Amandla Stenberg Didn't Feel Represented On-Screen Growing Up

Amandla Stenberg Didn't Feel Represented On-Screen Growing Up

Amandla Stenberg is so excited about their role in Everything, Everything (watch the trailer here) — and not just because it’s an amazing career opportunity.

Per Amandla‘s recent interview, we are using gender-nonspecific pronouns going forward.

In a new interview, Amandla opens up about their childhood, and how hard it was watching movies and TV without seeing black representation in the characters.

“Growing up, I didn’t receive the representation that I wanted so badly,” they told MTV in an interview. “I was always looking out for black characters — black women — that were specifically just about existing and weren’t necessarily racialized or based on plotlines that were centered around race.”

They make such a good point — a ton of the movies that do feature people of color are often about racial struggles and inequality, instead of lighter topics.

“When you’re 12 years old, you just want to see yourself as a teenage girl or you want to see characters who you can look up to that are just existing,” Amandla, who’s career launched when they starred as Rue in the Hunger Games, continued. “I felt like I never really got to receive that.”

That lack of representation is part of what interested them in Everything, Everything: the director wanted to make something “fresher…newer…blacker” for teens. “It’s hard to find black roles that are just whimsical and colorful and fun.” Amandla and co-star Nick Robinson are also excited to represent an interracial couple on-screen.

Amandla feels lucky to be a part of the new film, and this is definitely part of the reason why — to inspire others.

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Posted to: Amandla Stenberg