Jessica Henwick will portray the daughter of the dragon, Colleen Wing, in Netflix’s ‘Iron Fist’ when the show debuts this March. At first Henwick was hesitant about taking the role because the source material for which the show drew on had racial stereotypes, but not anymore.
Henwick recently spoke with Collider about her portrayal of Wing, and how the series is looking to investigate the Asian stereotypes that the character was created from, rather than rely on them. When asked about concerns over the character’s origins, Henwick talked about her own journey and how she went from actively avoiding Asian character roles to embracing them:
“For me, when they approached me about Colleen, I was a little bit like, huh, do I want to play an Asian woman who does martial arts who’s a love interest? Do I want to do those three things? Because I’ve always shied away from it. In fact, I’ve shied away from playing Asian characters, if you look back I’m playing characters that have no relevance to my ethnicity. But I reached a stage last year where I said, I want to start telling Asian stories, I want a young Asian girl to go, oh my god, that reminds me of my relationship with my mom. So I had some concerns, and Jeph Loeb rang me and he said, ‘We’re going to take the stereotype, and we’re going to — we’re not going to avoid it, we’re going to inspect it.’ For example, she is, I don’t know how many episodes you’ve seen, she’s a martial artist, she fights in fight cages, we’ve seen that before. What happens when you become addicted to that? What happens when you can only talk with your fists and you struggle to communicate on any other level and you’ve become addicted to fighting? So we’ve taken this stereotype and we’ve said, OK, what is the actual realism in it? You know? Which was interesting to me.”
I’m looking forward to see how they deal with the stereotypes that the original source material had. What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below!
Debuting on Netflix on March 17, “Iron Fist” starrs Finn Jones as Daniel Rand, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum, David Wenham as Harold Meachum and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple.