Tilda Swinton's casting as the Ancient One in 2016's Doctor Strange raised a lot of eyebrows several years back and while the acclaimed actress gave us a refreshing take on the iconic Marvel character, the fact that the role was "whitewashed" caused quite the controversy. Marvel Studios is no longer a stranger to tweaking the origin of its characters but the fact that a white woman portrayed a character that is originally presented as an old Asian man in the comics didn't sit well with a lot of people.
Last May, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige finally opened up about the initial backlash surrounding Swinton's casting which they thought during the time was "cutting-edge", admitting that it wasn't a smart decision. Now, the Scottish actress is weighing in on Feige's statement and according to her, she's grateful that the producer stood up against the whitewashing of the Ancient One.
In an interview with Variety, Tilda casually opened up about playing the Ancient One and spoke of the initial backlash she received. She said: "I'm very, very grateful that he said that. I remember at the time having a question mark in my own mind, and being attendant to the public response to the idea that a Scottish woman will be playing this character, and being aware that there was no resistance at all, there was widespread welcome, which shifted at a certain point, for very good reasons with which I had an enormous amount of sympathy."
She continued: "The audience feels ever more empowered to contribute to the narrative and to feel heard within the narrative, and that's a really healthy social development. Diversity is pretty much my comfort zone, the idea of being caught on the wrong side of this debate is a bit of a nightmare to me."
Thankfully, fans eventually warmed up to Swinton's version of the character and her former critics even expressed their dismay over the fact that she was killed off way too early in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It only goes to prove that Tilda gave the role justice and quite frankly, I've always enjoyed her take on the Ancient One and I was totally thrilled she got to cameo in Avengers: Endgame.
Speaking of Doctor Strange, its sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits cinemas in March 2022.
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