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“I don’t see why a woman can’t play a man”: Tom Cruise’s Female Co-star Was Adamant to Play Tiger Woods to Bring His Painful Journey to Light

The $760 million professional golfer is anything but conventional. With a career worth revisiting several times over and a life scandalous enough to be represented on film, Tiger Woods has lived a full life although marred by more controversial headlines than was ever necessary. And one of Tom Cruise’s co-stars from the Mission: Impossible film series has expressed an innate desire to portray the enigmatic, talented, and troubled sports legend – the only problem… it’s Paula Patton.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

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Paula Patton Wants To Play Tiger Woods in Golfer’s Biopic

It’s one thing to be an avid fan of golf and quite another to want to stand in the shoes of one of the greatest legends in the sport’s critical history and pass off as Tiger Woods being a woman – and certainly not in this age when progressivism, cultural appreciation, gender identity politics, and the representation of sexual orientation are such immersive subjects for the larger population. 

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However, Paula Patton (who has worked alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and has garnered worldwide recognition for her role in the film as a super spy) has now staked an interest in the discourse of golf and called dibs on a role of the leading man, if there were ever to be a biopic on Tiger Woods’ highly scandalous and colorful life. 

I don’t see why a woman can’t play a man and I think that he’s an interesting character. Back when he was in his prime, obviously, he had his demons. He was a conflicted person. He was great at some things and yet he had these flaws. He must have had to put on quite a facade and was probably hiding a lot of pain. Characters like that are very interesting to play.

Paula Patton and Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Paula Patton and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

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Despite the innocent catalyst behind her wish to portray the golfer in a film, it isn’t necessary to point out the dozen different factors that could come into play if such a decision were to be approved and undertaken by a producer or a studio. The raging controversies behind Scarlett Johansson’s role in the 2017 film, Ghost in the Shell, are proof enough of that.

Hollywood’s History of Gender Misrepresentation in Cinema 

Before the monarchy was restored to the English throne in 1660 following a harrowing few decades of wars and rebellions across Great Britain, women were never seen on stage. The theatre space was deemed as a man’s stage and men would play all the women’s roles. A handful of centuries later, history still repeats itself as characters can be seen on the screens who are represented by an actor who is not of that gender. 

The Danish Girl (2015)
The Danish Girl (2015)

Also read: “I was inconsiderate”: Scarlett Johansson Publicly Apologized For Her Insensitive Remarks After Being Cast To Play a Trans Man in Rub & Tug

Cinema has seen controversial castings such as Eddie Redmayne as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl (a role which the actor later called “a mistake”) and Scarlett Johansson in Rub & Tug (a film from which she later dropped out following unprecedented backlash). Elsewhere, there exist non-controversial roles like Cate Blanchett portraying Jude Quinn, a persona Bob Dylan adopted in the years prior to his unequivocal fame, in I’m Not There and Glenn Close portraying a man in Albert Nobbs that tells the story of a woman who finds freedom living as a man in 19th century Ireland before the eruption of World War I.

However, the most controversial of roles might be the Academy Award win secured by Hillary Swank for portraying a transgender man in Boys Don’t Cry. In recent years, the conversation has steered more toward LGBTQ+ representation in film and television, and people from the community not finding the space and opportunity to play characters that are inherently linked to their identities as productions tend to be inclined toward cinching more established A-listers.

Source: Shadow and Act

Written by Diya Majumdar

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.