Should Rooney Mara Play Tiger Lily?

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown March 13th, 2014 Last Updated on: March 13th, 2014

Not sure how to feel about this one. It was reported that Rooney Mara is in talks to play Princess Tiger Lily in a remake of Peter Pan to be directed by Joe Wright. Uproar ensued as the majority of folks online are wondering, why is she playing Tiger Lily when there are plenty of Native actresses they could have approached. Supposedly the director of this Peter Pan remake is envisioning a multi-racial world, so the casting directors looked to actresses from all backgrounds including Adele Exarchopoulos and Lupita Nyong’o. However eyebrows have been raised since most of the actors already chosen for starring roles are white.

Via Indie Wire

Via Indie Wire

So what do you think? Should the director have approached Native actresses for the role, or is this a win for Native Americans since the original film was full of racist and sexist stereotypes.

Read more on the story in this opinion piece from Matthew Hammett Knott with IndieWire.

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Should Rooney Mara Play Tiger Lily?

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Ok, I am a native american and think its ridiculous that people are really freaking out about the actress not being native american. guess what? you shouldn’t get a part just because of your ethnicity. Which I feel should go both ways. Native american Actors and Actresses shouldn’t not get a part just because they’re native, but they also shouldn’t get a part just because they are. It’s not necessarily racist. She could just be a good actress.

Johnnie Jae

If a white actress was cast to play a black woman and doing so meant that she would have to wear blackface would that be okay with you? A white actresses playing a native american is not okay because it’s the same concept, dressing in redface. The problem with not casting a native in a native role is that it relieves them of the responsibility of trying to portray in a manner that is not stereotypical or hypersexual. The role of tigerlily is damaging and just one of the worst portrayals of native women and at least when they have cast natives to play her, while there were still issues they did do a much better job at trying to create a more authentic and less offending version of tigerlily.

Janine Spirit Warrior

I believe Tiger Lily should be played by a Native American actress, not someone who knows nothing of how are people were, how we did things how we communicated or carry our selves.

Wolf Halton

They should choose a native actress. Even if it is just a voice-part, it would add authenticity to the production.


There are SO many Native actors that never get recognition. This is a role that should go to a NATIVE. I’m personally sick of seeing every other race play a Native in movies. There are some excellent and beautiful Native women who would do a Great job!

Yolanda Aguilar

I know that by not giving this role to a native actor the film makers are taking the job away from a native actor who maybe in the union and should help people get the right to work I am a native i was in the union 1973 and i could not be sent out for many roles in real life jobs..

Rena Morrison

Yes, of course! There are plenty of native actresses to choose from. I just don’t understand why respect and common sense cannot exist. If the character was black, would you get a white person to play the role?

Drew Waepew-Awaehsaeh

Excellent point Rena!!!

Yolanda Aguilar


Stephanie Brown

Yes they would. Just see Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl. People of color deserve to represent themselves, but Hollywood has no problem denying that right.

eva haycraft

not surprised this is the same mentality that cast Rock Hudson as Cochise and Chuck Connors as Geronimo blue eyes and all.I wasn’t happy with casting of Red Road but some of the actors are at least “part indian”

Edie Grijalva Borquez

Hello! I believe they should go with a Native American Indian Actress.


Of course the first one was racist sexist it was made back when people were going according to the story line, but if you’re gonna blame people for it blame the author not the copier. The author was from England what do you expect?

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