Andy Serkis comments on the Scarlett Johansson Rub & Tug controversy

Scarlett Johansson courted controversy back in July when she signed on to star in RUB & TUG, a Rupert Sanders film which would tell the true story of Dante "Tex" Gill, a transgender man who flourished in a male-dominated business of massage parlors and prostitution. Naturally, this prompted a good deal of backlash and less than two weeks later, Scarlett Johansson announced that she would not be playing the role after all and issued an apology. "In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," read Johansson's statement. "Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues."

One person who doesn't agree with Scarlett Johannson's exit from the role is Andy Serkis, who recently spoke with Variety while promoting the upcoming MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE. "I absolutely disagree. I really, vehemently disagree," Serkis said in regards to the RUB & TUG controversy. "Actors should be able to play anything, and that’s why I love this [performance capture] technology. What should be the point is that whatever color your skin is, whatever shape you are, whatever height you are, whatever your makeup is as an actor, you should have the ability to play anything." What do you folks think? Should every actor be able to play every type of role?

Andy Serkis also spoke about MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE, which features an all-star cast, most of whom are playing animals brought to life by motion-capture, something Serkis says was quite appealing to them. "All of them wanted to explore this whole thing, this ability to transform and play. To really get back to the essence of why they became actors in the first place — to feel free and not sort of do another version of yourself." The director, who also plays Baloo in the film, added that his version is darker and more complex than the other adaptations of the Rudyard Kipling story which have come before.

This version of the story hadn’t been told. People say it’s darker, but it’s emotionally more grounded. It’s complex. I grew up loving the animated original, it’s a beautiful piece of work, but it didn’t have that complex central journey. I always felt that Mowgli was left out of the story, and you enjoyed the antics and buffoonery and the songs and the star turns of the animals. What was apparent in this script is it’s an incredibly complex psychological role for a young boy who is ‘other.’ It really connected with me, that notion of being different, being caught between two different, changing worlds.

MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE will hit Netflix on December 7th.

Source: Variety



Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Featured Youtube Videos