The Latest Case Of Yellowface: Mickey Rourke As Genghis Khan

April 30th, 2010 | 16 comments | Posted by Jen

Iron Man 2‘s Mickey Rourke revealed in an interview last week that he is set to play Mongol badass Genghis Khan in a biopic written by Apocalypse Now writer John Milius.

Now, this could be considered one of the most egregious examples in recent history of an actor in yellowface, IF you considered this…

…an actual face, that is.

[via Current via Cinematical]

[MTV Movies Blog: EXCLUSIVE: Mickey Rourke Says Genghis Khan Biopic 'Not Your Stereotypical Blood And Swords']


Thanks, Klementine!

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16 Responses to “The Latest Case Of Yellowface: Mickey Rourke As Genghis Khan”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jasmine Davila, K. Wasserman and L Schwartzy, jasminedavila. jasminedavila said: RT @disgrasian The Latest Case Of Yellowface: Mickey Rourke As Genghis Khan [...]

  2. isaacakira says:

    Ok, so lets make a movie with a Muslim Captain America.

    Or better, a movie about the American Revolution with multiethnic cast. Naveen Andrews as a Muslim George Washington, Daniel Henney as John Adams, Forest Whitaker as Thomas Jefferson and Benicio del Toro as Richard Montgomery. Of course, Caucasian Englishes.

  3. Kwan says:

    yeah you nailed it jen, I didn’t like how placid Genghis was in “Mongol” (beautiful movie). I rather imagine him a little maniacal like the the emperor in “Emperor and the Assassin,” as opposed to being the mongolian Aragorn. Yeah also wish we can reinterpret history to let all peoples participate equally cause its our collective history. I also fantasize about working for a Civil War re-creation jig, so awesome…

  4. prometheus says:

    I only have one thing to say: W.T.F.

  5. farleyk says:

    Usually we want the weekend to last, dreading Monday’s arrival. This weekend, each time I’ve just clicked on my Disgrasian link, this face pops up. Screams of “auaaahhgghh, make it go away” *click* *clickety-click* *CLICK*.
    Oh, please Monday, bring us another article and make the icky-faced man go away.
    (I did love Mickey as Marv in Sin City)

  6. Nomindle says:

    As a legit Mongolian-American and big movie fan, this depresses me greatly, but doesn’t surprise me. What can you expect from Hollywood? They act like people of color don’t exist… except for when they steal our stories and heroes and rearrange them to make white people come out on top.

  7. alperryman says:

    This reminds me of a sketch I pitched where James Franco auditions to play Kim Jong Il, then can’t understand why he can’t have the part.

  8. Jen says:

    @Nomindle On the bright side, love the term “legit Mongolian-American.” You should put that on your business card.

  9. PoweredByRice says:

    Yes, Genghis Khan will be played by a white man, but I am sure they will get plenty of actual Asian women to play his mistresses. Because having a white woman play an Asian woman’s part would be just plain CRAZY.

    (cue sarcastic drumbeat)

  10. Jen says:

    @PoweredByRice Maybe they can get Bai Ling. They had a fling, I think? That would make the movie MUCH LESS ridiculous.

  11. Tom says:

    They could appeal to Naomi Campbell’s Chinese-Jamaican ancestry and get her into the movie as well.

    Mickey Rourke as Chinggis Khan makes as much sense as Mel Gibson filming a biopic on St.Augustine of Hippo with Dennis Rodman as Augustine and Margaret Cho as his mother, St. Monica.

  12. prometheus says:


    The Russians made one on Genghis Khan too… they used kazakhs for actors which I guess is alot closer than white people. In general, not very accurate (When was he EVER imprisoned in a Chinese jail? I mean, nice artistic shot, but wtf?) — but supposedly a big step for the Russians… who er, didn’t really like the guy.

    The best one I saw sofar was a Japanese-made documentary, but it was still a little weird hearing the mongol words here and there in-between japanese.

    Oh well, one day someone will make a proper version. And a proper version of 300. Or Troy.

  13. karlk9 says:

    I can only imagine one thing worse than a Rourke/Khan. I once saw a movie, in Taiwan, called “The Conqueror,” where JOHN WAYNE played Genghis Khan, who married the daughter of a Tartar leader played by Susan Hayward. Worse than the movie, was that I watched it with a Mongolian woman who worked for The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, where I taught intermediate and advanced English conversation. She was nearly in shock, but laughed when Wayne shouted “C’mon Mongols, let’s get those Tartar dogs.” Most employees of the Commission saw the movie too, and it was the topic of much heated, and humorous conversation for several classes which followed. Here’s a scene from the movie:

  14. [...] The Latest Case Of Yellowface: Mickey Rourke As Genghis Khan … [...]

  15. [...] yellow face is a thing of the unenlightened past, think again. With the recent announcement that Mickey Rourke would be playing Mongolian badass Genghis Khan, it seems yellow face is still alive and [...]

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