Tessa Thompson: It Shouldn’t Be ‘Noteworthy’ That Women Are Leading Films
Photo by Giles Keyt

Just before getting the green light to suit up and slip on those signature sunnies, Tessa Thompson’s character, Agent M (also known as “Molly”), lets it be known why she’s perfect for the job: “I’m smart. I’m motivated. I look good in black.”

For Men in Black International—which hits theaters today—Thompson and co-star Chris Hemsworth (or Agent H as in “Harry”) join forces to fight the good fight and protect the world from alien threat.

Thompson told ESSENCE earlier this month that it’s about time a woman stepped into the front lines of the MIB franchise and the secretive quasi-governemental agency.

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“There’s always been women inside of the organization in these films but there’s never been a woman at the forefront at one of these narratives,” the former ESSENCE cover star said. “I’d like to get to a space where inside of Hollywood that is less noteworthy—where we’re just used to seeing that.”

Without giving too much away, just know that there are epic around-the-globe battle scenes, an internal threat up at the London headquarters, as well as a villainous duo (portrayed by Les Twins of Beyonce’s Homecoming fame) whose sole mission is to wreck complete and utter havoc. 

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Lexus

Helmed by veteran director, F. Gary Gray, MIB International marks the third teaming of Thompson and Hemsworth, who’ve shared the big screen for Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

When it comes to the synergy between Agent M and Agent H, Thompson has it pegged. 

“They’re as different as night and day; it’s a head-versus-heart thing,” Thompson explained. “She’s cerebral and he operates from the gut, so they have some fundamentally different approaches and priorities.”

So, how does she feel about being a part of this beloved, blockbuster franchise? Thompson smiled, then sums it up in one word: “Surreal!”

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