Tilda Swinton’s role as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was not without controversy, and now the actress may be the frontrunner to play another doctor: Doctor Who.
NME reported that when Peter Capaldi announced his intention to step down from the lead role in the BBC series Doctor Who, actor Paul McGann, who previously played the role in 1996, voiced his opinion as to who should next take on the role. In a post on Twitter, McGann stated his views that not only should the next Doctor Who be female, but that the role should also be played by none other than Tilda Swinton.
Imagine Capaldi regenerating into.. pic.twitter.com/m0OP6bYlEO
— Paul McGann (@pauljmcgann) January 31, 2017
The Doctor Strange actress has yet to comment on the suggestion, and the BBC are far from making an announcement as to who will play the lead role next.
— The Doctor Who Feed (@drwhofeed) February 3, 2017
Tilda Swinton may have nailed her recent role in Doctor Strange, but there are a number of people who think she shouldn’t have been cast for her role of the Ancient One in the first place.
The whitewashing controversy involving Tilda Swinton’s casting in Doctor Strange, which pulled in $653 million at the worldwide box office, continues. American comedian Margaret Cho, who was born into a Korean family, had an email conversation with Swinton a few months ago and managed to turn the controversy into a national discussion.
Cho isn’t happy about Tilda Swinton being cast as the Ancient One, a character initially written as Tibetan, in Doctor Strange. The comedian, who says she’s a big fan of Swinton’s acting, thinks Asian roles should be played by Asian people.
Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, an Asian character, in Doctor Strange (2016) pic.twitter.com/tStr5MH6e5
— Hava (@caprcgers) January 30, 2017
The heated debate started several months ago when Cho did a podcast interview, and Tilda Swinton shortly responded by publishing an unedited email correspondence between her and the comedian.
Now, Cho appears to have the final word in their conversation. The comedian’s reps released a comment from her, which appears to be a yet another response to Tilda Swinton.
“Asian actors should play Asian roles. I believe my emails stand on their own and should be taken for the spirit in which they were intended.”
Cho also said that she is “grateful” the issue has now become part of the national discussion and was quick to add that she remains “a huge fan” of Tilda Swinton’s work. When Swinton was confirmed by Marvel to play the role, social media went crazy about it, but not in the good sense.
Marvel considered a few people to play the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, including Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, and Bill Nighy, but producers ultimately ended up casting Tilda Swinton. Advocates for more diversity in Hollywood slammed Marvel for promoting the film industry’s bad habit of recasting Asian roles.
— joshua epstein????️???? (@thejoshuablog) January 23, 2017
Ever since Cho went public with her harsh comments about the casting of Tilda Swinton in the new Marvel film, the media followed the heated debate closely. According to Cho, the two had a “long fight” over the controversy, and the comedian admits she felt like she was Swinton’s “servant,” according to Movie Pilot.
“It was weird because I felt like a house Asian, like I’m her servant. Like the ones when they have in the Raj, they would have the house servant who was your confidante.”
Cho also said that she felt “weird” about the entire email exchange with Tilda Swinton, adding that she even felt like she was following the actress with an “umbrella.” But Swinton was quick to go public with the entire email exchange between her and the comedian.
Tilda Swinton argues that her motivation to take on the role of the Ancient One was actually her attempt to encourage diversity in Hollywood. The actress said that it was ironic that she has being caught on the wrong side of this debate, as she has always stood up for diversity in the film industry.
“Whether it is challenging the idea of what women look like, or how any of us live our lives, or how we educate our children, diversity is pretty much my comfort zone.”
Tilda Swinton also said that it’s ironic because Marvel actually tried to avoid diversity problems by recasting the role. Marvel’s other attempt to make sure there was enough diversity in Doctor Strange was casting the 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo.
Apparently, all advocates of diversity in Hollywood misinterpreted Tilda Swinton’s motivation behind taking on the role, which Cho says should have gone to an Asian actor.
[Featured Image by KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images]