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Tilda Swinton: ‘My casting in Doctor Strange is promoting diversity’

Actress Tilda Swinton is urging moviegoers to see Doctor Strange before criticising her casting, insisting she is committed to diversity in Hollywood.
Officials at Marvel Studios came under fire when the Caucasian actress was first cast as Doctor Stephen Strange’s mentor, a comic book character from Tibet.
Swinton tried to clear up the controversy earlier this year (16) by insisting her new character is not Asian, and is, in fact, a whole new take on comic book guru The Ancient One and she is now echoing her sentiments, insisting her character promotes diversity.
“There is little for me to add except to say that anyone speaking up for a greater accuracy in the representation of the diversity of the world we live in has me right beside them,” she tells Out magazine. “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.”
The 55-year-old goes on to explain many of the characters in the film have been re-imagined and the actors portraying the parts are of different cultures and ethnicities than the originals.
“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,” she says. “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.”
Tilda is aware there may be some fans who are not appreciative of the new changes, but she hopes they will look at the bigger picture.
“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,” she continues.
Doctor Strange, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular superhero, is set for release next month (Nov16).

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