Jolie as Cleo?–you gotta be kiddin’

Posted: June 11, 2010 in History, Movies
Tags: , ,

Here we go again. Can you believe Angelina Jolie is set to play Cleopatra in a new movie of Egypt’s queen (“Queen of the Nile”).  Hollywood hasn’t grown up yet. Wasn’t it bad enough the incredibly beautiful Elizabeth Taylor played that role. If you’ve ever read about the real Cleopatra you know she surely approached hag status, at least as far as her mug was concerned (which is what we’re talking about here; I’m still doing all night research on her cleavage),  though evidently one with a seductive smile (or something). The angular faced Anjelica Huston or even homely Lady Gaga (without the bleach) would’ve been a more accurate casting. See another angle on this story here.


Angelina Jolie in a previous queeenly role: fulfilling Hollywood’s beauty myth/fantasy to the nth degree


Liz Taylor in 1963 as Cleo (with a bosom to die for), another actress fulfilling the beauty myth/fantasy to the nth degree (I know, makes you want to shrug off historical accuracy)


Ancient coins depicting Cleo, NOT fulfilling the beauty myth/fantasy to the nth degree (if you were Antony would you run yourself through with a sowrd for this woman?)

One account of her, in fact called “Cleopatra Was No Liz Taylor,” in the book An Underground Education, describes her this way, quoting Plutarch:

“Her beauty was by no means flawless [he’s being very diplomatic here]…but anyone [and here’s where that seductive smile or something comes in]”but anyone listening to her but a moment sensed her irresitible charm…her voice was beguilingly rich and sweet [I’m already getting turned on] and she used her tongue like a many stringed musical instrument [mercy, please].” *

*About that tongue…Richard Zacks (Underground Ed) relates a rumor of the time: “Rumors spread about…uses to which Cleo put her tongue, even a heroic night of servicing one hundred noblemen.” Now that’s talent (if true).


Update: Some history scholars say depictions of Cleopatra by white actresses, as well as images of her in the public mind (aside from the beauty issue) are inaccurate; they maintain that Cleopatra was not white looking. Tht sounds, on the face of it, a reasonable assumption. However, if you take into consideration recent  DNA  evidence from another Egyptian ruler, King Tut, the accusation may itself be inaccurate. See too King Tut unwrapped.


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