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15 Apr 2013 - 1:34 PM  UPDATED 15 Apr 2013 - 1:34 PM

The communist period in Romania, under the none-too-benign rule of Nicolae Ceausescu, was responsible not only for some awful movies, but for perhaps the most severe case of type-casting of the 20th century. Actors, of course, come in all shapes and sizes—not everyone is a chiselled leading man—but here, they were herded into distinct socio-economic classes. If you were even slightly overweight, then you were allowed only to play members of the landed gentry—the corrupt, bourgeois land-owners whose exploitation of labour stood in the way of a socialist paradise. But to play a noble peasant, it wasn't enough to just be skinny: you had to also possess 'a piercing gaze and determined gait.' Best of all, however, were the roles of Party activists: muscular, unashamedly masculine—yet at the same time, with an 'undeniable intelligence' to their features. These were the Brad Pitt parts, the plum roles, and it's not hard to imagine the momentary twinge of regret these aspiring, square-jawed young hopefuls might have had, upon hearing of the dictator's demise.