"They're like, "Oh, Asian movies work," and that kind of thing"
Bennet, who played Marvel’s first Asian superhero as Daisy Johnson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., was asked if she noticed any changes to Asian representation in her professional life.
In response, the Asian American actress acknowledged that films such as Shang-Chi, Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians were milestones for the community but representation still has some way to go.
“I mean, as long as we’re talking about it, the change isn’t necessarily complete, if you know what I mean,” she said. “I think that right now, especially to people who aren’t Asian, there’s a trend of Asians in Hollywood. They’re like, “Oh, Asian movies work,” and that kind of thing. But being Asian isn’t a trend to me.”
Nonetheless, Bennet expressed appreciation for Marvel for making the correct casting decision.
“And what I loved about S.H.I.E.L.D is that they cast me because I was right for the role, and ultimately ended up writing to fit my ethnicity and my diversity, and made that a part of the character, and it only added richness to the character,” the 28-year-old said.
Bennet went on to reveal that Asian representation behind the scene also helped to amplify representation on screen.
“I think that’s such an organic and cool way to do things, and that trickled down from Maurissa, who’s one of our showrunners and who happens to be Asian and happens to be a woman, but she’s also incredible at her job,” she said.
Looking ahead, Bennet hopes Asians can evolve beyond being a “trend”.
“And I think the more that it can be not a trend and just be like, “We’re casting people who are awesome for the roles and they happen to be Asian,” that’s when I think things will really start to change,” she said.
“But obviously, are we going in the right direction? Are we going in a better direction? Absolutely. It has to start somewhere, and I think if it starts by being a trend, then I guess that’s the way to do it, but I think we still have a long way to go.”