Doomsday Director and screenwriter James Gray said he disagreed with criticism of his decision to cast non-Jewish actors (like Anthony Hopkins) as Jewish characters in his semi-biographical film.
in interview with The New York Times , Gray talked about the description of the Trump family, who he went to school with, and where his latest film sits in his movie catalog. But he also responded directly to criticism of his decision to cast actors in the film, regardless of their personal religious or cultural identity. Such criticism has centered on Oscar winner Hopkins, who played the film’s protagonist’s grandfather, a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine who fled the Holocaust.
The Russian-Jewish director disagrees with his criticism of his film — a semi-fiction about race, privilege, anti-Semitism and racial influence Autobiography. Assimilate a Jewish immigrant family.
Gray defended the decision to choose actors of his own accord, noting that as a Jew, “I reserve the right” to choose actors of my own accord. “This is my story,” he replied. “And you don’t have to say that my story is valuable, but that’s a different kind of criticism.”
He also called the boycott of casting choices a personal offense, And argues that the requirement to only ask Jewish actors to play Jewish characters leads to stereotypes. “I’m also extremely offended by that. Because it means what people want is [with a Yiddish accent] ‘Hello, I’m Jewish grandfather!'” Gray said. “But that’s not what my grandfather looked like.”
“The man looked at the godfather and complained that Marlon Brando was from Nebula Omaha, Las Vegas, not Italians in New York?” he continued. “At some point, we have to admit that our whole function as artists is to try to get into the consciousness of others, to find empathy, and to find some kind of emotional strength in doing so.”
However, there is a version of his story that Gray says should and must be cast with an actor whose identity matches his role.
Jewish friend Paul (Michael Banks Reperta). They were both arrested, but Paul was allowed to leave with his father, while Johnny stayed with the police, and the two boys never saw each other again.
“If I’m trying to tell the story from Johnny’s point of view, I can say that the criticism is valid,” Gray explained. “That’s stupid.”
There has been an ongoing debate about having non-Jewish actors play Jewish characters, but as the discussion around real Hollywood casts grows, so does the The more concerned. Down Next Door , The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and Moon Knight are other recent series whose cast selections have faced similar online scrutiny.