Helen Mirren refuses to answer critical question about former Israeli PM’s role
Photo by Stéphane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Actor Helen Mirren During a press conference at the Berlinale, she declined a question about her casting as Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Mirren stars in the Guy Native film Golda which premiered today at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival. Per diversitythe Oscar-winning actress refused to comment on the harsh criticism she has received as a non-Jewish person for playing the most iconic female political figure in Israeli history.
The controversy began last January when comedian Maureen Lipman ridiculed Mirren in the role, comparing her to Ben Kingsley in the role of Nelson Mandela. Lipman argued that it would have been more appropriate for a Jewish actor to play Meir and suggested that Barbara Streisand or Bette Midler would have been more appropriate.
Mirren may have found the question redundant when addressing Lipman’s comments in February 2022. She explained that she had the same concerns before accepting the role and brought them up with Nattiv, who insisted she play the part. As Mirren The Daily Mail:
“That was certainly a question I had before accepting the role. I said, ‘Look, guy. I’m not Jewish, and if you want to think about it and decide to go in a different direction, no hard feelings. I totally understand that, but he really wanted me to play the role and off we went.”
Mirren questioned the rationale for excluding actors from roles based on their ethnicity.
“You know, if someone who isn’t Jewish can’t play Jewish, does someone who’s Jewish play someone who’s not Jewish?”
The director praised Mirren’s unprecedented understanding of Meir. He also pointed out that she is the only non-Israeli actress in the film.
While Mirren relayed the question at the press conference, her co-star Lior Ashkenazi came to her defense by using Jesus Christ as an example and asking who should play the role. Mirren replied playfully, “It won’t be me!”
https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/helen-mirren-refuses-to-answer-critical-question-on-playing-former-israeli-prime-minister/ Helen Mirren refuses to answer critical question about former Israeli PM’s role