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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Diplomats' movie hopes dashed
Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman appears in the film as a UN interpreter
Ambassadors at the United Nations have had their hopes of appearing in a film with Nicole Kidman scuppered.

Oscar-winning actors Kidman and Sean Penn are filming their new movie, The Interpreter, on location at the UN.

But actors are to play the roles of are diplomats - dashing the hopes of real-life diplomats wanting a cameo role.

Spain's UN ambassador, Inocencio Arias, who has appeared in many Spanish films, said he was disappointed after lining up a part to play a prime minister.

He said: "It was my dream that I was going to be in a movie with Sydney Pollack directing.

My opportunity to have a nomination for the Oscar next year went away because of some stupid regulation
Inocencio Arias, Spanish ambassador

"He's one of my heroes in the movie industry. But then the day before the shooting they called and said the union had some reservation, some qualms."

"I wasn't even going to charge any money. If they had to give me some money, I was going to give it to research."

Kidman stars in the film as a UN interpreter who comes from a fictional African country troubled by civil unrest.

Penn plays a Secret Service agent trying to prevent the leader of a country from being killed.

There has been some confusion over why the diplomats cannot appear in the film, which is being filmed at the UN headquarters in New York.

UN headquarters, New York
The movie is being filmed on location at the UN in New York

Pollack initially said it was "UN decision" but then explained a lot of ambassadors and UN staff do not have the necessary work permits to be paid by an American film company.

UN Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor said, "We're very happy to have the ambassadors play themselves and do whatever they want.

"It's up to them, their governments and the filmmakers. The UN doesn't employ the ambassadors."

Jordan's UN ambassador, Prince Zeid Al Hussein, said: "It's a great shame we weren't allowed to have bit parts in this movie because we're very familiar with the setting.

"We're very familiar with the work of interpreters... and we feel well attuned to do that sort of thing."

Mr Arias added: "My opportunity to have a nomination for the Oscar next year went away because of some stupid regulation."

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