In case you missed it, Variety recently reported that Joe Wright is directing a new movie based on Peter Pan, and the still-in-development film will star Rooney Mara as Princess Tiger Lily. Granted, this announcement doesn't seem all that important except for one glaring fact: Tiger Lily is Native American, and well, Rooney Mara is not. The decision to cast Mara as a Native American princess seems especially egregious given that the film's producers are going for a "world [that] is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined."
In light of this stated if ignored goal of creating a multi-racial world, here are five indigenous actresses who would be a much better fit for the role of Tiger Lily, or anyone, really. Give these ladies all of the roles because they are legitimate badasses.
1. Q'orianka Kilcher
Best Known For: Playing Pocahontas in Terence Malick's The New World.
Why you should pay attention to her: She is a huge environmental activist, she's advocated for indigenous people's rights in Peru, and she's done work with the American National Endowment for the Arts.
Image via zap2it.
2. Kaniehtiio Horn
Best Known For: Playing Destiny Rumancek in the Netflix series Hemlock Grove; voicing Kaniehtiio in Assassin's Creed III.
Why you should pay attention to her: She's committed to changing perceptions of First Nations individuals (she is Mohawk), saying in an interview: "I hope I can help change the face of what they (the white community) view us as ... I am a Mohawk, a Mohawk woman, even if I don't look like one. My roots are so strong, they keep me down to earth."
Image via magweb.
3. Cara Gee
Best Known For: Lena in the critically acclaimed film Empire of Dirt.
Why you should pay attention to her anyway: She took on the role of Lena to dispel stereotypes about First Nations individuals: "The problem is the 'problem.' Being First Nations, you're generally presented as a problem … not a person. I think [Empire of Dirt] shows three people dealing with real issues. And I like the fact it brought a human face to the 'problem,' but I think as a First Nations person, you are always aware that the version of history you are learning in school is not complete."
Image via Urban Native.
4. Julia Jones
Best Known For: Playing Leah Clearwater in the Twilight film series.
Why you should pay attention to her anyway: Although she is not Quileute, the tribe depicted in the Twilight series, Jones has helped with reservation fundraisers and appeared in a PSA supporting legislation that would expand the Quileute reservation.
Image via Style Bistro.
5. Misty Upham
Best Known For: Playing Lila Littlewolf in the film Frozen River.
Why you should pay attention to her anyway: Upham is an active supporter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations, both of which advocate for the rights of hired care givers such as nannies and housekeepers.
Image via Style Bistro.