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    Gemma Chan Responds To "Mary Queen Of Scots" Backlash About Playing A White Historical Figure

    "If John Wayne can play Genghis Khan, I can play Bess of Hardwick."

    From Crazy Rich Asians to Humans, it's clear Gemma Chan not only has range, but also a knack for nabbing roles we can't stop talking about.

    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

    But there's one character of Gemma's that's caused a bit of an uproar, solely because of her race: Bess of Hardwick from the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots.

    Focus Features

    Gemma, who is of Chinese ancestry, portrayed Bess of Hardwick, a prominent white countess in Elizabethan English society.

    With comments like these floating around the internet...

    ...Gemma decided to open up to Allure magazine about representation and her mission to destroy whitewashing in Hollywood.

    "Why are actors of color, who have fewer opportunities anyway, only allowed to play their own race?" the 36-year-old actor asked Allure.

    "And sometimes they’re not even allowed to play their own race. In the past, the role would be given to a white actor who would tape up their eyes and do the role in yellowface."

    Rich Polk / Getty Images

    "John Wayne played Genghis Khan. If John Wayne can play Genghis Khan, I can play Bess of Hardwick. I feel like Hamilton opened minds a lot. We have a black man playing George Washington."

    Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

    "They describe it as ‘America then, told by America now.’ And I think our art should reflect life now.”

    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

    "If we portray a pure white past, people start to believe that’s how it was, and that’s not how it was."

    Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

    Gemma continues to fight for visibility with every project she goes after. Most recently, you can find her in Captain Marvel as Doctor Minerva, a Kree geneticist and member of the Kree Superteam Starforce.

    And to read more from Gemma Chan's interview, head to Allure.

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