The fact that the Israeli actress Gal Gadot will soon take the role of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, has come under criticism.
Gal Gadot proudly announced on Sunday that she will play the role of the legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra for her next film role. Gadot will collaborate again with Patty Jenkins, who previously directed her in Wonder woman, but not everyone is enthusiastic about the plans. The fact that after Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert and Vivien Leigh another white woman was chosen for the role of Cleopatra is bad blood for some.
The film plans have been on the table for much longer, and earlier the names of Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga were mentioned to play the lead role. That immediately opened a fiery debate about Cleopatra’s actual skin color. After all, the last queen of Egypt wouldn’t have been nearly as white as she was envisioned by Hollywood, and many would have preferred a colored actress to be chosen, rather than the 35-year-old Israeli actress.
But the choice of a black or an Arabian actress would not be completely accurate historically either, as the fact remains that historians are still in the dark about Cleopatra’s skin color, mainly because her mother’s identity is uncertain.
On her father’s side, Cleopatra was of Greco-Macedonian descent. She was the last queen of the Ptolemies dynasty, created after the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. Ptolemy, a general of Alexander, crowned himself Pharaoh of Egypt after Alexander’s death. So the Ptolemies were Greeks.