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Tamsin Grieg: a ‘Jewish’ mother’s regrets

After telling The Telegraph she “probably should not have played the Jewish mother in Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner, actress Tamsin Grieg has said that if they were filling the role  now, “We’d have had very, very different conversations about the necessity of casting me in it.”

Talking to Emma Barnett on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour on Tuesday, Grieg who is a practising Christian with Jewish ancestry felt her previous Telegraph comments were “taken slightly out of context” and  had the series by Jewish script writer Robert Popper, been made in the current climate of putting actors in like for like roles, “the casting should have been wider.”

Grieg played the part of mother Jackie Goodman in the Jewish family comedy which ran for ten years . In all that time Tracy-Ann Oberman as Auntie Val and half- Jewish, Tom Rosenthal as Jonny were the only regular cast. With accusations of “Jew-face” being thrown at non- Jewish performers taking on Jewish roles, Grieg told Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett ,“That’s the conversation at the moment… We all make very different choices depending on the weather that surrounds us culturally, right? Ten years ago, who knew those conversations were coming? We do things thinking, ‘Oh, that looks like a really interesting role and actually it’s about a woman trying to survive in a wild family that seems to be falling apart.’ I think at that time that was a very resonant part of people’s lives.”

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Source: Jewish News

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