Even before Joe Wright’s live-action retelling of Peter Pan hit theaters, the production came under fire for casting Rooney Mara as the Native American Tiger Lily, and thousands signed a petition objecting to Mara’s casting. Now, less than a week before the Academy Awards and in the middle of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Mara has opened up about her own involvement in the whitewashing debate in a new interview with The Telegraph.
“I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation,” she told The Telegraph. “I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”
Mara added that although she loved working on Pan, she does wish the cast had been more diverse.
“Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blond hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere,” she said.
Pan is one entry in a long list of recent films accused of whitewashing roles, from Emma Stone playing a half-Asian woman in Aloha to Gerard Butler’s role in the upcoming Gods of Egypt. Mara added that part of the reason she’s hesitant to discuss issues of diversity in interviews is because she’s concerned about oversimplifying such “a sensitive issue.”
“Here is the thing, I have a lot to say, and I have very strong opinions about it, but it is such a sensitive issue; I don’t want to reduce it to a sound bite,” she continued. “I feel like that is what is happening. It is being turned into pull quotes and headlines, and that isn’t opening up a conversation so much as pointing fingers at people and taking their awards out of context. I don’t want to step into the conversation that way.”
Read the full interview at The Telegraph.