The Seinfeld star, who was born with dwarfism, was outraged to learn that regular-sized British actors Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins and Nick Frost were among those who had been chosen to play key roles alongside Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, with producers using computer technology to superimpose their faces on to smaller bodies.
Woodburn insists the move is an insult to real dwarves, likening the switch to white actors painting their faces to depict Africans.
And he blasts the casting bosses for not using real dwarf actors – because there are already so few acting parts available for little people.
He tells the New York Post, “This is akin to black face.”
Ironically, Woodburn, who starred in Julia Roberts’ rival Snow White production Mirror, Mirror, was accidentally sent a copy of the Snow White and the Huntsman script, and while he doesn’t have a problem with the “fabulous” talents of McShane, Hoskins and Frost, he’s not happy with the use of computer trickery.
He adds, “That kind of manipulation for the sake of art doesn’t sit well with me.”
A representative for the film’s studio, Universal Pictures, has defended the choice of stars, stating: “It was a casting decision, not a body-type decision. They (actors in the dwarf roles) came with pedigrees and recognisability.”
Snow White & The Huntsman was a big hit when it opened in U.S. cinemas last weekend (01-03Jun12) – it debuted with an impressive $56.1 million (£35 million) three-day take on Sunday (03Jun12).