Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The casting of Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra debate

I got an update from Black American web on the uproar over casting Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra...I'm the first one to get behind a worthy cause especially when it has to do with minority casting in Hollywood cinema, but this time, I'm sitting this one out. Here's why.

1. Ancient Egypt was something of a melting pot.

2. Different queens from different eras, have different ethnic backgrounds. Just because they are in Africa means nothing...There were wars, people travelled by boat, etc.

Look at how Queen Tiye ( I hear she was of Asiatic descent as well. Again I say, Ancient Egypt was a great big melting pot.) is depicted vs. how Cleopatra is depicted and these are stylized/idealized portraits mind you. I remember some of my college classes on this.

Furthermore Cleopatra was of Macedonian or Greek decent, she wasn't from Kush. Therefore casting Ms. Jolie makes sense. Ignore all the more tabloidy stuff you've heard or read about her personal life. She's got a look that is multi-ethnic (and ever seen her in A Mighty Heart or Changeling? And you know she can turn on the sizzle.). I would "buy" her as Cleopatra so much easier than I could some more Anglo looking actress. As for casting an actual unknown Greek actress, that might make everyone happy. but as always Hollywood is looking for that Box Office Gold and I don't think Nia Vardalos is going to cut it.
I'll be curious to see how this plays out... Man! How many times have I typed that sentence this year? lol

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