Anna Diop’s road to becoming Starfire on HBO’s Titans hasn’t been an easy one, and while controversy loomed over early creative decisions, the cast and crew rallied to create a series wholly unique in its take on the beloved DC Comics characters.
On her memories of 'Titans' in the early days and the racism she faced when was first cast as Starfire: I can still look back at [the early days] endearingly because what a lot of people don’t know is that while there was a constant barrage of racist attacks online, there was also an incredible outpouring of love. I’d never experienced people in the industry I’d never met, fans and complete strangers sending me messages like that.
What I try to focus on, is the number of people that reached out to me and let me know that my casting meant something to them. These were marginalised people reaching out to me saying that “you being cast and experiencing all this means a lot to me”. That’s what matters most because there’s always going to be people in life who hate you. I feel the purpose of my life is to be a light for the people that need to see that who they are – is okay.
On what to expect in the third season of Titans: It’s a return to the core four, which is really exciting. Fans are going to be excited, especially fans of Korey because we’ll be digging into the character in a way that we haven’t before. My sister Blackfire is here this season, so we have a whole new opportunity to explore her backstory.
On the biggest hurdle she's faced in her career: I experienced quite a bit of racism and colourism early on in my career. I met with this manager, and I was so nervous and excited, so I came super prepared. He sat down, looked back at me as I talked, and says “I just feel you’re too dark-skinned ever to work.” I was just in shock, and there are a few moments like that – if I weren’t as young, naive and audacious back then it would have knocked me off. I would say those were the most challenging moments and in general, for black actors, the roles are slim so just having your white friends go on ten appointments a week while you’re going to one is tough to deal with and see.
On her FAULT: My neurosis, everything I say to people or do I analyse. I don’t want to come off as cruel or cold, and so if I say something that I feel isn’t nice, I will overthink it. My neurosis shows up in everything that I do so, on the one hand, it’s a blessing but also a burden because it’s exhausting to be over-analytical, but that’s me, I’m human and I accept that.
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