Rooney Mara played a spectacular Tiger Lily in last year’s Pan. Her talent, air of mystery and ability to conjure a sense of childhood wonder were spot on.
Pan was great, yet Rooney Mara regrets playing the role.
The role of Tiger Lily was hotly debated last year after accusations of “whitewashing” were leveled against Pan director Joe White.
Obviously, in the original Disney film Tiger Lily is a Native American princess. However, in the book, the native tribe’s race is not specified.
She told Telegraph, “I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”
She continued, “Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No.”
But, Rooney Mara added that “there should have been some diversity somewhere.”
However, in an interview with Deadline, Rooney Mara explains that Joe White’s intentions were never to whitewash. In fact, it was just the opposite. He was trying to create a tribe of mixed races all living together.
She said, “It was Joe’s pure desire to make the natives a conglomeration of many different cultures and indigenous people. To make them people of the world. He wanted them to be natives of planet Earth. I thought that was a really beautiful intention of his.”
She added, “That being said, I understand the anger about whitewashing. I completely do, and I agree with it.”
What do you think about Rooney Mara being ashamed of playing Tiger Lily?