Israeli film star Gal Gadot has defended her plan to play Cleopatra following accusations of whitewashing.
Critics say an Arab or African actress should play the ancient Egyptian queen. Gadot said, “First of all if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.”
Controversy erupted in October after the Wonder Woman actress announced she would star in and co-produce the film. Critics called it “a backwards step for Hollywood representation,” while others said a black actress should be cast, citing a reconstruction of Cleopatra’s face.
Gadot said: “I have friends from across the globe, whether they’re Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist, or Jewish of course… People are people, and with me I want to celebrate the legacy of Cleopatra and honor this amazing historic icon that I admire so much.”