'Creed II' and 'Men in Black' Star Tessa Thompson on Women of Color in Hollywood

Tessa Thompson is proving that actresses of color can take on any role.

“It’s so exciting for me to be a part of a franchise like ‘Rocky,’ and there’s a whole new generation of people that get to see themselves in that space,” she explained. “If you’re a Black person, a person of color, so often you’re tasked with going to a dimly-lit cinema and being in the shoes of someone who looks nothing like you.”

Thompson plays Adonis Creed’s lover Bianca in “Creed II” to remind the fighter family is more important than winning. She said she admired the character’s agency and strong sense of self.

“For us, it’s about bringing this to a modern audience and talking about millennial love and Black love and also projecting the image of a woman on screen who, yes, has her own agency,” she said.

Thompson has played an impressive range of characters and never seems to take on the same type of role twice. She says it’s important for her to break out of stereotypical roles and play drastically different characters.

“As a woman, as a woman of color, I am bound to get boxed into those spaces, and we have for so long,” she said. “I think the cool thing about media is we have the power to reflect the world that we live in — we also have the ability to create it.”

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