Was Salma Hayek not available???
Hollywood Bypasses Casting Latina Actress For Griselda Blanco, Catherine Zeta-Jones Wins Role
Or why not J.Lo? Griselda Blanco is a hell of a role… Do you think Catherine Zeta-Jones can do it justice?
This is worse than when they called Zoe Saldana to play Nina Simone.
Via WashPo reports:
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is Welsh, has been cast to play Griselda Blanco, the fearsome, murderous Colombian drug lord whose legendary life of crime was detailed in the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys 2.” Deadline Hollywood broke the news Wednesday night.
Casting isn’t just a problem with biopics. Plenty of people were angered when Rooney Mara was cast as Tiger Lily in the new Warner Bros. “Peter Pan” remake — more than 23,000 signed a petition telling studios to stop casting white actors in parts written for people of color. In 2013, Johnny Depp in redface as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger” elicited a similar reaction. And earlier this year, Comedy Girls Jenni Ruiza and Jesenia playfully asked “Saturday Night Live” showrunner Lorne Michaels to hire a Latina or two instead of subjecting viewers to castmembers in brownface.
But beyond the brownface debate, Zeta-Jones is a curious choice. Accents are not her strong suit, as we witnessed in “The Mask of Zorro” in 1998, when she was also in brownface — though that sort of thing didn’t get called out so loudly back then. For much of her career, Zeta-Jones’s voice has drifted between British and Ameri-British, and that’s about it. If she nails Blanco’s Colombian accent, it will be something of a coup.
Blanco was one of Miami’s chief cocaine traffickers in the 1970s and 80s. She built an empire so large it’s said she inspired the character of Tony Montana from “Scarface” and Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Gotham” character, Fish Mooney. She even played mentor to Pablo Escobar. Law enforcement estimated Blanco ran a billion-dollar business.
At the height of her operation, Blanco smuggled 3,400 pounds of coke per month into the United States by boat and plane. She was practically the Madame C.J. Walker of the narco trade; Blanco invented lingerie with secret compartments just for smuggling drugs.
She went out like a gangster at age 69 in 2012, when she was gunned down by an assassin on a motorcycle in Medellin, Colombia. In an ironic twist, Blanco is said to have invented the motorcycle assassination.
She collected a number of nicknames, including “the Black Widow” — she was suspected in the deaths of her three husbands — “la Madrina” and “the Cocaine Godmother.” She named one of her four sons Michael Corleone Blanco. Some estimates say Blanco ordered up to 240 hits, and Cosby said she even masterminded an elaborate plot to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. while she was in jail. As the documentary proclaims, “The Godmother … makes Tony Montana look like Mother Teresa.” She spent 18 years in prison for drug trafficking and murder before she was deported back to Colombia.
Good black and Latina roles can be hard to come by so we can see how this news is upsetting to a lot of people, especially considering Zeta-Jones’ language/accent issue. Do you think the role should have gone to a Latina?
Here’s a short video about La Madrina:
If you’ve never heard of Griselda before we HIGHLY recommend you watch “Cocaine Cowboys” and “Cocaine Cowboys 2.”