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Aaron Sorkin hits back at Being the Ricardos casting criticism

Aaron Sorkin Attends The 2018 Writers Guild Awards, LA
Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin has once again hit back at the criticism he received for casting Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos.

During an interview with The Sunday Times, the writer/director was asked about the criticism he received for using a Spanish actor for a Cuban role.

“It’s heartbreaking, and a little chilling to see members of the artistic community resegregating ourselves,” the 60-year-old director began. “This should be the last place there are walls.”

He added that “Spanish and Cuban are not actable” and suggested different scenarios where a direction would be actable, including temperature. “If I was directing you in a scene and said: ‘It’s cold, you can’t feel your face.’ That’s actable. But if I said: ‘Be Cuban.’ That is not actable. Nouns aren’t actable.”

Sorkin extended his critique to casting straight actors as gay characters, saying, “Gay and straight aren’t actable. You can act being attracted to someone, but can’t act gay or straight. So this notion that only gay actors should play gay characters? That only a Cuban actor should play Desi? Honestly, I think it’s the mother of all empty gestures and a bad idea.”

Bardem recently defended his casting to The Hollywood Reporter, insisting that his job as an actor is to “try to be people that I am not”.

“What do we do with Marlon Brando playing Vito Corleone? What do we do with Margaret Thatcher played by Meryl Streep? Daniel Day-Lewis playing Lincoln? Why does this conversation happen with people with accents? You have your accent. That’s where you belong. That’s tricky,” he stated. “What I mean is, if we want to open the can of worms, let’s open it for everyone. The role came to me, and one thing that I know for sure is that I’m going to give everything that I have.”

Being the Ricardos, also starring Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball, debuts on Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday.

– Cover Media