Julia Sawalha 'Furious' She's Been Axed From Chicken Run 2 Because Her Voice Is 'Too Old'
Julia Sawalha said she has been left 'devastated and furious' after being told her voice is 'too old' to play Ginger in Chicken Run 2.
The 51-year-old actor voiced the character in the original film 20 years ago, but said she's been told the role would be recast in the upcoming sequel.
Sawalha said she felt she had been 'unfairly dismissed', as she wasn't given the chance to provide a voice test. She subsequently recorded a voice test anyway, which she sent to producers and shared online, demonstrating that her voice seems to have barely changed at all.
Sawalha also shared a statement on Twitter condemning the alleged ageism.
The statement read: "Dear Reader, last week I was informed out of the blue, via email, through my agent that I would not be cast as Ginger in the Chicken Run sequel.
"The reason they gave is that my voice now sounds 'too old' and they want a younger actress to reprise the role.
"Usually in these circumstances, an actress would be given the chance to do a voice test in order to determine the suitability of their pitch and tone, I, however, was not given this opportunity."
She continued: "Today I received a very kind and thoughtfully written response from one of the creatives, outlining their decision, most notably saying 'Some of the voices (not yours, I agree) definitely sound older'.
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"However, they stated 'We will be going ahead to re-cast the voice of Ginger'. I received my letter of dismissal the day before it was announced that the 'Lone Free Ranger' had been axed from the sequel and that the character of Rocky was to be re-voiced. The reason given was that his voice is now too old. I feel I have been fobbed off with the same excuse."
Twenty years since the release of Aardman's first full length feature, Chicken Run, we're excited to confirm the return of Ginger, Rocky and the rest of the coop, in partnership with @netflix.- Aardman Animations (@aardman) June 23, 2020
Read more here: https://t.co/XN4VQp4VD4 pic.twitter.com/wBCpP20EVV
Having provided a link to her voice test, she closed the letter: "I feel I have been unfairly dismissed.
"To say I am devastated and furious would be an understatement. I feel totally powerless, something in all of this doesn't quite ring true. I trust my instincts and they are waving red flags.
"I am saddened that I have lost the chance to work with Nick Park and Peter Lord from whom I learnt so much. The three of us, together, created Ginger.
"Today I responded by wishing the production the best of luck and the greatest success with the sequel.
"There is nothing more I can do, other than to thank all of you who loved and still love Chicken Run, as I do. I'm off for the chop now, Ginger x."
The sequel will go into full production next year and will be released on Netflix.
LADbible has contacted production company Aardman for comment. Netflix declined to comment.
Featured Image Credit: PA