Aladdin live action remake: Tom Hardy being considered for Jafar reinforces Hollywood's white-washing issue
Actor Tom Hardy is reportedly being approached for the role of Jafar in the live-action remake of Disney movie Aladdin, in what could be called another one of Hollywood's persistent attempts at casting white actors for characters that are of a different race.
The 39-year-old actor could be part of the project after the director Guy Ritchie reached out to him, reports femalefirst.co.uk. A source told The Sun newspaper,"Guy is a huge fan of Tom's work and securing him would be a major coup. There have been conversations, and although nothing is set in stone and things are subject to change, he's certainly one Guy's favoured choices."
Hollywood has been constantly seeking creative inspiration from other cultures. But when it comes to casting people of the same culture in roles that have been borrowed from these culture, Hollywood, more often than not, takes a step back. And no one is really apologetic about it. The longstanding issue of whitewashing minority roles feels like privileged white people telling Asians that they love to draw from their culture and everything it embodies, but do not think Asians would do a good job at portraying them on screen.
The sad part is that filmmakers are yet to realise it is not this potential casting blunder, but an altogether different reason, which may keep Hardy from being cast. Ritchie may secure the Mad Max star, but he may be forced to come up with a back-up plan as Hardy's schedule might not allow it. "It just depends on schedules and whether he'll be able to sign up," said another source.
This persistent practice is not a part of Hollywood's underbelly anymore. Stars are coming out in the open to call out actors, actresses and directors who have been participating in this deed. 13 Reasons Why actress Michele Selene Ang posted a picture on Instagram, wearing a t-shirt that called out the White Washing Club in a way no one could have.
Ang's t-shirt names Scarlett Johansson, who recently played a Japanese character in the film adaptation of Japanese anime series Ghost in the Shell. The t-shirt also calls out Emma Stone for playing a Hawaiian in Aloha, Tilda Swinton for playing a Tibetan mystic in Doctor Strange, and Matt Damon for playing a Chinese character in The Great Wall — a name that is the epitome of Chinese culture.
The Asian community of the West is not taking this lying down and we couldn't be happier.
Meanwhile, Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall is in talks to play Princess Jasmine. Aladdin will start in Britain. The boat has not sunk yet, as Thrilwall is Yemeni and Egyptian ancestry on her mother's side. The makers are doing something right.
(With inputs from IANS)