Tessa Thompson: ‘People of colour are giving each other the best film opportunities’

Tessa Thompson has agreed to so many projects that she has no windows left in her schedule.

Tessa Thompson believes working with directors of colour has been the only way for her to get interesting roles.

The Men in Black: International actress, who has Afro-Panamanian, Mexican, and European heritage, has been working solidly for the past five years on films such as Selma, Creed, and Sorry to Bother You, helmed by the likes of Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler and Boots Riley, respectively.

When it was observed during her cover interview with Marie Claire magazine that she has worked with a lot of black directors, Tessa explained that it’s because people of colour have been better at offering interesting roles to other people of colour.

“It remains the only way,” she declared. “I look at actresses who are not of colour and at the opportunities that they’re presented in terms of directors wanting to make work for them. When I look at my contemporaries of colour, it’s only other artists of colour who are doing that in a real, robust way.”

Since filming Men in Black, the 35-year-old has lent her voice to Lady in the Disney remake of the Lady and the Tramp, filmed Sylvie, a love story set in midcentury Harlem, and is gearing up to reprise the role of Charlotte Hale in the third season of TV series Westworld.

Accordingly, Tessa admitted that her schedule is well and truly filled up.

“I’m really lucky to be inside of projects that I’m obligated to, but it means that I’m increasingly aware of the finite time that I have to make the things I just want to do,” the Los Angeles native explained. “I’ve slotted them into any little window, which means I just don’t have any windows right now.”

Men in Black marks her third time working with Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, after they previously teamed up for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and this year’s Avengers: Endgame, and the Dear White People star joked that they were like the new Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who had an onscreen and offscreen partnership for more than 20 years.

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