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Nia Long Says She Was Told She Looked ‘Too Old’ Next to Drew Barrymore for ‘Charlie’s Angels’


Nia Long is dismissing “the biggest fattest lie” that she turned down a role in Charlie’s Angels — and sharing the real reason why she did not costar with Drew Barrymore in the 2000 action movie.

In a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment published last Friday, Long, 52, denied an internet rumor that she passed on a starring role in Charlie’s Angels to instead make Martin Lawrence‘s Big Momma’s House during a wide-ranging conversation about her career and new movie Missing.

Charlie’s Angels did not want me because they said I looked too sophisticated and too old next to Drew Barrymore,” Long told the outlet. Barrymore, 47, is five years younger than Long.

“But listen, I thought Lucy Liu was great in that role,” the actor continued. “When I went back and looked at it, I was like, ‘Whoa, she’s really doing some stunts.’ I don’t know if I was quite ready for that.”

Nia Long

“I don’t, you can’t do everything, and every opportunity isn’t for you,” she added of the missed opportunity. “And as much as it would’ve been fun to play that character, I think Big Momma’s House was probably more fun for me.”

Long is not the only actor who has said they were considered for the Charlie’s Angels role taken on by Liu. In July 2020, Thandiwe Newton told Vulture that she declined to star in the movie because she felt she would “be put in a position where I was objectified” by taking the part.

Elsewhere in Long’s interview with Yahoo, the actress said “all the rules are broken” in her new thriller movie Missing with A Wrinkle in Time‘s Storm Reid.


“It’s driven by technology. It’s thrilling, it’s fast-paced. It’s a mystery. It’s shot in a very unorthodox way,” Long told the outlet about the movie, which features a significant amount of scenes filmed with cell phone and computer cameras.

“Everything that you think that you know about the process of filmmaking, all the rules are broken in this,” she added in the interview. “And what’s really exciting is we are now reminded of how much technology runs our lives, but also there’s another way of expressing this art that doesn’t have to be so shiny and pretty and perfect, and that we can get closer to the real world that we live in.”


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