Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2016 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 29, 2016
Fiennes said he thought Jackson was
"probably closer to my colour than his
Joseph Fiennes has admitted he was "shocked"
to be cast as Michael Jackson in a TV programme
for British television channel Sky Arts.
The actor plays the singer in the comedy about
a supposed road trip taken by Jackson, Marlon
Brando and Elizabeth Taylor after the 9/11 terror
Some fans have reacted angrily to the casting,
but Fiennes said he thought Jackson was "probably
closer to my colour than his original colour."
Sky Arts said producers
had "creative freedom"
in the casting.
Fiennes said he
died in 2009---had a
with his skin, so the issue
of race should not come
But he told Entertain-
ment Tonight: "I m a
white, middle-class guy
from London---I m as
shocked (about the cast-
ing) as you might be.
"It s a light comedy look. It s not in any way mali-
cious. It s actually endearing. And the more I actually
looked at Michael---it s great, as an actor, to have
so much to copy and look at in interviews---the
more I kind of fell in love with him."
Describing the plot of the 30-minute programme---
titled Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon---Fiennes said:
"Michael and two of his best buddies, Elizabeth
Taylor and Marlon Brando, happened to be in New
York the night before 9/11.
"It was a concert Michael was giving, and Brando
was introducing him on stage.
"I don t know if this is an urban legend or if it s
true, but the three of them couldn t get out because
air space was shut down, so the three of them
jumped in a car and went on a road trip."
Stockard Channing, who is best known for her
roles in TV drama The West Wing and musical film
Grease, is playing Taylor in the comedy with Scottish
actor Brian Cox starring as Brando.
There has been a backlash on Twitter to the cast-
ing, with some using the hashtag #whitewashing
and others claiming they thought the story was
actually from satirical magazine The Onion.
CNN entertainment reporter Chris Witherspoon
posted a 1993 Jackson interview with Oprah Winfrey,
in which he discussed rumours he had wanted a
white child to play him in a TV commercial, telling
the presenter: "Why would I want a white child to
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play me? I m a black American (...) I am
proud of my race. I am proud of who I am."
Angela Bassett, who played Tina Turner
in biopic What s Love Got to Do With It,
joked on Twitter she had "ordered violet
contacts" and was "ready" to play Taylor
after Sleepy Hollow star Orlando Jones sug-
gested she play the actress.
The story about the road trip first came
to light in a 2011 Vanity Fair article, which
quoted a former employee of Jackson as
saying: "They actually got as far as Ohio---
all three of them, in a car they drove them-
Brando was said to have annoyed his
friends by wanting to stop at nearly every
fast food restaurant they passed on the way.
But one of Taylor s assistants dismissed
the claims, saying the star had actually
stayed in New York and visited Ground
Zero in the days after the attack.
The comedy will be broadcast later this
year as part of a series on unlikely stories
from the history of arts and culture.
A Sky Arts spokesman said: "Sky Arts
gives producers the creative freedom to
cast roles as they wish, within the diversity
framework which we have set." (BBC)
Fiennes 'shocked' to be cast as MJ
"It's a light comedy
look. It's not in any
way malicious. It's
And the more I
actually looked at
as an actor, to have
so much to copy and
look at in
more I kind of fell in
love with him."
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