'Chicken Run' Star Julia Sawalha Accuses Producers of Ageism Following 'Unfair' Firing From Sequel

The voice of Ginger in the first 'Chicken Run' movie is 'devastated and furious' after finding out she will be replaced by a younger actress in the upcoming sequel.

AceShowbiz - Julia Sawalha has been left "devastated and furious" after "Chicken Run 2" bosses told her they were enlisting a "younger actress" to voice her character in the movie sequel.

The 51-year-old screen star voiced the main character Ginger in the animated 2000 movie, alongside a voice cast also including Mel Gibson, Imelda Staunton, and Timothy Spall.

However, while a follow-up film has been greenlit for Netflix, Julia has been told she won't be required to reprise her role for the new movie, because her voice sounds "too old."

In a lengthy post on Twitter, Julia wrote, "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."

Insisting she's "passionate" about her work and doesn't "go down without a fight," Julia decided to do her own voice test at home, which she sent to the producers and also shared on her Twitter post.

But her bid wasn't enough to make the "creatives" reconsider their decision as she explained, "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'. However, they stated 'We will be going ahead to re-cast the voice of Ginger.' "

The explanation didn't sit well with Julia, who alleged she was "unfairly dismissed" from the production, which is also recasting Rocky - originally voiced by Gibson.

"To say I am devastated and furious would be an understatement," she concluded. "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."

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