Actor Tessa Thompson is excited about the future of representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thompson, who plays the first confirmed LGBTQ hero in the MCU, King of Asgard Valkyrie, said, “we’re really talking about what representation looks like in those spaces.”
Speaking to actor Ramy Youssef in an episode of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Thompson said, “The truth is these movies travel globally in such huge ways, and if you can represent people that are of colour, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films, it’s a pretty big deal.”
She added, “I think it’s really important for everybody, but for young people especially, to be able to show up to those movies and see projections of themselves. So I’m really excited that we’re able to continue to push the bounds of that and that I’m able to do that with Valkyrie. Because there’s so many cool queer characters in the comic books, and they should have a place on screen.”
Thompson’s words come mere days after her Marvel co-star Anthony Mackie expressed dissatisfaction at Marvel’s handling of race behind-the-scenes on several of its films. “It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white,” Mackie had said, also in an Actors on Actors episode.
Marvel is trying to diversify both in front of and behind the camera on its future projects. Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct Black Panther 2; Chloe Zhao is directing The Eternals, starring a multiracial cast and reportedly feature the series’ first gay kiss; Cate Shortland directed Black Widow; Destin Daniel Cretton is directing Shang-Chi, starring a mostly Asian cast, and Deborah Chow is in talks to direct future projects.
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