The female comedian recently claimed non-Jewish celebs shouldn’t take on Jewish roles in film and television
Tony Shalhoub is speaking out in opposition to Sarah Silverman’s latest “Jewface” comments.
The actor, who is a Maronite Christian, defended his casting as a Jewish professor in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” after the female comedian recently voiced concerns with non-Jewish celebrities taking on Jewish roles.
Speaking at the premiere of “Mass,” Shalhoub told Page Six he believes the entire point of being an actor is to play a character that isn’t himself.
Tony Shalhoub, right, with his “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” costars Marin Hinkle, right, and Rachel Brosnahan, center.
Without calling out Silverman by name, Shalhoub suggested that the idea of limiting castings depending on a person’s religious beliefs would create a slippery slope.
“I just don’t know,” he continued. “If we start to go down that road, I don’t know where it ends. Are people who are members of the Mafia, are they going to be upset that people who haven’t actually committed those types of crimes are playing those roles?”
Tony Shalhoub, who is Christian, defended playing a Jewish character in “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” after comedian Sarah Silverman recently spoke out against non-Jewish actors being cast in Jewish roles.
Last week, Silverman voiced her distaste in Kathryn Hahn, who was raised Catholic, landing the role of the late Joan Rivers, who was Jewish, in an upcoming series.
Speaking on her podcast, Silverman said, “There’s this long tradition of non-Jews playing Jews, and not just playing people who happen to be Jewish but people whose Jewishness is their whole being. One could argue, for instance, that a Gentile [a non-Jew] playing Joan Rivers correctly would be doing what is actually called ‘Jewface.’
“It’s defined as when a non-Jew portrays a Jew with the Jewishness front and center, often with makeup or changing of features, big fake nose, all the New York-y or Yiddish-y inflection. And in a time when the importance of representation is seen as so essential and so front and center, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?”