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Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong and Frieda Pinto will find Black Gold

10.14.2010
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Hmm, I'm detecting a distinct lack of leading Arab actors in Hollywood today. You would think that BLACK GOLD, the story of the rise of Arab oil barons in the 1930s would be a prime place to display some new talent, but rather director Jean-Jacques Annaud has selected a rather diverse, but geographically incorrect cast for his film.

In the lead is Spaniard Antonio Banderas, flanked by Brit Mark Strong, the lovely, and very much Indian, Freida Pinto, and lastly Tahar Rahim, a French/Algerian from UN PROPHETE. The script is mostly a secret, as all we can get out of it so far is that it's about “the rise of a young, dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms.”

It's not unusual for actors to play other races, but this is quite a random collection from all over the world BUT Arabic countries. Though if you ask me off the top of my head to name one Arab actor working today, I'll pause for ten seconds and then say "that doctor guy from INCEPTION and AVATAR." But alas, Dileep Rao is Indian.

Are there simply less Arab actors out there, or is Hollywood just not giving them a chance? Now would be where you list all the Arab actors I don't know about who deserve breakout roles.

Extra Tidbit: Sayid from Lost! Gahh he was born in the UK and is also Indian.
Source: Deadline

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10:23AM on 10/15/2010

Bashir on Deep Space Nine

Alexander Siddig
[link]
Since wrapping up DS9, he's been in Miral, 4.3.2.1, Clash of the Titans, Cairo Time, Espion(s), Doomsday, Un homme perdu, The Last Legion, The Nativity Story, Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven and Reign of Fire.
Alexander Siddig
[link]
Since wrapping up DS9, he's been in Miral, 4.3.2.1, Clash of the Titans, Cairo Time, Espion(s), Doomsday, Un homme perdu, The Last Legion, The Nativity Story, Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven and Reign of Fire.
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11:02PM on 10/15/2010
And your point is? He was a special mention because a.) he is a more well-established actor (so is Hiam Abbass, so I put her in parentheses), and if Tahar Rahim doesn't count as Arab, being French, Siddig being essentially an English actor born in Sudan wouldn't count that much.

I am also a big fan of his. He is probably one of the most established ethnically Arab actors working today, and not so far cast in this film.
And your point is? He was a special mention because a.) he is a more well-established actor (so is Hiam Abbass, so I put her in parentheses), and if Tahar Rahim doesn't count as Arab, being French, Siddig being essentially an English actor born in Sudan wouldn't count that much.

I am also a big fan of his. He is probably one of the most established ethnically Arab actors working today, and not so far cast in this film.
10:14AM on 10/15/2010

In the interest of naming Arab actors I've noticed over the years

Ghassan Massoud (Syria) from "Kingdom of Heaven"
Haaz Sleiman (Lebanon) from "The Visitor"
(also veteran Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass)
Sasson Gabai (Egypt) "The Band's Visit"
Ashraf Barhom (Israeli-Palestinian) "The Kingdom"

Honorable Mention

Sudanese-born Brit Alexander Siddig
Ghassan Massoud (Syria) from "Kingdom of Heaven"
Haaz Sleiman (Lebanon) from "The Visitor"
(also veteran Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass)
Sasson Gabai (Egypt) "The Band's Visit"
Ashraf Barhom (Israeli-Palestinian) "The Kingdom"

Honorable Mention

Sudanese-born Brit Alexander Siddig
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10:35PM on 10/14/2010
Didn't Banderas play an Arab in 13th Warrior also? I thought he did a good job. I'd really like to see a third Zorro movie however. Sure, the second one was crap, but hey if they can make a Men in Black 3 than why not Zorro 3.
Didn't Banderas play an Arab in 13th Warrior also? I thought he did a good job. I'd really like to see a third Zorro movie however. Sure, the second one was crap, but hey if they can make a Men in Black 3 than why not Zorro 3.
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6:27PM on 10/14/2010

Plenty of Arab actors out there

I watched Jack Bauer kill about 100 of them on 24.
I watched Jack Bauer kill about 100 of them on 24.
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3:24PM on 10/14/2010
Freida Pinto! Im there.
Freida Pinto! Im there.
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2:55PM on 10/14/2010
Arabs have always had this negative stigma to them, especially since they often are considered to be the same as Muslims. Not only that, but Hollywood is in the US, and the movie industry is run by Jewish people and white people. Let's just say that US white people and Jews have not been the most open about Muslims and Arabs. If you take that into account, and the assumption that they're aren't that many Arab actors in Hollywood, you can see what there is a lack of Arab name actors.
Arabs have always had this negative stigma to them, especially since they often are considered to be the same as Muslims. Not only that, but Hollywood is in the US, and the movie industry is run by Jewish people and white people. Let's just say that US white people and Jews have not been the most open about Muslims and Arabs. If you take that into account, and the assumption that they're aren't that many Arab actors in Hollywood, you can see what there is a lack of Arab name actors. Personnally, I'm fine with other nationalities representing arabs on screen if they look alike (Mark Strong and Frinta Pinto can pass for Arabs, Banderas not so much).
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2:09PM on 10/14/2010

It is just hollywood

We should be happy that they are actually trying to go for people close in appearance, i mean MArk strong did play middle eastern in body of lies and pinto in indian, but other than dileep rao is there but people forget about Oded Fehr (israeli)and the entire cast of Slumdog, as far as someone FROM saudi arabia, i dunno
We should be happy that they are actually trying to go for people close in appearance, i mean MArk strong did play middle eastern in body of lies and pinto in indian, but other than dileep rao is there but people forget about Oded Fehr (israeli)and the entire cast of Slumdog, as far as someone FROM saudi arabia, i dunno
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12:56PM on 10/14/2010
Not really my type of movie, but you can never go wrong with Banderas or Strong.
Not really my type of movie, but you can never go wrong with Banderas or Strong.
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