Merchant defends Turner as goddess

Pearson, Bryan
March 2004
Daily Variety;3/22/2004, Vol. 282 Issue 61, p10
Trade Publication
In the face of protests by religious groups in Great Britain, Indian-born helmer Ismail Merchant has defended his decision to cast rock queen Tina Turner as a Hindu goddess in his latest movie. Merchant, a practicing Muslim, has signed the 63-year-old pop legend to play Shakti, the Hindu symbol of female power and energy, in the movie "The Goddess." Tina Turner is one of the great artists of the time and has been a practicing Buddhist for last 20 years, holds Merchant. Hindu right-wingers have threatened to picket cinemas that show the film, saying Turner's reputation as a sex icon disqualifies her for the part.


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