Herald on Sunday
On playing Jacinda amid mosque movie backlash
Actor Rose Byrne has addressed the news she will star in a Hollywood movie about the Christchurch mosque attacks saying she is excited to play Jacinda Ardern.
The casting news, reported on Friday, sparked calls for the film They Are Us to be shut down. The movie is said to have “blindsided” the Muslim community here, with the producers accused of “whitewashing” and making a profit from a tragic story that is not theirs to tell.
In a video interview while promoting Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Byrne shared how she feels to be playing the Prime Minister.
“[The role] focuses on the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand.”
Byrne called Ardern a “fascinating character”. “I’m really excited about that,” she adds.
But the news of a movie about the Government’s response to the attacks has been met with anger and disbelief here. A National Islamic Youth Association petition to shut down the film had garnered more than 35,000 signatures by last night.
According to the announcement, Byrne had been cast to play the “inspiring” role of Ardern in the movie about the terror attack that led to the murder of 51 Muslims in 2019.
Ardern said yesterday it was not her story that needs to be told.
“While it’s for the community to speak for themselves, it’s my view March 15 remains very raw for New Zealand,” Ardern said.
“There are plenty of stories from March 15 that could be told, but I don’t consider mine to be one of them.”
Ardern reiterated she had not been
There are plenty of stories from March 15 that could be told, but I don’t consider mine to be one of them. Jacinda Ardern
involved with the movie and was not consulted on it.
They Are Us, written and directed by Kiwi Andrew Niccol, follows Ardern’s response to the massacre and how Kiwis rallied behind her message of compassion and unity — including the Government’s response that banned assault rifles.