These are all good big names with good big projects. Angelina, Gemma, Salma, and (relative) newcomer Lauren Radloff are promoting Marvel’s The Eternals. Jennifer Hudson, many thought would be high on the Oscar radar for Respect. (Maybe she still is? But it feels like people have forgotten the movie itself already.) Jodie Comer has The Last Duel. Halle’s upcoming MMA film Bruised is also her directorial debut. Gal Gadot is in a movie with The Rock and Ryan Reynolds, and has Death On The Nile coming up, although with Armie Hammer in it, will that ever actually get released? (Right now they say February 2022.) And Rita Moreno worked with Steven Spielberg on his West Side Story adaptation, for which he also wrote her a new leading role. Also, she’s Rita f’ing Moreno. These are all buzzy choices, who will bring some sartorial zing to the cocktail party if they get to throw it this year. I hope they do. But I don’t actually think any, or many, of the covers are very good? I was lukewarm on Angie’s, for example, when I wrote it, but then after dealing with all the others, it suddenly might be my favorite. We have a lot to discuss herein, including whether Jennifer Hudson got hosed.
The stars of The Eternals got a combination piece, in the form of a mostly benign Q&A. I learned in this piece that Lauren Radloff is deaf herself and is the first deaf character in a Marvel film. I also thought that this exchange near the end was interesting (and one of the few times where it’s apparent they were doing this at the same time):
SH: I also want to say something about diversity, because of course we all come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We’re all very unique people. I cannot say that what I’m bringing to it is only based on my ethnicity. What Angie’s bringing to it, it’s not her ethnicity. I cannot say Gemma, everything that she is has to do with her ethnic background….
AJ: Yes, I agree. That just felt right and balanced. It was about how unique each person was—their soul and their unique force. And what we brought to the table to solve problems together, to work together, was then all the other aspects of who we were.
SH: There was no cliché….
LR: With this film though, Salma, I think it’s an opportunity for us to show representation on the screen. It’s clear, it’s not hidden. Obviously our differences are apparent: our race, our culture, our values, our abilities. But I think our representation, it doesn’t carry the story. It’s not the point of the story, but it’s still refreshing. It’s new.
Good for her. Everyone else got her own bit: Jodie Comer’s is here, and Jennifer’s, Rita’s, Halle’s. Gal Gadot talks a little bit about the story that Joss Whedon threatened her career and she took it to Warner Bros., but it’s odd — she almost handwaves it? Like, she says it was unacceptable and so she shouted it out and dealt with it and that WB was supportive of her, and then is like, “Water under the bridge!” But it’s not, really; it literally took Wonder Woman herself to get a studio to act swiftly on behalf of a wronged actress, and I think… maybe she doesn’t want to carry that incident any further than she already has, but I would have loved to see a little awareness of the fact that it was resolved the way it was because of her extreme power position, and how far we still have to go for just about everybody else.