Reports confirm actress Angelina Jolie will star in a new film about the queen of the Nile, Cleopatra. Hollywood’s latest biopic on the iconic Egyptian woman is adapted from the forthcoming biography Cleopatra: A Life by Pulitzer prize-winner Stacy Schiff. According the Guardian, the role was developed for and with Jolie.
Reportedly there’s a possibility Jolie’s real-life lover Brad Pitt will play Mark Anthony in what is obviously is a mimic of the 1963 film “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Taylor and Burton were real-life lovers as well, and this controversial romance help the film become a major hit.
And now for the jokes:
Schiff says, “I think she’d (Jolie) be perfect for it and I can see a possible Oscar in her future. Physically, she’s got the perfect look.”
Michael Pietsch, the publisher of the soon-to-be released biography says, “Angelina Jolie radiates grace and power, exactly the qualities that Stacey Schiff finds in her biography of the most intriguing rulers who ever lived.”
I don’t dispute Jolie’s dramatic skill but really, enough of this! This is Hollywood’s third time casting a White woman to play Cleopatra–in 1934, actress Claudette Colbert, in 1945, actress Vivien Leigh, and the latest, Elizabeth Taylor in a 1963 version.
It’s seems Jolie’s activist life is separate from her Hollywood life. It would appear that a woman who spends so much time in Africa would feel at least the slightest contrition on accepting a role about a Black African woman–although the actress did portray a bi-racial woman in the 2007 film “A Mighty Heart.” We can debate Cleopatra’s ethnic make up all day long. But the fact is, there is increasing scientific evidence confirming Cleopatra was a Black woman –whether or not she had a dark complexion is not the issue–Cleopatra was an African queen. It is artistically and morally irresponsible for Angelina Jolie to accept this role.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra?