For me, the mark of true equality will be when we get to be mediocre. I feel like we [Black actors] are all exceptional because you have to be. It will just be nice when you get to be average.
~ Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson is a superhero, full stop. In the past year alone, she’s starred in Sorry to Bother You, Annihilation, and Creed II, she has a Men in Black reboot on the way, and she literally played a superhero in Thor: Ragnarok. For Creed II, she’s also written and performed her very own original music, redefined the role of the stereotypical boxer wife with strength, independence, and unapologetic blackness, and dealt with a “hangry” Michael B. Jordan on set.
And what does she ask of us? To let her be mediocre. Let her be average. “For me, the mark of true equality will be when we get to be mediocre,” says Thompson, the “we” here referring to black actors. “I feel like we are all exceptional because you have to be. It will just be nice when you get to be average.”
While Thompson probably won’t be pulling an “average” any time soon, the actress is finding the balance between roles that challenge her and providing some much needed representation in Hollywood. And with boxing blockbuster Creed II, Thompson has done just that. She plays Bianca, a “fiercely” strong musician who can, and does, go toe to toe with Jordan’s strong-willed boxer Adonis. Bianca is no sidekick or cheerleader—a choice that Thompson influenced while shaping the role with director Steven Caple Jr.
In theaters starting TONIGHT!
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