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Ewan McGregor plays Black Mask in the upcoming Birds of Prey film. A female-led team-up, it has obvious feminist themes and McGregor plays up those attributes in a new interview.
Speaking with French site Premiere, he explained what attracted him to Birds of Prey and the role of Black Mask. McGregor stated, first, it was the idea of Birds “as a feminist film” that looks at misogyny:
“What interested me with Birds of Prey is that it’s a feminist film. It is very finely written, there is in the script a real look on misogyny.”
He continues and expresses the belief that a light needs to be shed on societal misogyny and how men treat women, adding that needs to change:
“And I think we need that, we need to be more aware of how we behave with the opposite sex. We need to be taught to change.”
McGregor then says there is a line between brutal, extreme misogyny – the kind employed by Black Mask as a crime lord in the underworld – and the “subtle,” “everyday” type of misogyny that happens without thinking, as in the case of perceived “mansplaining.”
“Misogynists in movies are often extreme: they rape, they beat women … And it is legitimate to represent people like that, because they exist and they are obviously the worst. But in the Birds of Prey dialogues, there is always a hint of everyday misogyny, of those things you say as a man you do not even realize, mansplaining … All it’s in the script in a very subtle way. I found that brilliant.”
Brilliant or not, message aside, it could be McGregor is sensitive to the issue because of difficulties befalling his family. His daughter Clara claimed she lived with the scars of sexual assault and an abusive relationship for years.
Over the years, Black Mask has taken pleasure in torturing his ex-fiancee, Catwoman, and Stephanie Brown (Spoiler). In Birds of Prey, he has plans for young Cassandra Cain and those who get in his way — Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Renee Montoya, and the Huntress.
Black Mask as played by McGregor will be violent and possibly gay and pedophilic or caught up in a plot with undertones to that effect. We’re not entirely sure as it’s unclear what reshoots may have altered.
Uncertain at first, we know now one thing that isn’t getting left out is his trademark skull mask. Set photos indicate McGregor will cover his face with something.
Birds of Prey releases in theaters on Feb. 7, 2020.