Deadpool 2's Zazie Beetz was "worried" about backlash over Domino's race

Atlanta star Zazie Beetz makes her much-anticipated debut as fan-favourite superhero Domino in Deadpool 2.

But the actress – whose mother is African-American – has admitted to being worried that she might get grief from bigoted fans complaining that the character is traditionally portrayed with ice-white skin.

“You know, she does look different from the comic,” Beetz told Digital Spy. “That was something that I was worried about, potentially encountering backlash from people who grew up with them, and had a relationship with them. Not so much maybe from new audiences, because they don’t have the nostalgia to go back to.

“But I was concerned about it. But I don’t want to introduce more negativity into my life. For me, then, it ended up coming down to: I was really happy that production – everyone, Ryan [Reynolds] and [Domino co-creator Rob Liefeld], also – were supporting me. It was never about that, really, within the casting process. It never was an issue. It wasn’t really a huge part of the conversation. I was Domino.

“I just wanted to make sure that I did the character justice as much as I could. I worked really hard, and hopefully that can overshadow any other feelings people had that I was physically the wrong casting.”

Liefeld told Beetz that he “never assigned a race” to Domino.

As for dealing with that negativity, the actress – who has an Instagram profile but no other public social media accounts – had a simple approach.

“Honestly, my main response to it is to not really engage with it,” she said. “I don’t know these people, so why am I going to allow someone to ruin my day or sense of self? I think that’s the difficulty now with social media. We have so much more access to what everyone candidly thinks about you – or maybe even doesn’t think. People don’t really realise that their words are being received by a real person. It does have an impact.

“I’ll have conversations with my friends or my family or my boyfriend about: ‘Ugh, I read this.’ It’s real, and you have to process it. I’ve kind of taken the path of, like, I just don’t really engage with it at all.

“I don’t know if that’s cowardice, or running away from it, or aloofness. I just don’t even want to enter that space.”

Director David Leitch added that he never hesitated to cast Beetz for the role of the supernaturally lucky hired gun.

“There’s an undeniable charisma in her, just as a person,” he told us. “But the chemistry between her and Ryan in the reading was also undeniable, and it was actually an easy choice for us. We had a shortlist which she rose to the top.

“Then when we had them in a room together, you saw that this was a really interesting pairing. There was a great sort of vibe and comedic timing that worked.”

Deadpool 2 will be released on May 15 in the UK and May 18 in the US. Book tickets here.

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