As a result, she faced some backlash from viewers and the industry alike for accepting the role. Fellow British actor Maureen Lipman called the casting decision "Jewface" because "the Jewishness of the character is so integral."
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In an email elaborating on her stance, Maureen said, "Helen will be great. Good actress, sexy and intelligent. Looks the part. My opinion, and that’s what it is, a mere opinion, is that if the character’s race, creed, or gender drives or defines the portrayal then the correct — for want of an umbrella [term] — ethnicity should be a priority. Which is not to say that ‘Pericles, Prince Of Tyre’ has to be [played by] a pure Tyresian thespian. It is complicated."