Gyllenhaal’s role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is considered one of Hollywood’s worst examples of whitewashing over the last decade and the actor accepted it.
Whitewashing Disney Failure
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is the Mike Newell-directed video game adaptation starred Gyllenhaal opposite Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina. The film, a critical and box office dud for Disney, is best remembered as being one of the decade’s worst examples of Hollywood whitewashing for casting a white American actor in the lead role instead of a performer of Iranian descent.
Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Gyllenhaal said, “I think I learned a lot from [Prince of Persia], in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick, and why I’m picking them. And you’re bound to slip up and be like, ‘That wasn’t right for me,’ or ‘That didn’t fit perfectly.’ There have been a number of roles like that. And then a number of roles that do.”
Gyllenhaal’s Marvel debut finds him taking on the role of Quentin Beck/Mysterio opposite Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The Sony release opens in theaters nationwide July 2 and should be one of the big hits of the summer movie season.