In a celebrity culture replete with vapid idiots like Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, et al, it’s easy to get cynical about celebs in general. The antics of the young, rich and stupid often make us forget that their elders exist, let alone that among them are ones like Omar Sharif–a great actor whose conscience refuses to be silent:
Omar Sharif still regrets having played Che Guevara in a 1969 film which was “entirely manipulated by the CIA”, which he regards today as the biggest mistake of his life.
“I asked to make a movie that didn’t take a fascist tone,” he said in an interview in Cairo, where he just finished filming his latest, Al Musafir (The Traveller), with young Egyptian director Ahmed Maher.
In 1969, it was just two years after the guerrilla war had ended in Bolivia, “and Che was still an incredible hero,” said Sharif.
The actor, 76, bitterly remembers that his “Che” had a certain dignity because he demanded it in his contract, “but Jack Palance’s Fidel Castro, and the movie in general (directed by Richard Fleischer) resulted in a fascist product.”
“The CIA was behind it, and wanted to make a film that would please the Miami Cubans. I alone cared about the outcome,” he recalled, adding that a movie house on the Champs-Elysees in Paris was burned by audience members incensed by the negative image the film gave of Che and the Cuban Revolution.
BTW, I could not find this story ANYWHERE in the English-language media. The closest I could get to a recent news story about him was this unflattering item. Which makes him sound a bit like a male Lindsey Lohan.
Don’t you love that liberal media memory hole?