Black casting director sets sights on goals beyond ‘Bad Boys 3’ film

Originally known for her work in casting some of the best talent for urban music videos, LaShawnna Stanley has without a doubt surpassed her earlier work as CEO of Ethnicity Models. Recently, the now casting director wrapped up filming on the set of “Bad Boys 3” in Miami.

“People know me from when I started Ethnicity Models, casting video girls and a lot of people try to keep me in that box,” said Stanley. “I have casted feature films, commercials and print ads and other things outside of music videos for like 15-years, now.”

In the beginning stages of becoming the business woman she is today, she was regarded as the go-to woman to find the best representation for black faces in entertainment.

She launched her career as being a hub for black men and women to get noticed in the entertainment industry. As a casting director, Stanley is very open to working with all types of people, real people.

“I do not just give people of color, I give everybody an opportunity,” she said. “I feel like the casting director’s role is the second most important job of any production because you can have a great script but if you do not have the cast, the talent … then what do you have. My biggest fulfillment in casting is giving opportunities and being able to be at the table and say ‘hey, there is no black girl in the batch’. Like, ‘we booked 10 girls and none of them were brown’.”

When looking for talent, Stanley said she is not always searching for the next supermodel. But, she is looking for real.

“A lot of directors want to see real people,” she said. "They do not want to see anybody that looks like a model; they want to see real authenticity. I am really good at going out and finding authentic people. The number one thing is to have a great photo that looks like you. Not photos that look like the done up, exaggerated you but the real you."