Jessica Henwick Hesitated on ‘Iron Fist’ After Finn Jones Controversy
Marvel’s Iron Fist may have receded from the spotlight, but the final Defender series may never escape the controversial casting around it. Even star Jessica Henwick was uncertain of climbing aboard after Finn Jones joined the series, claiming “it was a hard decision.”
You’re warned of light spoilers for the first season of Marvel’s Iron Fist from here on out, but the well-received addition of Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing tempered few concerns that Jones’ Danny Rand would continue the character’s history of racial appropriation. As Henwick tells Entertainment Weekly, even she struggled with taking part in the series, but thought it best to continue the debate:
It was a hard decision to make to join the show. Not because of the material or anything, but I’m part of the Asian community. I’m Asian. I’m an actor. If anyone understands the conversation, it’s me. I’ve lived and breathed it. […]
When I came on to Iron Fist, it was really Colleen Wing that sold it for me. I thought it was a good opportunity to see a really strong female Asian American. She’s not a superhero; she’s just an ordinary person who has the guts to fight people with superpowers. Which I think is amazing!
Worth noting, Henwick also recently offered a pointed response to Iron Fist comic co-creator Roy Thomas, who used the word “Oriental” in defense of Danny Rand’s ethnicity:
There’s every chance that a second Iron Fist season might do better with fan concerns, given a villain already in mind, and the likely need for a new showrunner, but do Henwick’s words ease any complaints? Is Colleen Wing better off with her own series?
Marvel’s Iron Fist is available to stream on Netflix, while both Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones will take part in The Defenders later this year.