‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ star is relieved he’s no longer typecast as the bad guy

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'
Image via Marvel Studios

Tenoch Huerta opened up about how the European beauty standards negatively affected his acting career early on in Mexico before landing his starring role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Huerta plays Namor the Sub-Mariner, a leader trying to protect his people and the kingdom of Talokan from the surface world after the government attempted to look for vibranium near their home. 

During a Dec. 20 interview with Inverse magazine, Huerta revealed that because his darker complexion was not considered desirable to the Mexican market, he was subjected to playing unfavorable characters like a rapist or a robber in various projects. The 41-year-old told the publication while calling out the Mexican representation for being “ugly” towards darker-toned individuals. 

“If you turn on the TV in Mexico, most of them are white, blond. Someone like me, you don’t have too many opportunities. You can be a rapist, or you can rob a bank. The representation is really, really ugly against brown-skinned people. There’s this argument that people just want to see white guys.”

Further in the conversation, Huerta expressed that since getting the role of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, he is prioritizing sending the message to the world that no one’s physical appearance should be a hindrance to how far they could go in their career.

“This is a big platform. Now I have the privilege to be seen and to be listened to by the world. I know the entire world is looking at me. And I’m going to speak about it.”

“Just the character [of Namor] being brown-skinned, having these Mesoamerican characters. The representation is strong enough to send a strong message to the world.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follows the Wakanda people attempting to maintain their home while they mourn the loss of Black Panther, also known as King T’Challa. The late Chadwick Boseman previously played the role of King T’Challa. After his years-long private battle with colon cancer, Boseman died in August 2020 before the Black Panther sequel was filmed. 

The film made its theatrical debut in November and has brought in over $600 million worldwide. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also stars Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Dominique Thorne, Mabel Cadena, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, and many others.