Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, the funniest installment of the Thor film franchise, and one of the best Marvel pictures of them all. A lot of that has to do with Thompson, who is dazzling as the swashbuckling, ex-elite Asgardian warrior who captures her brethren and drags him to the arena.
It's obvious that the role could have gone to someone white, but the addition of Thompson — in all her complexity — gave the film and the role gravitas. Not to mention, she's an amazing actress whose path to fame is now nearly absolute.
Performances like these are why people argue for the inclusion of people-of-color in general and actresses-of-color in particular when it comes to roles everywhere. The added layer of diversity adds a level of understanding to the role and to the world in which that role lives that doesn't exist otherwise.
And she's not the only one. Imagine a woman of color in a film like Blade Runner: 2049 or if a potentially amazing film like Ghost In The Shell actually had an Asian lead character? There are so many franchises that could be elevated by actresses-of-color: their verve, their non-western beliefs, their different upbringings.
So many times, Twitter has become arrested with non-sensical casting decisions that white-wash roles made for people of color. Even as it becomes clear that films with a swathe of actors of different ethnicities tend to do better than their all-white counterparts. In 2015, the Washington Post pointed out this exact fact. More recently, the Los Angeles Times spoke about how the success of minority films or films with minority lead/supporting actors are often swept under the rug. "Every time there's a success, it gets swept under the rug," said Jeff Clanagan, president of Lionsgate's Codeblack Films, which primarily produces films with African American casts, in the piece. "It's almost like there's an asterisk on it. They chalk it off as an anomaly."
Well, it's time for Hollywood to wake up!
In fact, here, we give you 11 actresses-of-color that would be sure to add new life to any big budget franchise that's out there.
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