. It saddens me to recognize that we've been segregated in this way within our industry."

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Thompson notes that when individuals like Jordan, Ava DuVernay, or Reese Witherspoon—who advocated for pay parity at HBO — demand inclusion, it affects the industry as a whole.

"I remember having a conversation with Frances McDormand about the inclusion rider at a party during awards season, and then she's onstage saying it to the world, and it becomes a call to action," Thompson said. "The most powerful moments of activism are when we have a lot of different people in the room and we're trying to decide how to best use everyone."