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Tilda Swinton: 'I'm not Asian in Doctor Strange'

Tilda Swinton has not been cast as an Asian character in Doctor Strange.

In the new Marvel movie the British actress plays Ancient One, who in the original Doctor Strange comic book series is a man from Tibet, but in the film will be agender.

The casting decision angered fans who saw it as another case of Hollywood studio bosses bringing in a white actress to play an Asian character.

Last year (15) the filmmakers behind the romantic comedy Aloha were heavily criticized for the casting of Emma Stone as an Asian Air Force liaison officer, and a row has recently erupted due to Scarlett Johansson being chosen as the lead in an adaptation of Japanese manga comic Ghost In The Shell.

However Tilda says her role as the mentor of Doctor Stephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is an entirely new take on Ancient One.

"Well, it's not actually an Asian character - that's what I need to tell you about it," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I wasn't asked to play an Asian character, you can be very well assured of that. You just have to wait and see, because it's not an Asian character."

In the comic books Ancient One is born in a small Himalayan kingdom and was a farmer until discovering the power of magic. After several centuries fighting evil he took on an apprentice, Doctor Strange.

Details about Tilda's new version of the character are being kept tightly under wraps, but audiences will discover the new story behind the character when Doctor Strange hits cinemas on 4 November (16).

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