"The PROTAGONIST must be empathetic; he may or may not be sympathetic."
- Robert McKee
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was played brilliantly by Helen Mirren and written masterfully by Peter Morgan, possesses neither of those qualities. She is neither like us nor likeable. She will command your respect but not necessarily your heart.
And yet, The Queen will go on to win awards on top of awards, because it is a story so very well told. She was both right and wrong, loving and callous, stuffy and witty, stubborn and compromising, perceptive and out of touch, and you cannot help but be fascinated by her.
Those who are NOTHING like us living in a world we've never known can be so very interesting to us, can they not, BECAUSE they are not like us? Is it so terribly wrong to have a protag who isn't empathetic or sympathetic but instead possesses great character depth?