Friday, October 13, 2006

The Marianne Pearl casting drama

I finally saw a photo of Angelina Jolie as Marianne Pearl. She looks like her. I didn't know what to expect. One of my friends told me on Gawker someone asked if the studio was going to break out the "Max Factor light Egyptian" make-up. All jokes aside, some people are very upset about this.

I was talking to an exec who is working on the project and they have received all these irate calls. "How dare hollywood cast a white woman to play an African-American." "It's an outrage. I'm going to write the L.A. times." "They should have cast Halle."

Okay. Let's back up. Warner Bros. orginally bought the memoir for Jen Aniston. Think about that for a minute. In what universe is Jen (not a strong dramatic actress) believable as a worldly French woman of Cuban and Dutch descent? Anyway, news flash. Mrs. Pearl is not African-American. She does she consider herself as a woman of color but clearly she had no issue with casting since the book could not have been sold to Warners without her consent. She really wants this story to get out into the world and is probably relieved they cast someone who can actually identify Pakistan on a map.

re Halle: She has something like three movies (including one based on a true story and that woman is white. Another is based on a remake where the lead actress in the orginal was white. So should Halle not have been cast in those movies?) shooting back to back. Who knows if they approached her and what she said? Oscar aside, Halle is American as apple pie, not sure about her doing an accent. Thandie, passed. I do know what Angelina's dad looks like but not her mom. Angelina is doing this role with a French accent. Her mom is French. I wonder if the people complaining to my friend would have been upset if J.Lo was cast? She is Latina. Why can't she play someone of Cuban descent...because she is Puerto Rican?

My friend Susan used to live near Marianne in NYC. We saw her and her baby at a local bakery. She was very friendly. Marianne is beautiful and her son is gorgeous. We were in downtown Manhattan and I couldn't help but think about how many people in that bakery were directly impacted by terrorism.

Re: the people who are outraged. I really can't get that worked up about which $12 million per film actress wasn't cast. This is not some popcorn movie. I just hope the movie turns out well. Perhaps they should write the L.A. Times, about the people who lost everything because the wealthiest country in the world cut money from the budget to improve the leavies in New Orleans. Or how we are the only industrialized nation that has these kinds of school shootings. I think it's an outrage that many pensions are being cut, that millions of working people in this country cannot afford health care and that we are spending billions of dollars in Iraq and yet Osama is chilling in Afganistan five years after 9/11.

I think the message of what Marianne is trying to say is very important and I hope this issue doesn't distract from that.


gibber said...


Anonymous said...

people have to get past this. And not ALL Cubans are black. JLo could not act her way out of this particular paper bag-- that would require talent

avery said...

I really like Angelina Jolie although I don't think she's a great actress. But then neither are Jennifer A. or Jennifer L. I agree, I can't get worked up about which $12 million actress gets cast and in Hollywood I think their main priority is who will sell the film. Angie is hot right now and she looks convincing as Marianne Pearl. (not so sure about her french accent though as her English one in Tomb Raider was awful). I just hope they will do justice to the story.

Susan in Italy said...

Your last paragraph is full of truth. I totally agree that the living conditions and opportunities of regular people matter much more, and are a greater measure of how far struggles for equality have come, than what millionaire actress plays what role.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Anon (I think I know who this is) - ouch. don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got, she's still Jenny from the block.

Avery, I didn't notice her accent in Tomb Raider because I was so distracted by the plot, or lack there of. She was amazing though in GIA and GIRL INTERRUPTED.

Susan - While at times I blog about being "outraged" regarding some silly things, I am joking. I also understand people worrying that this is another Liz Taylor playing Cleopatra thing (I don't think Cleo had those violet eyes) but given what the film is about, this controversy is ironic.