'Problematic': Natalie Portman Talks Whitewashing Allegations In 'Annihilation'


'Problematic': Natalie Portman Talks Whitewashing Allegations In 'Annihilation'

Natalie Portman said she didn't know her character was supposed to be Asian in "Annihilation". "I'm hearing that for the first time".

Portman said in the same interview that Hollywood needs to get better at on-screen representation. of different ethnicities. The initial novel doesn't specify race as a marker of character description, but the second novel classifies two of the protagonists - the biologist and the psychologist - to be at least partly of Asian and Native American descent, respectively. "It was very cool and I'm truly grateful for it, actually".

In "Annihilation", men need not apply as a group of female scientists is recruited for a mission into "Area X", a sinister and mysterious portion of the USA coastline surrounding a top-secret alien crash site. "Hollywood rarely writes prominent parts for Asian American and American Indian characters, and those roles could've bolstered the careers of women from those communities".

"Well, that does sound problematic", declared Portman. And when Garland was writing the screenplay, he intentionally only read the first book. (They're referred to as "the biologist", "the psychologist", and so forth.) Those identifying details weren't revealed until the sequel, "Authority". I would think that the minimum research in adapting a book to film would include finding out what shapes the characters' unique identities (i.e. gender, race, background).

Invada Records and Lakeshore Records are set to co-release the soundtrack to Alex Garland's 2018 film Annihilation. The soundtrack has been scored by composers Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, who've both previously worked with Garland on his Oscar-nominated film Ex Machina. But we don't know this until the second novel in author Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, Authority, when he writes, "The biologist's hair had been long and dark brown, nearly black, before they'd shaved it off".

Sci-fi blockbuster "Annihilation" has been praised for its stunning, ethereal look but it is a relatively banal image that marks it out as unusual: its all-female cast, marching into danger together.

It should be acknowledged that Garland's cast is more diverse than many; Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Benedict Wong, and Oscar Isaac all play major roles; and early critical response to the film has been enthusiastic.

"We need more representation of Asians on film, of Hispanics on film, of blacks on film, women and particularly women of color, Native Americans - I mean, we just don't have enough representation", Natalie continued.

The 36-year-old Portman ("Black Swan", "Jackie") said one of the aspects of filming she most valued was downtime spent with her co-stars.

"These categories like "white" and "nonwhite" - they're imagined classifications but have real-life consequences". "And I hope that begins to change, because I think everyone is becoming more conscious of it, which hopefully will make change".

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