The Mexican actress spoke with Cultura Colectiva about her character in Black Panther 2, as well as the opportunities that are opening up for Latinos in Hollywood.
Marvel released the first trailer for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, and in addition to the emotional return of this story after the death of its protagonist Chadwick Boseman, the preview of the film caused expectation due to the fact that two Mexicans join the starring cast: Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Mabel Cadena as Namora.
The actress, who will play the superheroine Namora, is overjoyed about her debut in the MCU, and at Cultura Colectiva got the chance to talk to her about this new role and what it means for her career. She expressed her excitement about arriving in Hollywood with a character with which she revealed she seeks to demonstrate the power that Mexican women have, as well as to serve as a testimony to other Latina actresses that it is possible to conquer international productions.
Mabel’s career began 11 years ago when she graduated with a master’s degree in acting and since then she has participated in mostly Mexican series such as Monarca and Señorita 89, as well as films such as El Baile de los 41.
The interpreter originally from the State of Mexico, confessed to us that she is very clear about the problem of racism and classism that still exists in national cinema, so her arrival in an international blockbuster playing a heroine, is an effort of many years, as well as the struggle that interpreters like Yalitza Aparicio or Tenoch Huerta, her partner in Black Panther, have made so that stereotypes fall apart.
“I see this opportunity as a hope, although we know that things are difficult because there are few opportunities, and some actors and actresses have it more complicated than others, in the end, we are managing to get in. I have a lot of hope, there is still a lot of work ahead, but colleagues like Tenoch Huerta or Yalitza Aparicio have worked to open doors for us,” said the actress.
Mabel also spoke about the importance of raising our voices and using fame as a tool to continue the fight and generate more spaces for Mexicans to reach this type of character.
When asked about the “Poder Prieto” a social movement led by Huerta and actresses such as Maya Zapata against racism in Mexico, the actress said that the work being done by her colleagues is very valuable.
“I find the power they put into it extremely valuable because after we have been stereotyped for years, we are fed up and we must raise our voices,” she said.
Mabel continued: “At one point I bought the idea of doing it through my career, that’s why I have tried to choose the characters I have played. Through these fictions, I am trying to empower this other side of Mexican women that we exist; I believe in the variety of skins, of colors, and being a good actor does not have to do with skin color,” she stressed.
Mabel Cadena at Comic-Con 2022
The actress told us about her experience at this year’s Comic-Con, which took place this weekend in San Diego, California, where she was present during the launch of the Black Panther 2 trailer.
“It was very moving since we were backstage they started playing the African drums; being able to see the diversity of the faces of the characters that since the first film has been given was wonderful. I didn’t even want to talk about how nervous I was, and when I was introduced for the first time, it is a moment that I will never forget in my life,” she said excitedly.
Mabel recounted the great challenge of playing a superheroine, since the filming lasted a year, in which she had to follow a daily routine, full of physical effort, in addition to the costumes that her character had to wear throughout the film, was an element that made the interpretation of Namora more complicated.
“Namora has a beautiful costume, a war costume, although working with that plume was not easy at all because it weighs a lot, you have no idea how much, swimming with it was very complicated,” she explained.
The actress will play Namora, cousin of Prince Namor, both born in Atlantis.
“What I love a lot about my character, is that she is a warrior woman, loyal, protective of Namor. She knows where she belongs and that makes her powerful, in addition to the superpowers she has,” he said.
Finally, she highlighted the great opportunity that came with her arrival at Marvel and hopes to open the way for more Latin actresses and actors to reach major productions.
“I’m still settling a lot of things in my head. Sometimes insecurities lead us to give up dreams, I know what it represents for many Mexican colleagues who have struggled to be part of this industry and I would not allow myself, knowing everything that is behind it, not to be up to the task,” she concluded.
Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish