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to: Sandra Danicki

Scarlett Johansson quit her role on “Rub and Tug,” playing a transgender man — and even regretted taking on it. The film tells the story of Dante “Tex” Gil, a Pittsburgh underworld man in the 1970s and 1980s © Evan Agostini / dpa (archive)

Twenty years ago, women were being sported with beards and forced to play the Knights of Rohan in films. It may be difficult to do that today.

There is a lot of debate about who actresses and actors are allowed to portray these days. The trend in Hollywood is that only characters that correspond to an individual’s racial group, an individual’s sexual orientation, gender, and religion should be personified. Recently there have been discussions about whether Helen Mirren has the right to appear on camera as Golda Meir. The actress was strongly accused of being “racist”. We were talking about “face gems” based on the term black face. The latter was associated with ridicule of blacks. It is unlikely that the defamation of a Jewish woman was Mirren’s intention. By all accounts, she embodies the role of the Israeli Prime Minister with a great deal of honour.

Scarlett Johansson was also overlooked in 2019 when it was revealed that she would be playing a transgender man. The situation was even more sensitive, because in reality there are only a few offers of roles for transgender people. Johansson surrendered – and everyone won. The star showed off his connection to the trans community. The film project became notable even without the world star in the lead role. Unfortunately, it does not always work in style.

One can ask, for example, how the depiction of disabled or already sick people behaves. Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. Dustin Hoffman as Rainman, Robert De Niro in Coming of Age. Is this still possible today? Wasn’t acting always about portraying someone you’re not?

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When Lars Edinger in Berlin Schaubuhnny and Richard III limped crookedly. An actress, to some it seemed like a caricature of a person with a physical disability. It’s called paralysis, Edinger received hate messages.

When the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was filmed twenty years ago, no one seemed to think about the problem of who was allowed to play who. In Part Two, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, half of the Knights of Rohan are actually women. They had beards sticking together.

The decision was purely practical. Filmed in New Zealand and they wanted to choose people who had their own horses and who were good riders. At the site, most of them were women. However, unlike many actresses and actors who change gender or sexual orientation in front of the camera (Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Hilary Swank), they have not received Oscar nominations for their performances.

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