Monday, June 14, 2010

Pet Peeve: Cleopatra Edition

Via TNC who links to Jezebel, FLG reads that 1) Angelina Jolie will be playing Cleopatra and 2) people are upset that a white actress is playing Cleopatra.

The Jezebel article states:
It's safe to say that the Mediterranean was, in those days, somewhat of a melting pot. So much trade, so many empires, so many different ethnicities mixing, enslaving, fornicating and conquering each other. There were some pharoahs, like Piankhi, who were dark-skinned Nubians. It's clear from the digital face construction that Dr. Ashton believes Cleopatra was not an alabaster-skinned queen.

Uh, Piankhi is completely genetically unrelated to Cleopatra, who was the last of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, so named because its founder was Ptolemy I Soter, who case you didn't know was a Macedonian general in Alexander the Great's army. So, the case that she is European is a bit stronger than she wasn't because some Pharoah who happened to rule Egypt centuries before was Nubian.

Then FLG, stupidly, ventured into the comments:
It really should be an arab actress playing this role not an african american.

That makes a lot of sense considering the Arabs conquered Egypt about six centuries after Cleopatra died.

Do i even need to start counting the number of talented African American actresses who could have been cast in this role?

Right. Because African American actresses would somehow be more authentic playing an Egyptian pharaoh from Macedonian blood?

All that said, FLG would prefer that chick from Avatar who played Uhura in the Star Trek movie. That way everybody would be happy. As far as we know she never wore blood around her neck.


The Maximum Leader said...

Mmmmmm... Zoe Saldana.... She is easy on the eye...

arethusa said...

Angelina Jolie is a lot better casting as Cleopatra than Elizabeth Taylor. (Haven't seen the Claudette Colbert or Vivien Leigh performances yet.)

We have so many images of Cleopatra from coins or statues that they probably could find an actress who looked just like her. Skin color is a different issue, though.

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