Disney’s The Marvels director Nia DaCosta says she is surprised to be getting respect from the “middle-aged white dudes” she is working with.
“I realized it wasn’t ever gonna be about how much power I amassed or how many great movies I made, or if I won awards, it was always just going to be the people that I surrounded myself with,” DaCosta, who was able to hire the people she wanted for her The Marvels team, told Vanity Fair.
“The thing that I’ve been most surprised by lately is how much respect I’m getting from these middle-aged white dudes that I work with,” DaCosta added.
DaCosta, whose The Marvels film is reportedly the highest-budgeted movie ever helmed by a black woman, claims to still be grappling with the breakthroughs she has made, telling Vanity Fair that she believes the way she is spoken to, or heard, on film sets is different than how it would be for someone who doesn’t look like her.
“Sometimes as a black woman, you realize that [people think] you take up more space than you actually do, or your voice sounds louder to people than it actually is, or your tone is more stern than it actually is,” the director told the magazine.
DaCosta also noted that when she was hired by producer Jordan Peele to cowrite and direct the horror film Candyman, she noticed some “ridiculous” things that happened on set, despite having the producer’s full support on the movie.
The director claimed that crew members were saying “things that are super inappropriate, that you would just never say to anyone else because they were so specific to my gender, my race, my age.”
Nonetheless, while DaCosta complains about these alleged interactions on set, the director was able to create “a fresh take on horror, told from a black point of view,” and earn “$77 million worldwide,” making her the first black woman with a film that opened at number one, Vanity Fair noted.