DOCTOR STRANGE Actress Tilda Swinton Praises Marvel Studios' Casting Diversity

DOCTOR STRANGE Actress Tilda Swinton Praises Marvel Studios' Casting Diversity

DOCTOR STRANGE Actress Tilda Swinton Praises Marvel Studios' Casting Diversity

The decision to alter the Ancient One in Doctor Strange into a white woman didn't sit well with everyone, and Tilda Swinton once again addressed the issue, defending Marvel's casting diversity...

It's well known that there was some hefty criticism for the casting of actress Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Marvel's Doctor Strange. The British actress, who is white and of Celtic descent, was cast as a character that was Tibetan in the original Marvel comics. While Marvel has defended the actresses casting, it hasn't stopped many from accusing the film of whitewashing the character, something that Hollywood as a whole is still being criticized for. 

In an interview with OUT Magazine, Swinton acknowledged and welcomed the criticism of her casting, deeming it necessary in order to perpetuate conversation about diversity and equality in film. Nevertheless, she defended her casting in the film all the same. "As someone who has worked from the beginning as an artist within a queer aesthetic, the urgency of that voice is always going to be welcome. At the same time, the film Marvel has made—in which they created a part for which I was not bad casting, in actual fact—is a departure from the source material in more ways than one."

Swinton elaborated that while her character may have been altered from the source material, many other characters in the film, specifically Baron Mordo and Wong, were also changed in order to reflect modern society. "Ironically, their casting is positively diverse in this case: The Ancient One in this film was never written as the bearded old Tibetan man portrayed in the comics. Baron Mordo, a Caucasian Transylvanian in the graphic novels, is here played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Benedict Wong plays a newly expanded and significant role as Wong, who in the comics is a mini-minor character. I believe in Marvel’s wholehearted commitment to creating a diverse and vibrant universe, avoiding stereotype and cliché wherever possible in a determination to keep things fresh and lively."

Swinton finished by saying that while she understands that there will still be some who are unhappy with the decision to alter the Ancient One, she urges those people to view the film in context, and also hopes for Marvel to have their first openly gay character onscreen in the near future. "There may be some people who do not like these changes, but I am hopeful that when they see the film itself they may understand why these particular balances were struck. Meanwhile, whether they do or not, and this film aside, all strength to the lobby for a greater variety in cinema and in life. We are also still looking forward to our first gay Marvel superhero, naturally. Let’s hope that’s only a matter of time."
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