By Andrea Plaid
Of course, she’s known as a wonderful—and gorgeous!—actor who can move through comedy (the only reason I suffered through Chris Rock’s damn-divorce-your-real-life-wife-already flick I Think I Love My Wife is her) and drama (she has guest roles in Law & Order, 24, and Gossip Girl) and from live-action TV and movies to animation (Boondocks) and video games (DC Universe Online). However, she’s known and beloved for her sci-fi work: reaching back to Black-man-superhero series M.A.N.T.I.S., Cleopatra 2525, Alias, Firefly–and the movie sequel Serenity–and, yes, the Matrix sequels, to name some of her roles. (And some folks give her extra Black Love daps for marrying Morpheus, a/k/a Laurence Fishburne, and their daughter Delilah.)
The R’s Arturo García said this about Torres:
I think it speaks to her on-screen presence that she was, for a long time, a popular choice among Whedonistas to take up the mantle of playing Wonder Woman. So much so that she’s been tapped to provide not only Diana’s voice in the “DC Universe Online” online game, but her evil counterpart, Superwoman, in the “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” animated film.
However, Torres herself holds a slightly different view about sci-fi and her role in it:
Having done two of the “Matrix” films as well as your role in this film, would you say that you have a passion for the sci-fi genre?
Gina: No. It’s just worked out that way. (Laughs). I like good movies. Not to say that there aren’t wonderful sci-fi films out there, but it’s not where I go first. It’s not where I go first in the rental aisle I should say.
And she has this to say about women-in-charge roles, as few and far between as they are:
There seems to be a fascination with Hollywood to either put a female in a distressing view or in leadership position such as Ripley from “Aliens”.
Gina: Yes, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in the middle. Here’s the thing. Once given an opportunity, we absolutely show and in many cases surpass many people’s expectations of what a woman in charge can do. As long as it’s cast well, and as long as the right woman is in the role and we feel we can follow that woman anywhere, then there’s no problem. Sanaa had an authority. Sigourney (Weaver) had an authority. Linda Hamilton (from The Terminator) had an authority that was indisputable, and I’m told that I have some of that as well. I’m very excited about seeing Geena Davis in her next show, “Commander-in-Chief”. I think it’s exciting. I think it’s wonderful. We are capable of a great many things and to portray or see that on the big screen, it’s not a lie or a fantasy. It’s just showing another aspect of what is very real.
And what’s also wonderfully real about Torres is she’s an Afro-Latina (her parents are Afro-Cubans who reared her in New York City) in a society–especially in image-making Hollywood–that acts like “Afro” and “Latin@” should be separate identities.
The headline at Angry Black Woman says it all:
Gina Torres: Actress, Gorgeous, Badass (At Least Her Characters Are)!
She’s rocks pretty hard in real life, too. Check out this interview excerpt on the R Tumblr!