Entertainment

Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie Becomes Marvel’s First Bisexual Superhero And It’s About Damn Time

Over the weekend, at Comic-Con in San Diego, our queen Tessa Thompson dropped some huge news about Valkyrie –– the character she plays in the Thor films. Are you ready?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will get its first LGBTQ superhero in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder

“First of all, as new King  [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen,” Thompson said during a panel at Comic-Con. “So that will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”

Thompson alluding to the LGBTQ storyline was met with roaring applause and left many MCU fans wondering about her role as Valkyrie. Marvel president confirmed Thompson’s statement, making Valkyrie the first openly LGBTQ superhero in MCU history. 

“The answer is yes,” Feige told io9 of the LGBTQ character and storyline. “How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not in just Thor 4.” 

For diehard MCU fans, this should come as no surprise because the comic books depict Valkyrie as bisexual.

However, the films were notorious for only glossing over this backstory and simply flirting with the fact that Thompson’s Valkyrie is bisexual. 

“In the canon, [Valkyrie] is bisexual. You see her with women and men, so that was my intention in playing her,” Thompson told Variety earlier this year. “Obviously, at the forefront of most of these stories is not typically their romantic life. They have big stakes, like saving the world, so that tends to sort of trump.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, it’s also important to emphasize the fact that Valkyrie is the first “openly” LGBTQ superhero

“The ‘openly’ matters when it comes to visibility. Valkyrie in the comics is bisexual and Thompson has been vocal about that fact on social media. However, when it came to Thor: Ragnarok, a scene was cut in which a woman would’ve been seen sneaking out of Valkyrie’s bedroom and the film, instead, flirted with sexual tension between Valkyrie and Hemsworth’s Thor,” writes Nick Romano for Entertainment Weekly

Aside from Thompson’s Valkyrie becoming MCU’s first openly bisexual superhero, Marvel made other important announcements showing the latest efforts to diversify their films a lot more.

52-year-old Salma Hayek becomes the first Arab and Mexican actress with a main role in the MCU. It was also announced this weekend at Comic-Con that she’s set to star as Ajak in The Eternals. The Lebanese-Mexican actress will star alongside Angelina Jolie talk about a dynamic duo. 

She announced her latest role in the new Marvel film on Instagram, saying: “I’m so excited to join the Marvel family as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals. It used to be the father of all Eternals, but girls… this is OUR time!!!!!” The film is set to release on November 6, 2020.  

Basically, Lena Waithe summed it up for us. “Captain America is black. Thor is a woman. the new Blade got two Oscars. 007 is a black woman. And The Little Mermaid bout to have locs. Shit. Just. Got. Real,” she tweeted. 

In case you missed it, in Avengers: Endgame, Thor passed down the mantle of King of New Asgard to Valkyrie. Now, in Marvel’s Phase Four lineup, we’ll follow her journey as King in Thor: Love and Thunder. The latest Thor installment will also see the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster to wield Mjolnir. Although it won’t hit theaters until November 2021, these latest teases and updates are enough to hold us over. 

Of course, Twitter went wild with the news that Thompson becomes the first LGBTQ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Last year in a profile from Net-a-Porter, published toward the end of Pride Month, Thompson also subtly came out and put rumors to rest surrounding her sexuality. “I can take things for granted because of my family –– it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have a discussion.” 

And don’t think for a minute that any of us missed the big MCU switch up.

The new movies are set to be packed with a whole lot of women.

And literally, everyone has an idea of who Valkyrie’s queen will be.

Literally, we’ve been stanning this relationship for too long.

We can’t wait to see Thompson’s Valkyrie also have that type of freedom in the upcoming Thor movie –– especially given the fact that there’s been a lack of LGBTQ representation in comic book movies. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, Joe Russo portrayed the first openly gay character in the MCU with his appearance in Endgame and Zach Barack became the first trans actor to appear in a Marvel movie (Spider-Man: Far From Home). 

It’s about time for this long-overdue representation.

Oh, and who will play Thompson’s queen? We can’t wait to find out. 

The Real-Life ‘Hustler’ Isn’t Thrilled Over J.Lo’s Depiction Of Her and Said Cardi B Should Have Played Her

Entertainment

The Real-Life ‘Hustler’ Isn’t Thrilled Over J.Lo’s Depiction Of Her and Said Cardi B Should Have Played Her

Jennifer Lopez cannot believe the incredibly positive reviews she’s getting over her lead role in the film “Hustlers.” She was so moved that she cried on national TV. Last week while being interviewed by Hoda Kotb, Lopez expressed her emotional reaction over the surprising reviews for her role, which some critics say could get her an Acadamy Award nomination. Here’s just a snippet of what film critics are saying about the film that made a big debut this weekend. “Hustlers asks what a movie like Goodfellas looks like with women at the center of the story,” one film critic said. “If nothing else, we get to see Jennifer Lopez command the screen as easily as Ramona does the stage, offering up a seductive awards-worthy performance that makes us remember why she became a movie star in the first place,” another said

There is at least one person who isn’t raving about Lopez’s role, and that’s the one who inspired the film. 

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired “Hustlers,” said she would have liked to have seen Cardi B in the lead role instead of Jennifer Lopez. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

The 45-year-old said in an interview with Hollywood Life that rapper Cardi B should have portrayed her instead of the veteran actress, even though this is Cardi’s first film. “I said it from day one, even to the producer. Cardi doesn’t have the acting skills that Jennifer does, but Cardi could relate more to who I was because even though she wasn’t in the same club, we were in the same industry,” she told the lifestyle website. “If Cardi took some acting lessons and shadowed me, I’m sure that she would have played a better role for my character.”

Barbash goes on to say that she is flattered that Lopez wanted to play her in a movie but stresses that the film got several things wrong about her. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

For starters, Barbash wasn’t a stripper at all. The film, based on a 2015 New York magazine article, shows Lopez as a stripper who ends up drugging wealthy bankers and robs them of their money. However, Barbash said she was never a stripper. Barbash actually worked at a strip club in New York City as a hostess. Yes, the other stuff about the drugs and taking their money is correct, but seeing Lopez play her a stripper didn’t sit well with her. Barbash also said that Lopez never reached out to her in order to learn about her mannerisms, which is what actors do when they’re portraying real-life characters. Even when the real-life character is deceased, actors still study old footage to learn more about the role they are playing. You may recall the extensive research Lopez said she did to portray Selena Quintanilla. She even slept in her bed to get into deep character.  

Earlier this year, Barbash said she would release her own memoir about the ordeal (which she did) that got her 5 years probation and said she planned to sue the filmmakers. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

“This is a living nightmare,” Barbash said in April in the New York Post after videos leaked of Lopez on a stripper pole. “So now I’m going to have to do a lawsuit. I’m getting a gag order.” Bruno Gioffre, also said back then, that Barbash was “considering all legal avenues with the possibility injunctive relief, including a lawsuit.” The movie was made despite her legal threats. Today, Barbash is an entrepreneur and owns her own spa business. 

We can see why she would have preferred to see Cardi B in the title role. 

Credit: Instagram/@iamcardib

The Bronx rapper did admit to drugging men and robbing them, just like the characters did in the movie “Hustlers.” In 2017, Barbash was charged for conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in exchange for five years probation

In March, Card admitted on social media that during her stint as a stripper in New York she too did what the “Hustlers” did in the movie. “I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to f*ck me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go to this hotel,’ and I drugged n*****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do.” 

Soon after that post, Cardi said she it was wrong of her to do that and has since tried to make a better life for herself. 

READ: Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar-Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

 
 
 

Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

Entertainment

Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

YOUTUBE / Hustlers BTS Part 1

Jennifer Lopez is getting a ton of Oscar buzz for her performance as Ramona in “Hustlers.” Many people are shocked that Lopez’s film about a group of strippers is a contender for the Academy Award, but maybe they should start raising their expectations for Latinx-lead films. 

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) marks the beginning of awards season. Typically films that premiere at TIFF tend to go onto to win Academy Awards. These films tend to be dark, historical, and often white-centered with few exceptions (like Moonlight). However this year, critics are whispering about an unlikely victor Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers” which stars Jennifer Lopez, along with Constance Wu, Sarah Paulson, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, and Usher.

“Hustlers” is the talk of the Toronto International Film Festival

When the credits rolled during the Hustlers’ TIFF debut the audience of over 2,500 applauded and gave a standing ovation that held to the very last second of the credits.  

“On Sunday, inside the InterContinental hotel, a sharp-suited male walking with Sarah Paulson was overheard telling the actor, ‘Hustlers is my Citizen Kane.’ By Monday word had spread even outside the festival’s perimeter: Several miles north of the 2019 TIFF activity, a Toronto local working at a pharmacy told her coworker that she had heard Hustlers was ‘amazing. I heard J. Lo could win an Oscar,’” writes Barbara Nitke for Vanity Fair

Critics Love Jennifer Lopez

There’s a scene in the film where Lopez does a striptease to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” that has gotten rave reviews. While I haven’t seen the film I imagine there is not anything as compelling as the sheer core strength of a 50-year-old Puerto Rican woman. 

The Daily Beast wrote the article entitled “J. Lo Should Be an Oscar Contender for Hustlers,” writing, “From Lopez, it’s the kind of dynamo movie star performance that gets rarer and rarer, where a character so perfectly fits how we view a performer but still upends every expectation.” 

While Variety said, “If there’s any justice, Jennifer Lopez will receive her first Oscar nomination for channeling the ringleader Ramona as Erin Brockovich by way of Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike.”

Vanity Fair claims this is, “some of the best acting work of her career.” 

“Hustlers” has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

“Hustlers” is a heist movie based on New York Magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores.” The story follows a group of strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients by stealing money from stock traders and entrepreneurs who visit their strip club during the late 2000s financial crisis. The film is a commentary on capitalism, money, and is a subversion of female stereotypes.

Audience members are raving about”Hustlers.”

“With all the Oscars buzz for @JLO in #hustlers here’s an unbelievable statistic. No Latina actress has won the Oscar for best actress. Only four have been nominated (Fernanda Montenegro — at the 71st Oscars — followed by Salma Hayek, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yalitza Aparicio),” pointed out Ramin Setoodeh of Variety. 

“OKAY I am fully on the # Hustlers and Jennifer Lopez Oscar nomination train,” wrote one filmgoer. 

“ACADEMY. AWARD. WINNER. JENNIFER. LOPEZ,” said Joe Reid, co-host of This Had Oscar Buzz.

I’m here for HUSTLERS earning Jennifer Lopez Oscar buzz, but let’s not forget @JLo should’ve gotten Oscar noms for SELENA and ENOUGH and THE WEDDING PLANNER and MAID IN MANHATTAN and MONSTER-IN-LAW and THE BOY NEXT DOOR and THE BACK-UP PLAN and SHALL WE DANCE and SECOND ACT too,” wrote a fan. 

The low expectations we have for films with people of color.

“i cannot believe i cant believe it HUSTLERS the stripper movie with JLo and Cardi B has a 95% on rotten tomatoes while THE GOLDFINCH with nicole kidman, ansel elgort and finn wolfhard sits at a 30% this is so humiliating,” one person on Twitter wrote.

“The Goldfinch is getting slammed while Hustlers is receiving Oscar buzz,” pop culture writer Brittny Pierre tweeted. 

You have to laugh! They hate to see it. It’s always so amusing seeing films featuring people of color get underestimated by the public. Everyone feigns shock that a Jennifer Lopez film couldn’t possibly be a well-written, well-performed artistic work. Then they’re shocked again when a film with a predominantly white cast like The Goldfinch isn’t the Oscar-worthy darling they had expected. If we didn’t attach expectations on art based on who is making it before even seeing it, perhaps, critics wouldn’t always be caught so off guard. Nevertheless, people of color are always happy to prove institutions and expectations wrong. We’ve been doing it for so long at this point.