Jodie Turner-Smith has opened up about the racist backlash she’s received since taking on the role of Anne Boleyn in Channel 5’s upcoming biopic movie.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, the 34-year-old revealed that she knew her casting in Anne Boleyn would be a matter ‘people felt very passionately about, either in a positive or negative way’.
She said: “More than anything, I wanted to tell the human story at the centre of all of this.
“I had just become a mother and that was what really jumped out at me, the story of Anne as a mother.
“I did know it would be something that people felt very passionately about, either in a positive or a negative way, because Anne is a human in history who people feel very strongly about.
It’s not the first time the actress has opened up about the backlash.
During an interview with Variety earlier this year, she said she believes the reason the casting caused so much controversy is because it ‘makes people feel uncomfortable and upset’ that she’s playing someone who existed in history.
She said: “When they do [that], they’ll see that when we put characters of colour in stories where we’ve typically only seen white people, it is not in some effort to erase white people, which is not possible.”
Turner-Smith is one of the few black actors to play a royal character on TV. However, the British actress said she was drawn to the role of the historic figure more so because she wanted to share Boleyn’s ‘truth,’ as the film explores the Tudor queen’s final years.
“Obviously, her legend has perhaps dwarfed even the truth of who she was as a person in real life,” she said. “She’s majorly influential in so many different ways, and I think it’s interesting how much about her story gets under people’s skin, even now.”
Anne Boleyn will air on Channel 5 later this year.
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