Can an actress play any role, regardless of race?

18 June 2010

angelina jolie alexander

Angelina Jolie has topped pretty much every Hollywood 'most beautiful' list, so it kind of makes sense that she's being lined up to play Cleopatra, who legend has it was the, er, most beautiful woman in the world. Well, not according to some. A critic in Essence Magazine is questioning why a white woman is once again playing the Egyptian queen.

It's not the first time Angelina Jolie’s found herself criticised over casting decisions. When she played Mariane, the mixed-race wife of murdered Daniel Pearl, in 'A Mighty Heart' some critics in the African American community complained. Mariane defended her: 'I have heard some criticism about her casting, but it's not about the colour of your skin. It is about who you are.'

angelina jolie mighty heart

So is Mariane right? Should an actor be able to play anyone of any race? Or should Hollywood have picked a black actress to play the African queen?    


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