Home Entertainment Maureen Lipman attacks casting of Helen Mirren as former Israeli PM Golda Meir

Maureen Lipman attacks casting of Helen Mirren as former Israeli PM Golda Meir

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Maureen Lipman has criticised the casting of Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in a forthcoming movie in regards to the former Israeli prime minister, saying that the character’s Jewishness is “integral”.

In comments reported by the Jewish Chronicle, Lipman mentioned she “disagreed” with Mirren’s casting. She added: “I’m positive [Mirren] shall be marvellous, however it could by no means be allowed for Ben Kingsley to play Nelson Mandela. You simply couldn’t even go there.”

Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in the forthcoming movie Golda.
Helen Mirren as Golda Meir within the forthcoming film Golda. {Photograph}: Jasper Wolf/Assemble publicity/PA

Meir, who died in 1978, was Israel’s prime minister between 1969 and 74. The brand new movie, known as Golda, directed by Israeli film-maker Man Nattiv is about in the course of the Yom Kippur warfare in 1973 and began capturing in November 2021. Manufacturing stills showing Mirren under heavy makeup have been launched, with Mirren, who shouldn’t be Jewish, commenting: “Golda Meir was a formidable, intransigent and highly effective chief … I solely hope I do her justice!”

The Jewish Chronicle’s piece cited various controversial cases of “Jewface”, together with Tamsin Greig’s recent suggestion that she ‘probably’ should not have been cast within the sitcom Friday Night time Dinner and the row over a stage production of the musical Falsettos in 2019, which contained no Jewish solid or crew members. It additionally quoted actor and comedian Sarah Silverman’s feedback on the mooted casting of Kathryn Hahn as Joan Rivers in a TV sequence: “Proper now, illustration fucking issues. It has to additionally lastly matter for Jews as effectively. Particularly Jewish girls.”

In distinction, the playwright and director Patrick Marber was quoted within the Jewish Chronicle article as objecting to the primacy of “lived skilled” in casting choices, saying: “I fucking hate that expression. As a result of ‘lived expertise’ is form of a denial of what creativity is and denies the actor the basic problem and proper to turn out to be another person to impersonate one other human being from one other time, from one other tradition from one other faith and one other sexuality and different gender.”

Marber added: “I feel a Gentile can play a Jew and a Jew can play a Gentile. I don’t prefer it when somebody performs a Jew and will get it improper. [But] I don’t like quotas.”

The film-makers have been approached for remark.

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