Maureen Lipman criticises Helen Mirren’s casting as Jewish politician Golda Meir in new biopic

Maureen Lipman has in contrast the casting of Helen Mirren as former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir to Ben Kingsley enjoying Nelson Mandela.

Mirren will star as Meir, who was the primary feminine chief of Israel, in Guy Nattiv’s biopic Golda. When the primary images of Mirren as the politician have been launched in November, viewers mentioned that the 76-year-old actor looked “unrecognisable”.

Speaking to The Jewish Chronicle, actor Lipman mentioned that she was uncomfortable with the concept of Mirren, who just isn’t Jewish, enjoying Meir.

“With that I disagree, because the Jewishness of the character is so integral,” she mentioned.

“I’m sure she will be marvellous, but it would never be allowed for Ben Kingsley to play Nelson Mandela. You just couldn’t even go there.”

Lipman, 75, added: “Perhaps you need to have some sort of panel of people who say this is not acceptable, this is acceptable.”

The Independent has contacted Mirren’s representatives for remark.

Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in ‘Golda’

(Jasper Wolf/Press)

Non-Jewish actors enjoying Jewish characters (a follow referred to as “Jewface”) is a topic that has divided many Jewish creatives.

Last month, Tamsin Greig, who’s a practising Christian with Jewish ancestry, mentioned that she “probably shouldn’t” have played a Jewish character in the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner.

However, she later clarified her comments, saying: “What I meant by it was, if we were casting it now, we’d have had very, very different conversations about the necessity of casting me in it and whether the casting should have been wider.”

Lipman, in the meantime, made headlines in December with comments about so-called “cancel culture”, claiming it might “wipe out” comedy.

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