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Rooney Mara Regrets Starring in 'Pan': I Hate I'm On That Side of 'Whitewashing Conversation'

Rooney Mara Regrets Starring in 'Pan': I Hate I'm On That Side of 'Whitewashing Conversation'

Rooney Mara is opening up about regretting her decision to participate in the movie Pan, where she played the role of Native American Tiger Lily.

“There were two different periods; right after I was initially cast, and the reaction to that, and then the reaction again when the film came out. 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,” the 30-year-old actress told The Telegraph when asked about the intense backlash.

“Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere,” Rooney continued, though, she did add that director Joe Wright‘s intentions were “genuine.”

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  • Casey C

    is there a single project she’s been involved in that she hasn’t later bitched about or ‘regretted’? its like she’s still trying so hard to make herself happen that the only way to get attention is to complain about literally every role. she’s gotten a real reputation as ungrateful.

  • Naynay

    I love the fact that white actors also talk about diversity problems, the problem concerns everyone, clearly chosing her to play a native american is crazy and i love the fact that she own up to it

  • dalovelee

    She was like every other narcissistic actor producer agent in Hollywood. They simply don’t give a damn and think Ohhh this is great you’ll get to work with Hugh Jackman..How the hell could she not have known who the character was? If this was theater there is room to play with casting outside of the actual character description. But no one said to her uh no..This will look bad. Do white people even think anymore?

  • lshelton22

    Saying you feel bad that people are upset is not the same saying that you’re sorry. She continues to be a problematic jerk.

  • Domino

    I don’t think she’s owning up to anything, she’s simply reacting to the backlash and playing innocent. She could have thought about this and woman up before taking the role, I guess she was too busy getting her paycheck.

  • Naynay

    yeah i know I was about to say she could’ve done it before getting a paycheck but at least she’s admitting she made a mistake, let’s just hope more actors do that aka jake gyllenhaal playing the prince of persia, gerard buttler playing an egyptian king … the list keeps going on and on and no actor has ever admitted their mistakes so it’s a first step

  • Kaitlyn

    While I agree that the casting of Tigerlily was ridiculous, this is yet another case where people were more interested in complaining than the actual film. The movie would’ve been bad regardless of nationality of actors.

  • Kaitlyn

    What exactly is she supposed to say “I’m sorry” about? For taking a job? And who exactly is supposed to accept that apology?

    This “White Hate” trend is completely out of hand because white people are being vilified for living their lives in the EXACT same manner than any successful minority actor does. (And yes, there are many successful minorities out there. And NONE of them are declining roles in order to provide opportunity for others).

  • Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird

    Wow way to lump all white people together there! “Do white people even think anymore?” Maybe YOU should think before you write, how about that?

  • black_dontcrack

    You’re a kind and generous person to say at least she admitted she made a mistake. I’m just not that kind and generous. She knew. She did it anyway. IMO she stood with the cast and crew to make the movie, and now she’s throwing them under the bus and distancing herself from them.

  • black_dontcrack

    There aren’t enough roles for minorities to go around, so heck no you don’t see them turning down roles. This has nothing to do with white hate. This has to do with the fact that actors/actresses of color aren’t considered for roles even when the character is a person of color. People can be mad at that and not hate white people. News flash…not everything is about white people. OK?

  • Eyes Wide Open

    I loathe the white washing done by Hollywood. It’s ridiculous, and most evident in biblical movies. I would maybe believe Rooney Mara’s regret if it was a film she made as a child, but this woman is 30 years old and this film was made with full knowledge that her character was Native American. There were big battles about this over the movies Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings (to name a very few) which were made before Pan. So she had to have known of this issue. To make the film, have it get panned (pun intended), still take your paycheck, then months after the film is forgotten you come out to apologize, tells me nothing more than you’re trying to distance yourself from being part of the problem. Thing is, you’re still part of the problem. The new film coming out with Gerard Butler, I believe their director has apologize for white washing his biblical film, but he’s still releasing it. If she wants me to believe her apology, then she should take all the money she made and donate it to a Native American organization. That would tell me she’s really sorry.

  • Admiral Nissan

    She did a nice job in the role and people should stop whining so much. She shouldn’t have apologized; rather she should have told them to go pound sand.

    If the Woo-Woo-Indian crowd wants to control casting, then they should finance their own production.

  • Eyes Wide Open

    So you’ll be fine when they cast Kanye West to play Elvis or John Wayne or General Sherman or Abe Lincoln? This works both ways.

  • Jesse Schaffer

    I really hate the white washing debate if a non white actor had been picked to play pan or hook it would have been considered progressive however a white actor playing a traditionally native american character is considered white washing… kind of a double standard don’t you think?

  • Morte Diem

    Righhttt…cause none of you would turn down a million dollar paycheck to play a character. She’s a great actress and it’s a shame that she’s getting backlash for doing her job when really the people in charge of casting and the director should be the ones taking the heat.

  • DEADP00L

    God’s of Egypt, Exodus, any Middle Eastern mythology like Arabian Nights and so on and this movie, only highlights just how embedded the prejudice of Hollywood is. From casting real Muslims whatever nationality they are to actual Arabs instead of shoddy Arabic speaking non-arabs, Asians not given actual Asian roles, to actually acknowledging the existence of Native Americas beyond the stereotypical cow boys and Indians, much less role for African people even in settings in African countries like EGYPT — Hollywood just wont do it.

    Rooney has a right to hate being apart of that. She’s a bigger person for acknowledging it too. She was hired to do a job, no one is going to begrudge her for that. Its HOLLYWOOD studio execs and the bigots obviously in charge that are to blame. It’s them who are wretched people who deserve all the backlash these movies get. The only thing actors can do is refuse the work and the ‘awards’ that follow them to help push for a Hollywood worthy of the diversity that is authentic art.

    Portraits aren’t painted without colors. Whether they like it or not.

  • lost_girl

    Had a african american made the movie & casted white actors, would it still be said this is racists?? boycott bloody hollywood, every single movie, because there will ALWAYS be someone who wants to witch about this…be it black white asian hispanic….

  • Jeff Johnson

    Yes, lets keep focusing the color of our skin instead of the character that is portrayed. There is no skin color in books unless the conversation/description creates it, why does it matter in film? If that’s the case, why are non-whites playing characters who have traditionally been white? I’m looking forward to Mark Wallberg playing kunta kinte and Denzel Washington play Andrew Jackson.

  • Admiral Nissan

    Actually, they can do that if they wish — I don’t really care. The investors might have something to say about that.

  • DEADP00L

    You obviously didn’t see the backlash when a black man was cast as the Human Torch for Fantastic Four.

  • DEADP00L

    What a cop out.

  • Thinker

    Let’s all apologize for being white because it’s perfectly okay to hate white people.

  • Just Saying

    She definitely doesn’t regret the money she got paid for it…

  • gapeterson

    she could send the paycheck back, uncashed…..yeah, I thought not…

  • DEADP00L

    This has nothing to do with being white. When it’s WHITE people in NON-WHITE roles. Or do you seriously think no one was pissed off when a black person played a white superhero recently?

    Pretty sure people would be pissed if a black man was cast to play Ronald Regan.

    But when a white man is cast to play MICHAEL JACKSON and people get pissed — its telling white people to apologize for being white?

  • Hannibal

    that’s because that doesn’t happen…and DIDN’T happen…..a WHITE actor got cast for a NATIVE AMERICAN role, there are plenty of young, pretty native american actresses out there…they just don’t have the cache because of this problem….and it hasn’t changed over the decades….remember David Carridine being cast for the Kung Fu TV series?

  • Corey Spirit-Fingers

    Hey look everyone, it’s white fragility up here with Krysten! I get dalovelee’s point, to bad the butt hurt is so strong with you Krysten…. so very strong…

  • = ( ^___^) +

    Sigh. Don’t you mean she should return the money earned from that performance? Do you REALLY think the “check” is just sitting on a shelf in her million dollar home? Heck, maybe she even received the payment as direct deposit

  • lost_girl

    but the original point made, was if a african american had made the movie, would there still be outrage here?? lets have more directors producers of diverse movies, instead, spanning all nationalities giving all chance, but until we stop with the mud slinging and start bridging the gap, this will continue..

  • Thinker

    Ronald Reagan was a real person, Tiger Lily is fiction. Michael Jackson could be played by either, since he was both.

  • DEADP00L

    Native Americans are NOT fiction though.

    Tiger lily is a NATIVE AMERICAN character.

    An Anglo Saxon/European playing a Native American, fiction or no, is insulting to the victims of real European genocide.

    There are native actors – hire them. SIMPLE!

    The human torch isn’t a real person either, and we all know how that turned out.

  • Fairisfair

    Yeah like black people are known as mental giants. Kanye, Sharpton ,Jackson,. Before you start throwing stones make sure you have enough rocks.

  • gapeterson

    either way “return the check” simply meant she has been paid to do a “job”, if she genuinely feels conflicted about accepting that job she should have refused or returned her pay and distanced herself from that project….

  • Asia Coleman

    WTF are you talking about? When non white actors even play FICTIONAL roles in movies and television where readers assume the character is white, people lose their minds. There is no double standard.

  • DEADP00L

    Why don’t you ask the NATIVE AMERICAN community? I am pretty sure even the black community would be going WTF to Tiger Lilly being cast as a non-Native even if black. Its called INTEGRITY. They have that.

  • Fairisfair

    It’s a role. Do you think Bela Lugosi was a real vampire? It’s just a role folks. Why make a big deal of it. If it offends you don’t see it..

  • DEADP00L

    Human Torch wasn’t real either, but when a Black man was cast everybody lost their crap.

  • Thinker

    Haha you’re crazy. It’s a character, can be played by anyone. Turn Superman black for all I care, make Batman Chinese, doesn’t really matter.

    Native Americans are still around; not my fault their grandparents got measles and died, nor is it my fault Indians attacked people with guns and lost.

  • DEADP00L

    Tell that to all the idiots that boycotted the movie and went so far as to threaten Jordans life, sending him death threats and horrendous online commentary.

    I am not making this up. It happened, it was so bad even he acknowledged it publicly numerous times. And they STILL wouldn’t let up, even right now.

    Wounded knee and COLONIALISTS/settlers had NOTHING to do with Indians having guns BTW or attacking people with guns. They didn’t have guns when the protestants landed. They were saved by the natives and the thanks they got was ethnic cleansing of their homelands.

    The LEAST we can do is have their people play Native American roles really.

  • Johnny Ortega

    First-world problems.

  • Fairisfair

    not aware of this, but when Will Smith did the Wild Wild West I don’t remember any flack.

  • Paige Gladden

    My only issue with a black Human Torch was the fact that I had taken it that he is the sibling to Susan Storm who, in the movie, is a white woman… I’m not saying one of them couldn’t of been adopted or something but still. I honestly don’t care what race plays what character. As long as they have decent acting skills I’m good with it.

  • Paige Gladden

    you are really torn up about the human torch arn’t you. Don’t you have any other examples to choose from?

  • Paige Gladden

    100% right here.

  • DEADP00L

    Will Smith wasn’t playing an originally white character. If he played Nathan Drake there would be HUGE backlash.

    Tiger lilly is a Native American, hence the backlash when a European plays a Native.

    Oh yeah it happened, death threats were issued and he was threatened with lynching by online commentators.

  • DEADP00L

    Because white and black families don’t exist? Tell that to SEAL and Heidi.

  • :)

    Am I the only one who thought her character was suppose to represent a mysical character? I seriously thought she was some sort of fairy/angel/other worldy creature. As for the racists Native Americans can be white too.

  • Kevin

    Stop making this about you. This is about something actually racist. You are mad that we white people get clumped into groups when you are behaving just like any stereotypical white person does when something isn’t directly positively affecting them. Just stop.

  • Janna