Gal Gadot defends playing Cleopatra despite whitewashing accusations: 'Anybody can make this movie'

Gal Gadot defends playing Cleopatra despite whitewashing accusations: 'Anybody can make this movie'
Gal Gadot.Jeff Kravitz/Getty
  • Gal Gadot addressed the controversy surrounding her casting in the upcoming Cleopatra biopic.
  • The movie, which the Israeli actress is also producing, has been hit with whitewashing claims.
  • "First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian," she told BBC Arabic's Sam Asi. "We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn't there and I was very passionate about Cleopatra."
  • Gadot added: "But you know, anybody can make this movie and anybody can go ahead and do it."

Gal Gadot has responded after the "Wonder Woman" star received backlash for being cast to play Cleopatra in an upcoming movie on the legendary queen of Egypt.

The Israeli actress addressed the issue in a recent interview with BBC Arabic after she was asked to respond to Egyptians who have said that her casting amounts to whitewashing.

"First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian," she told BBC Arabic's Sam Asi. "We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn't there and I was very passionate about Cleopatra."
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"To me, as a people lover, and I have friends across the globe, whether they're Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist, or Jewish of course, people are people," Galdot continued, "and with me, I want to celebrate the legacy of Cleopatra and honor this amazing historic icon that I admire so much."

Gadot added: "But you know, anybody can make this movi and anybody can go ahead and do it. I'm very passionate that I'm going to do my own too."

Deadline reported back in October that Gadot would play the lead in a biopic on the final ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt for Paramount, with the star also producing and her "Wonder Woman" franchise director, Patty Jenkins, at the helm.
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Since then, there has been criticism over Gadot's casting. The Guardian called it "a backwards step for Hollywood representation." And best-selling author Morgan Jenkins tweeted that she "would love a Cleopatra who's darker than a brown paper bag, because that seems a bit more historically accurate."

The last time Hollywood did a movie on the queen was the infamous 1963 epic "Cleopatra," starring Elizabeth Taylor, which was plagued with directing and casting changes. At the time it was the most expensive movie ever made.So far, there's no word on when Gadot's version of Cleopatra will hit theaters or streamers.
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