Cloud Atlas Will Have Its Actors Change Races And Genders

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-08-31 21:52:32discussion comments
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We already know that Cloud Atlas is going to be weird. Directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings, the project, based on the book by David Mitchell, is about six different characters with six separate storylines in six separate locations in six different eras and the actors will all be playing more than one role. If that isn't enough, however, actor Ben Whishaw has informed Vulture that it gets even weirder.

Speaking with the site to promote his new BBC show, The Hour, Whishaw revealed that not only are all the performers playing multiple roles in Cloud Atlas, but they will be switching races and genders as well. "Iím doing three," the actor said. "Frobisher in the thirties; a female American in the seventies, in the Luisa Rey section; and a smallish role, where Iím basically an extra, in a modern-day nursing home, in the Timothy Cavendish section." But he won't be alone. Whishaw says that all of the actors in the cast - which includes Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent and Bae Doona - will play at least three roles in the movie (Weaving said previously that he will be playing six).

While the gender bit won't be too hard to pull off, how are they going to be changing races without angering a lot of people? I understand it's a gimmick and part of the story, but people were even pissed at Robert Downey Jr. when he did Tropic Thunder, despite the fact that the whole point was that he was parodying actors who would be stupid enough to try and change their race in a part. Let's hope they go about it tactfully and don't try on capitalize on controversy.
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