When it comes to Ridley Scott’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings, eyebrows have been slightly raised and tongues wagged at the casting choices made thus far. While the principle cast is technically international – Christian Bale (Welsh) as Moses is joined by Joel Edgerton (Australian), Sigourney Weaver, and Aaron Paul (both American) – it’s also somewhat, well…REALLY white.
Scott was asked about this very subject during an interview with Yahoo! Australia, and here’s what he had to say:
When I was thinking about the idea of Exodus and Moses being this kind of larger than life character who, at the same time, has to be played definitively as a very real person, I thought of Christian and I knew he was the right actor for the role. It’s not a fantasy. Ramses certainly wasn’t a fantasy and somewhere Moses is very much written down and indicated and believed. So it’s a real thing.
Egypt was — as it is now — a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture.
So, yes – there ARE actors of color in the film, but why actors like Sir Ben Kingsley (British-Asian or British-Indian, if you like) and Italian-American John Turturro are in smaller roles kind of leaves me confused as well. Not to mention the black actors who have been cast as servants and lower class citizens. Scott’s answer doesn’t seem to adequately explain that choice. With Bale playing Moses and Edgerton as Ramses, am I going be offended by the spray tans they so obviously had to have?
Check out the trailer:
AMAZING effects aside, I’m not particularly moved by what I’ve seen in the trailer, so am I going to even BOTHER seeing this film? More importantly, are YOU planning on seeing it?
Exodus: Gods and Kings opens in December.
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