Tilda Swinton Is Still Toeing the Company Line on Her Doctor Strange Casting

Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Photo: Marvel

In Doctor Strange, Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One, a character who is an Asian man in the comic-book series, but who, according to Marvel, will be “Celtic” in the film. Critics of the decision, such as George Takei, have argued that Marvel is “backpedaling” when coming up for excuses for Swinton’s casting, which still reflects a tendency to place white actors in Asian roles — even if Swinton’s character is meant to be white, she’s introduced in promo footage as the master of an Orientalized strain of magic, and stylized with East Asian accoutrements. Talking to EW this week, Swinton stuck to the company line, as she has done before:

Anybody calling for more accurate representation of the diverse world we live in has got me standing right beside them … I think when people see this film, they’re going to see that it comes from a very diverse place, in all sorts of ways. Maybe this misunderstanding around this film has been an opportunity for that voice to be heard, and I’m not against that at all. But I do think that when people see the film, they’ll see that it’s not necessarily a target for that voice.

This has been part 5,413 in the series “actor says what you’d expect.”

Tilda Swinton Addresses Doctor Strange Furor