Top-billed star or amateur — if they don’t match their role, fans won’t stay quiet anymore. Our pick of actors who made the news for the wrong reasons.
Whether he saw this coming or not, DiCaprio surely has some thinking to do. The Oscar winner would never have expected thousands of people signing a petition protesting his being cast in a movie. After it was revealed that The Revenant star was approached to play Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, in an upcoming biopic on the Persian poet, many looked at it as another attempt of ‘Hollywood whitewashing’. We agree. The hashtag #RumiWasntWhite is currently trending on Twitter, and so is the petition, which has more than 5,000 signatures already. The movie is to be penned by David Franzoni, who also wrote the script of the Russell Crowe-starrer, Gladiator.
Rupert Sanders is no stranger to controversy—remember his episode with Kristen Stewart that destroyed her relationship with Robert Pattinson? Now the Snow White and the Huntsman director finds himself in hot water yet again after objections were raised against Johansson being cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of his upcoming movie, Ghost in the Shell. Adapted from the 1989 seinen manga (Japanese comics for adolescents) franchise of the same name, by Masamune Shirow, it has provoked a number of Asian actresses to express their disappointment at Sanders’ choice for the role. And although the stylists have tried their best with Johansson (especially a new haircut), we feel she looks out of place.
Zoe Saldana While the Avatar star continues to defend her lead role in Cynthia Mort’s Nina, fans are not convinced. The biographical movie on American musician and civil rights activist, Nina Simone, drew criticism after Saldana was seen with darkened skin and a prosthetic nose, in an apparent attempt to look like Simone. The heat spilled on to social media, with the activist’s estate tweeting a strongly-worded reply to one of Saldana’s tweets on freedom. However, the 38-year-old actress should take heart—she is being backed by Simone’s daughter, Lisa, who finds the controversy unfortunate.
The upcoming Spiderman reboot from the stable of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has had its fair share of problems. Not many were happy with Tom Holland being cast as the web-slinger. The movie is being adapted from the 252nd issue of the Amazing Spiderman comic series, titled Homecoming, where the superhero is seen donning the black Venom costume. But the Peter Parker in the comic is black, unlike Holland. Another controvesy surrounds the casting of Michael Barbieri in the same movie—he is nowhere close to the Korean-American character that he is playing, Ganke Lee.
When the talented Swinton was seen alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the trailer of the upcoming Doctor Strange adaptation, it was hard to miss the miscast. After all, Swinton plays a male Tibetan character called the Ancient One—and no amount of make-up could disguise the actor’s (who has Scottish roots) distinctive looks. But she did try to quell apprehensions by revealing that the ethnicity of the character in the movie does not conform to the comic’s. With Cumberbatch playing the title character, the stellar cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Rachel McAdams (Spotlight).