At 15, actress Dafne Keen has played strong roles that break stereotypes, one of them as a co-star of the film Logan (with Hugh Jackman) and another as the head of the fantasy series His dark materials.
The actress with English and Spanish roots shares that she pays special attention when choosing a project.
“I always keep in mind if they are sexist, racist, and all the projects I’ve done I think have been quite feminist,” Keen shares in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL.
“All the characters I have played have been young girls who, without realizing it, are basically fighting against patriarchy and I love it.”
For Keen, the second season of His dark materials , which premieres on the HBO pay channel and its HBO GO platform next Monday, November 16, also has an extra: the two main characters are a girl ( Dafne) and a colored child (the Englishman Amir Wilson).
“It’s not normal for those to be the heroes,” he considers.
In the series, based on the homonymous novels by Philip Pullman, Dafne plays a girl named Lyra, who for this season arrives in an abandoned city within a new world to which she crosses the bridge opened by her father Lord Asriel (played by James McAvoy in the first installment). There he meets Will (Amir Wilson) and they begin the search for his father.
The daughter of the English actor William Keen and the Spanish actress María Fernández shares how she herself has experienced certain issues of racism, for example she has seen that in places like England there is xenophobia; for her it is as if people are afraid of foreign people.
Although she knows she is privileged to speak English fluently and have lighter skin, that has not spared her from being singled out in the past.
“I cannot complain, I am not from a minority; Apart from being a woman, I am Hispanic —which in many countries is frowned upon— but in England these stupid comments pass me on about the color of my eyes (dark), my hair (black), that in summer I get very dark and people She says things like, ‘oh my gosh, you’re really tanned!’ There is no need to comment on that. If you see an English girl and say to her: ‘God, how many freckles!’ I don’t see it necessary, and they always have a way of looking at you from above ”, he says.
“It has always happened to me that they look at you from above, like they do not despise you but feel a little superior, that they are the elite and I, with how privileged I am, I say: I imagine how horrible the treatment of people of color, if I am white, I spend it like that ”.
In her next works, Dafne would like to show that being Hispanic implies a greater range of colors than those usually shown in film and television.
The actress explains that being Spanish does not refer only to flamenco and ham, just as Latin America is immense and is not reduced to dancing salsa, as she considers it offensive that a continent or a country is simplified due to stereotypes.
“I’m sick of seeing that the Latin women who are represented in the cinema are all energetic and a little crazy and that is a stereotype that the system has mounted in their head and that they have exploited it to the point that they know me in real life and they tell me: ‘is that the Spaniards, you should take a siesta and surely you dance flamenco and your whole family drinks sangria’.
“I would love to play a character in which I play Hispanic but that does not have to play someone who is feisty (fighter) of the Latino stereotype, turn it around, because it is true that there are a lot of Latino people who are quiet and more so. inside and I want to do something that is very different from what is normally seen ”.
Dafne shares that it is an honor for her to play Lyra and anticipates that in the second installment, which will have eight episodes, everything will be more introspective compared to the previous one, so the characters will experience “a storm”.
“The most important message of the series is the reflection it has in terms of the human, what it is to be a good person,” Keen explains.
“It seems to me that it is something that we have not seen many times before neither in the cinema nor in the series, a story of someone who begins as normal and ends as a heroine and in the end I love the message of human duality and that life: not everything is black and white, there are shades of gray that are more difficult to read ”.