The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn would like actors to please be honest about their heights.
“I wish actors (especially men) would tell the truth about their height when casting. Casting a whole show can be a balance of a lot of things, including heights, & easily 50% of the time male actors exaggerate how tall they are, sometimes by a lot, on their resumes,” he tweeted this week.
Some people disagreed, including Crossroads actor Anson Mount, who replied: “Well, James. It kinda shouldn’t fuc*in’ matter. Industry’s use of “height” is shorthand for male dominance/ “masculinity” (particularly re: female counterparts). Here’s a better idea: present US with your measurements when we walk through the door. We’ll likely be underwhelmed.”
But Gunn says he’s simply thinking about shots.
“I don’t know why this hit such a nerve, @ansonmount,, but, as a director, it does matter, because when you’re shooting two or more people the heights make a difference in how it’s shot. And sometimes you are looking for height disparity or parity. It’s about the storytelling,” he wrote.
Let us save you a Google here: IMDb lists Anson Mount as 5′ 11¼. James Gunn said in a separate tweet that he is six feet tall. “Which people are always surprised to see when they meet me in person because I surround myself with mammoths.”
He also said actors “don’t lie to get the job. They lie because of their egos. Sometimes it gets them the job; sometimes it costs them the job.”
Gunn also rejected as “absolute nonsense” the notion that actors only lie to stay in the running for roles they would otherwise be rejected for.
“Men lying about their height in resumes costs them as many jobs as it gets them through deceit. You’re often looking for someone smaller to balance out the cast, to make a star look taller, or to fit well with another comparable actor,” he wrote.
He also clarified: “Also, for the record, I’m against lying to get a job that you’re taking from someone else who is being honest in any case.”
When someone else on Twitter insinuated that Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt isn’t very tall, Gunn explained: “Chris is only a problem in that he’s HUGE. Most other actors appear to be mini-humans around him. If someone would shave him down to a normal human size casting would be easier for me. (This is not a request for some weirdo to go shave Chris shorter.)”
He also described his experience casting tall actors, including Djimon Honsou, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Lee Pace.
“I remember going out to eat to dinner for the first time with @djimonhounsou, @prattprattpratt & @DaveBautista. Djimon is a big guy, well over 6 feet & incredibly fit, & as he sat in his car he saw these two giants hulking out of the house, like a couple of kaijus stalking us.”
And he said Honsou, who is now starring in A Quiet Place Part II, auditioned for the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. The part went to Bautista.
“Earlier Djimon had auditioned for Drax & I told him he wasn’t big enough. He turned to me and told me he had thought I was lying. “Nope,” I said. Next day @leepace showed up on set, who is 6’5″. I do not purposely hire behemoths, it just works out that way.”
The Suicide Squad, by James Gunn, featuring a lot of very tall people and some normal-sized ones, is out Aug. 6 in theaters and on HBO Max.
Main image: Idris Elba and James Gunn, both pretty tall, on the set of The Suicide Squad, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Jessica Miglio/™ & © DC Comics.