Thor Ragnarok actress, Tessa Thompson, gets real about representation and diversity in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actress plays Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ+ character, Valkyrie. So far, Tessa has appeared in Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. Thompson is now due to star in 2022’s Thor: Love And Thunder.
Tessa was recently on Variety’s Actors On Actors with Ramy Youssef. Thompson used the platform to discuss the importance of improving representation and diversity within MCU. “I think in this next phase of Marvel, we’re really talking about what representation looks like,” she said.
“The truth is these movies travel globally in such huge ways. If you can represent people that are of color, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films. It’s a pretty big deal,” Thompson said. The actor also said that she would like to see more accurate representation of different races on screen. More people of color cast in roles across all platforms.
Anthony Mackie on the lack of diversity in MCU films
Tessa isn’t the only marvel actor who is troubled by the lack of diversity. A few days ago, Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in the MCU, slammed Marvel for the lack of diversity in their films.
“I’ve done 7 Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white. But when you do Black Panther, you have a Black director, Black producer, a Black costume designer, a Black stunt choreographer. And I’m like, that’s more racist than anything else. Because if you only can hire the Black people for the Black movie, are you saying they’re not good enough when you have a mostly white cast?”
“We’re obsessed with watching Black pain”
Thompson added that she tries not to feel like an ambassador for all Black women. This is because every individual has different experiences and a different perspective.
“You look at the way that Black and brown people are portrayed in the media, and there’s a sameness. We’re obsessed with watching Black pain and Black and brown criminality,” she said. “I want for us to be able to exist in ways that we’ve never existed before.”
Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ+ character
Tessa seemed very interested to talk about how improving representation would impact Valkyrie in future Marvel movies. “I’m really excited that we’re able to continue to push the bounds. I’m able to do that with Valkyrie because there’s so many cool queer characters in the comic books. They should have a place on-screen,” she explained.
In 2017, Thompson confirmed that Valkyrie is bisexual, after a Twitter user suggested she was a “typical sexless Marvel tomboy”. “She’s bi,” the actor responded. “And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her. What a joy to play!”
Director Taika Waititi (Ragnarok, Love and Thunder) confirmed earlier this year that he supported giving Valkyrie a queer story line in the upcoming movie. “The IP (intellectual property) is not mine,” he said. “But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable. Whether they feel like there’s a natural choice or a natural way for that character to go. Then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”
The Marvel Fandom has a lot to look forward to! Marvel’s The Eternals, which will be released in 2021, will be the 1st film in the MCU to feature an openly gay couple as well as same-sex kiss.
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