Tatiana Maslany said she is annoyed by the showbiz phrase ‘strong female lead.’
The 36-year-old actress, speaking on Saturday with The Guardian, opened up about her disdain for the concept ahead of her high-profile role as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk on the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
‘Because it’s reductive,’ the Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada-born star said. ‘It’s just as much a shaving off of all the nuances, and just as much of a trope. It’s a box that nobody fits into. Even the phrase is frustrating. It’s as if we’re supposed to be grateful that we get to be that.’
The latest: Tatiana Maslany, 36, said she is annoyed by the showbiz phrase ‘strong female lead,’ ahead of her high-profile role as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk on the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
The Emmy-winning Orphan Black actress said she’s hopeful for a day when a female portraying a superhero is no longer viewed as unique.
‘I’m really interested in when these [marginalized] voices get to speak without it being like: “Oh my God, it’s all women,” or, “Oh my God, this is a story about a queer couple,” and those stories become as innately expected as they are now special,’ she said.
Maslany said she was not at liberty to drop too many details about the forthcoming series, adding, ‘But I kind of like that because, as viewers, we all love a surprise, right?’
She said that her character is an attorney beginning her career when ‘something happens that turns her superhuman, and the story follows her struggle with this thing.’
The Emmy-winning Orphan Black actress said she’s hopeful for a day when a female portraying a superhero is no longer viewed as unique
Maslany said that her character is an attorney beginning her career when ‘something happens that turns her superhuman, and the story follows her struggle with this thing’
Maslany said of her character, ‘What drew me to the role is how human and how unheroic she is, and how little interest she has in pursuing all that.’
Maslany opened up on working on the show with veteran Hulk star Mark Ruffalo, as her character is the storyline cousin of Bruce Banner.
‘He’s such a special guy, and he’s got this childlike wonder about everything,’ Maslany said. ‘But as Hulk, he’s got this physical dexterity and character precision that really is something to witness.’
She said that in filming the series, both wore nondescript but hi-tech outfits that are aligned to their body movements and facial expressions.
‘Everyone else gets these very cool superhero outfits, and there we were in these little grey suits,’ she joked.
Maslany said of working on the show with veteran Hulk star Mark Ruffalo, ‘He’s such a special guy, and he’s got this childlike wonder about everything’
Maslany said that the series acknowledges how the character is different from past female Marvel characters, saying she thinks ‘there’s been this paradigm shift.’
‘It takes time and it’s about finding new ways to tell stories,’ she said. ‘What made me go: “Oh OK, this feels fresh and surprising,” is that it feels deeply – if I can use a binary term – feminine. There’s a girliness to it. That word is often used as a derisive term, but to me there’s a celebration of female friendship in She-Hulk that’s really fun.’
In the interview, Maslany discussed her beginnings as a child actor and what it was like working as a teenager.
‘I don’t know how you go from working 10-hour days with a bunch of adults where there’s an expectation to perform to going to school and sitting at desks with other kids,’ she said. ‘My peers were all starting to go out drinking and I was, like: “Huh? What is that all about?” I couldn’t quite understand either world, in a way.’
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law also stars Tim Roth, Benedict Wong, Ginger Gonzaga and Jameela Jamil. The series is slated to debut Thursday on Disney+.