Discussions Around Diversity of Idea, Thought, or Presentation Rare: Tessa Thompson

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With Hollywood striving to be more inclusive, we’re seeing many people of color pop up on-screen. However, Tessa Thompson believes Hollywood can reconsider the kinds of stories it’s willing to tell.

Amid conversations about diversity for her interview with Harpers Bazaar, the Westworld actress shared how these discussions rarely consider diverse stories. However, for now, just seeing more color on-screen is a good step.

“Diversity of idea, thought, or presentation, …. And for me, it’s not enough that we get to exist in frames.”

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While she may say this, the Thor: Ragnorak actress still set up her own thriving production company, Viva Maude. She launched the production company last year.

So Tessa Thompson is already challenging what ‘inclusive and inventive’ is and what that means in terms of film. Viva Maude is dedicated to developing ‘inclusive stories with inventive creators’.

It has put forth works like The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, an adaptation of the 2020 National Book Awards finalist by Deesha Philyaw. As well as announce other projects including the adaptation of Who Fears Death, the critically acclaimed Africanfuturist novel by Nnedi Okorafor.

Then of course there’s Luster, the sensational debut by Raven Leilani.

“How do we create worlds where the kind of protagonists that we don’t often get to see get to take up space?” Thompson said.

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The company name comes from the beloved 1971 film Harold and Maude, which was underappreciated in its day. Something the actress can relate to as an underappreciated actress. However, that’s not something that bothers her.

“People didn’t really get it or know what to do with it,” she explained.

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