For Discussion: Should White Actresses Be Portraying People Of Color In Films??

- By Bossip Staff

Here we go again…

Beyond even its most beloved, lucrative franchises and properties, Hollywood treasures its proven leading ladies; even more so than established characters, its top lining women have the ability to inspire generations of moviegoers and dreamers. And at the top of that list, in rarified air, is the torch once held by the late Elizabeth Taylor, the headline maker both on screen and off. To many, Angelina Jolie is the recipient of that torch, her generation’s Liz.

The comparisons between the two are many: the talent, the looks, the steamy co-star romances. It’s a fine guiding light for Jolie to have — to follow in the footsteps of the most famous actress ever — but she’s also synthesizing one of Taylor’s biggest professional missteps in an attempt to avoid the same famous pitfall when their stars brush closer than ever.

Jolie is set to star in director David Fincher’s take on “Cleopatra,” the tale of the Egyptian pharaoh that proved to be Taylor’s greatest disappointment. Suffering from a bloated budget and paper-thin plot, the movie was a delayed, $44-million disaster, providing Jolie a map of mistakes to avoid making.

“She has been very misunderstood,” Jolie told the Telegraph about the famous queen. “I thought it was all about the glamour, but then I read about her and she was a very strong mother, she spoke five languages and she was a leader.”

As such, Jolie says that she’ll play Cleopatra with that brains over beauty bent, even if it means the character isn’t quite as alluring as Taylor’s portrayal.

“My performance will never be as lovely as Elizabeth’s,” Jolie said. ‘We are trying to get into a different truth about her as a pharaoh in history and not as a sex symbol, because she really wasn’t. Even this idea of her having many lovers – it was possible that it was only two. She is very interesting, but she wasn’t a great beauty.”

After all the hoop-la that went on at the time Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra in the 60’s, the powers-that-be in Hollyweird still went and found another caucasian woman to play a historical figure that was clearly and undeniably EGYPTIAN!!

As beautiful as Angelina is, we refuse to believe that there was not an actress of COLOR that wasn’t just as qualified to play this role, if not more so!

Hate it or love it?!?!


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  • lenabear123

    I support Inter/racial relationships! I believe love has no color!

    _ Blac k Whi te Da te. C’om _

    This club is for those of us that don’t discriminate! This is to all my people who don’t care about somebody’s ethnic background, just how they are on the inside.

    If you want to find a sincere Inter/racial relationship. If you are serious. Come and join us!

    • Answhat

      please Google Cleopatra she is far from Egyptian, and further more i don’t care who plays her cause ain’t nobody cutting me a check! thank you!

  • ray

    Actually, cleopatra was GREEK, not egyptian. The real inaccuracy is in portraying her as beautiful and glamorous, when statues of her (and coins bearing her likeness) made during her lifetime prove otherwise.

    • severine

      THANK YOU!

      Where did the idea that Cleo was of sub-saharan African decent come from anyway?

    • DQC_Sucks

      Black people don’t know Cleopatra and the Ptolemy family were Greek and not Egyptian (African). Cleo was unattractive. She was the LAST pharaoh of Ancient Egypt until Rome (Augustus Caesar) rule in 30 BCE. Ancient Egyptian civilization is is 10,000 years old. There were many Native Egyptian (black) women pharaohs over the years. Cleo was LAST and WHITE.

    • lmoreno

      Sorry , but you are halfway correct. Cleopatra was from the Ptolemy line. That made her Greek and African.When research was done on her sister’s remains, that fact was established.Like America, Egypt has been conquered by multiple nations / races . The we speak of , ( who built the pyramids ) were forced south long ago.The historically correct image of Cleopatra would be an unattractive woman with a mulatto – like appearance.

    • DQC_Sucks

      Cleopatra VII’s half-sister, Arsinoe, had a black African mother. Cleo’s mother is unknown but believed to be her aunt — Cleo V. Arsinoe was not named Cleopatra because her mother was not a Cleopatra. Arsinoe and Cleopatra VII did not have the same mother. Cleo turned on her half-sister had her killed in Rome. Bet Arsinoe was very pretty by contract because she was part African and European. Cleo was jealous, unattractive, and WHITE.

    • DQC_Sucks

      Oh, but Cleopatra VII was born in Egypt. The Ptolemy’s were given Egypt by Alexander the Great of Greece. They refused to speak Egyptian. They only spoke Greek. The Rosetta Stone (an official gov’t document for Ptolemy V) included Ancient Egyptian heiroglyph, demotic, and Ancient Greek.

    • Alexandra the Tsaritsa

      Words taken right out of my mouth! Thank you!

    • monahlisah

      This is because they constantly confuse her with Nefertiti…

    • bpleasebelieve

      There is more than one part of Macedonia, which borders different areas in that region. So, maybe everybody should learn that fact. Cleopatra was a mix of many races, and yes she did have a bi-racial mother, and we all know that anything that mixes with black is, (come on everybody together…BLACK). No, she was not beautiful nor the best ruler of Egypt. She sold it out to Romans. There were undisputed African Queens that ruled with a stronger, more effective hand than Cleopatra. Take nothing away from the woman because she was indeed a cunning force to be reckoned with. And like Jesus, we won’t really know what ethnicity some of these people were until we die and meet our maker. Throughout all of time white people have claimed everything for their own i.e. America! Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. They have made many great Egyptians white, which is why so many of the noses are broken off and lips scratched out of paintings, bust, and even the Sphinx. Then they made up stories about shame and disgrace being the reason. Black people, (for some reason), are the most hated race on this globe, period. So let it go! Ok white people you all win your better than everybody…lol

  • lovensmutts

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  • Kristie

    I don’t care. Egyptians nowadays are nothing but light skinned indians.

  • Tulip

    Cleopatra was NOT Egyptian..she was Greek if you people would do some research before you go talking about how white actresses are taking jobs away from black actresses you would know that. Besides which black actress is qualified for that role..i cant think of any..and Halle Berry is the whitest black actress of all time so she doesnt count.

    • dont worry about it

      What is wrong with this website? Cleopatra was a part of the Ptolemaic line, which means Greek, not African. Get your facts straight before you start an inflammatory thread!

    • redyreg

      if white hollywood would give black women some jobs u would know more then just hally berry, pick up a black mag sometime u would know and see them, and they can act better then most of your white so-called stars, learn something new

  • Kristie

    As a matter of fact I went to high school with Egyptian girls that look like Angelina.

  • Deaya Charles

    I certainly hope no one is surprised by this. It’s HOLLYWOOD, after all… They rewrite history all the time!

    (But in fairness, she DESERVED that role as Marianne Pearl – the resemblance was uncanny.)

    • severine

      Actually Thandie Newton would have made a better choice for the role of Marianne Pearl, but like you said it is HOLLYWOOD we’re talking about, and Angelina Jolie= $$$$$

      That being said, I do think Jolie will do a great job playing Cleopatra. Won’t be seeing it though.

    • keema

      I agree color wise Thandie Newton may have made a better match, but Angelina Jolie played the hell out of the role as Marianne Pearl.

  • robbie

    cleopatra was of color – why can’t halle barry play the roll?

    • Candy eyes

      Halle could play that role, but enough of Halle because she is not the only pretty black actress out there, there are thousands more. So let another black actress get a chance!!!

    • Bonnie

      Greek is not “of color”


    The previous comments are correct. She was Greek — a Ptolemy — and not particularly attractive (at least not by present-day standards of beauty). Unlike the other Ptolemies, she did embrace some of the beliefs of the Egyptian people, which made her a fairly popular leader. I wish Western culture would get over this broad. Hatshepsut was far more interesting a historical figure.

    • Bonnie

      I love me some History Channel…and I second that. Waaay more interesting!

  • dont worry about it

    Sorry Tulip! I meant to co-sign your comment!

  • Deaya Charles

    @ Tulip… Actually Cleopatra had a Greek father and an Egyptian mother… So Halle Berry IS the right color – just not ugly enough. 😀

  • Denise

    Black women have to learn white men LOVE their white women. White men set the standard of beauty and they placed white women at the top and feel every other women should emulate the white woman.
    I remember something a black girl from the Bahamas told me. She said she hated latino men. I asked why? She said its because they favor their own latino women over other races specifically black girls. Then in the same breath, she told me she loved white guys and wanted badly to date a white guy. I just stared at her and said a silent prayer for her.

  • noble

    @ robbie, because she’s playing Aretha Franklin. *blank stare*

    • chrissy17


  • amy

    Cleopatra was Greek so I dont know why everyone is so in an uproar about her playing a woman of color…

  • Marlin

    It’s true that Cleopatra’s father roots are Greek but they lived in Egypt for 100’s of years with the people of color in Ancient Egypt. New discovery of Cleopatra sister burial study of the remains and reconstruction show she was mixed with African of color and other race. Even now when someone is mixed with black they society considers them black.

  • whym


  • http://Bossip Concerned for you

    Amen on that one ! we have alot of black women out here that could have played that part!!!

  • Lacorsha

    No Idris Elba played in Thor, he did not play the character of Thor. Idris said that he was insecure being the only dark skinned person in the film. Idris is like the typical negro man insecure about his blackness and kiss white ppls azz.

  • beth

    Usian bolt said he wanted jason statham ( a white british male)to play him in a film. So i don see the problem

    • Hena

      Jamaica won the Miss World title twice and both times it was white women that won the crown. Jamaica love having white ppl represent them.

  • robbie

    noble, i forgot you are right – halle got time to play both.

  • Truth

    Forget about Hollywood, I mean FOLLYWOOD. As a young black American I an a old school black at heart and find more inspiration from the past from people like Josephine Baker,Dorthy Dandridge (Halle Berry got me started on her I love Mrs Halle. Bill Withers ECT. Every time Black Americans try to make our culture worth something we get called “Racist” and can’t have shyt with out others complaining but they get everything though. This country gets on my nerves sometimes but I love my people, it’s just so hard to express your self as a black person with out getting Hades. We can’t have shyt but the ghettos full of trash. Will we ever be allowed to be ourselves in this country again? Who cares about Hollywood. We need to start doing us again not whats popular and what sells to mainstream whites.

  • Ave.V

    ITA! And don’t forget alittle on heavy side. So, I say give that role to white actress.

  • Dawud Adib

    Cleopatra was not a “woman of color” so the entire premise of the post is all wrong.

  • YoungCosby

    Cleopatra was the daughter of Ptolemy XII, who was of Macedonian decent. The people of the Macedonian or area which her family descended from were of of a bronzed skin tone which Elizabeth Taylor, nor Angelina Jolie match (being that the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt ruled this area for over 300 years). Just because she was Greek has nothing to do with her skin tone. Ptolemy XII’s(pronounced TOE-LE-MEE) family resided in this area for over 300 years.


    Its not about color. Its about who is the best actress.

    • Candy eyes

      bych shut up with your uncle tom as. There are just as many black actors or actress as whites dumb as!

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