Gal Gadot defends Cleopatra casting

(Photo via Hello Magazine)

“Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot has defended her plan to play Cleopatra following accusations of whitewashing.

Following the announcement, critics voiced the opinion that an Arab or African actress should play the ancient Egyptian queen.

In an interview with BBC Arabic’s Sam Asi, the Israeli actress pointed out that Cleopatra was Macedonian.

Gadot adds that “We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.”

Cleopatra was born in the ancient Egyptian capital Alexandria, and was the last ruler in the dynasty founded by Alexander the Great’s Macedonian general Ptolemy.

His descendants ruled Egypt for 300 years and are long thought to have been white with a high degree of inbreeding.

According to the BBC however, there is mystery over the identity of Cleopatra’s mother, leading to speculation that she may have been of mixed heritage.