Israeli origin Hollywood star Gal Gadot has responded to criticism over her casting as Cleopatra in a new film on the life of the Egyptian queen.

In an interview with BBC Arabic, Gadot was reminded that a section of Egyptian viewers was of the opinion that her casting as Queen Cleopatra is another instance of whitewashing in Hollywood, reports eonline.com.

“First of all, if you want to be true to the facts, then Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there. And I was very passionate about Cleopatra,” she replied.

“To me, as a people’s lover, and I have friends from across the globe, whether they’re Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist or Jewish, of course,” said the actress, adding: “People are people. And with me, I want to celebrate the legacy of Cleopatra and honour this amazing historic icon that I admire so much.”

Gadot pointed out that the film directed by “Wonder Woman” maker Patty Jenkins would tell the “story for the first time through women’s eyes, both behind and in front of the camera”.

The original “Cleopatra”, released in 1963, starred Elizabeth Taylor in the title role along with Richard Burton, and was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Meanwhile, Gal Gadot‘s ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ which released worldwide on Christmas Day, hit theatres in India on December 24.

The film is a sequel to the 2017 hit Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot reprising the titular superhero and her alter ego Diana Prince.

Bollywood actor Hrithik watched the film with former wife Sussanne Khan and their children Hrehaan and Hridhaan. Later, the actor shared a string of pictures from the theatre and a few stills of Wonder Woman 1984.

He also tweeted and praised the actress for essaying Wonder Woman perfectly in the new release. 

“Just watched WONDER WOMAN. Exhilarating experience. My childhood crush(WW) and my first love (movies) together with the BIG cinema IMAX experience! Doesn`t get any better than this. Thank you @GalGadot for being the perfect WONDER WOMAN. And congratulations to the entire team!” Hrithik had tweeted.

To this, Gadot has replied: “So glad you enjoyed the movie @iHrithik! Wishing you and yours a happy holiday.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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