Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: Interview with India Wadsworth of The Dark Knight Rises

Like many of you, I am counting down to The Dark Knight Rises

I was lucky enough to interview India Wadsworth, one of the actresses in Nolan's new film. She plays the role of "the Warlord's daughter." Could she be related to Talia Al Ghul? We shall have to wait a few hours and see.

As I promised, we are going to be doing more of these types of features here on WARN in the future. India was kind enough to answer a range of questions about her role in Batman, the politics of racial identity, and her background as an anthropology student at the London School of Economics. 


1. How did you end up in the Dark Knight Rises? Life is a funny and random thing; fate is a trickster. Please tell us your story?

I auditioned in London a while ago now, and luckily got a call a few days later with an offer for a mystery role! 

2. When you were a child, did you ever imagine that you would be famous? Oftentimes celebrities are interviewed and they have a story where their success sounds like fate and destiny. This was something they always wanted, dreamed about, worked hard at, and it happened. Is this true for you?

Hmm I'm not sure I would say I'm famous. It's not something I ever "dreamed" of. When I was a child I dreamed of the boy next door and rainbows!!

My passion and moto was always to work hard to be successful in whatever I ended up doing. So if success means fame, then thats great, and we should enjoy the ride!

3. Nolan is a master storyteller. One of the reasons why Chris is so beloved is that because he creates a totally believable world in his stories. His Batman is absolutely real and believable--there is no "camp" or "pretend" in the the movie. How have you prepared for your role in Dark Knight Rises? What back story did you create for your character? Without giving too much away about your role, how does she fit into this universe?

Preparing for a mystery role is a challenge, but so exciting. I'd like to think that being in the present moment is as real as you can get, and acting in Nolan's universe has to be genuine and authentic in order for his master story to be so incredible!

4. You studied anthropology at the LSE, please show off a bit if you would. Are we a product of nature or nurture? Do you subscribe to socio-biology? Who is your favorite anthropologist? Who is your least favorite? If you had to tell someone to watch a film or documentary that captures the essence of anthropology what would it be?

Haha! not sure if I can show off anymore, LSE seems like a while ago now!

Life in a Day is definitely one the most important films over the last few years. And from an anthropological perspective is show us who we are right now as a human race.

Nature vs nurture is a fascinating debate that if you get me started I won't stop. So maybe I'll send you one of my essays!

My good Polish friend Branislaw Malinowski kept me inspired during my course, Maison Malinowski was a little coffee shop in Covent Garden which was my escape from the insanity of the LSE library!

I wouldnt say I had a least favourite anthropologist but attempting to understand the theoretical study of Marx always gave me a headache!!

Darwinian anthropology and evolutionary theory always intrigued me so I guess i would subscribe to socio-biology.

5. A related question. Race is a social fiction, a myth, a construction, yet it is real. As has undoubtedly happened given your mixed racial background--there is only one race as you know, the human race, but language is binding in these matters, so alas--what do you do when folks ask, "what are you?" How do you answer? Is there any difference in how these questions are asked (and your answer) in the United States, the U.K., or Europe more generally?

I'm not sure I have ever been asked "what are you?". I'm a human!!

But when I'm asked where i'm from, I'm always say British, no matter where I am in the world. I'm proud of being British and I am also proud of having a mixed ancestry. Have you seen Thandie Newton on I love her speech, I think she sums up race and genetic difference really well, that race has no basis in biological or scientific fact.

6. Here at We Are Respectable Negroes we spend a good amount of time talking about being "ghetto nerds." This is our way of thinking about popular culture, race, sci-fi, fantasy, comics, and all those other genres where people of color are often treated as being peripheral. You and I both know that folks like us have always been central to these worlds, and have been deeply invested in them as fans, creators, actors, actresses, artists, and the like. Any advice for young women of color who share these interests and want to develop them professionally?

I'd say watch this:


Brotha Wolf said...

My sis and I wanted to see it, but after what happened...uhhh...I think I'll wait until it comes to cable lol.

chaunceydevega said...

@Brotha. Got to represent. Don't let lone wolves scare you away.