Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from California who took part in the anti-Islam film that sparked uproar in the Muslim world and ignited violence that led to the murder of the US ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff says she is planning to sue the film's director.
Garcia claims the original script was titled "Desert Warriors" and was meant to depict life as it was 2,000 years ago. "There wasn't anything about Muhammad or Muslims or anything," she told the New York-based blog Gawker.
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Gracia, who portrayed a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammad to marry, said she had phoned the film's creator when she learned of the protests it had sparked in the Middle East. "I called him and said, 'Why did you do this?' and he said, 'I'm tired of radical Islamists killing each other. Let other actors know it's not their fault.'"
According to Garcia, nothing in the script or during filming indicated the controversial nature of the final product, now called "Muslim Innocence." Muhammad wasn't even called Muhammad; he was "Master George," Garcia said. The word "Muhammad" was dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammad.
The actress further revealed that the film's director who introduced himself as Sam Bacile sais he was Egyptian and spoke Arabic with his colleagues.
US Ambassador Christopher Stevens after attack (Photo: AFP)
She said she was horrified when she saw the end product, and when protesters in Libya killed four US Embassy employees.
"We have people dead because of a movie I was in. It makes me sick," she said.
Garcia noted that the only unusual thing she noticed during filming was that at one point Bacile wanted a girl that "Master George" (aka Muhammad) was to sleep with to look seven years old, instead of 10, to heighten the outrage. But his Assistant Directors protested, saying that was too young.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that the entire 80-member cast and crew of the film have released a statement saying they were misled. "The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer.
"We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."
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