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Yssa Mei Panganiban on Filipina Representation as Sonya on Marvel's "Hawkeye"

Posted By: Danielle Domingo
Post Date: January 4, 2022

If you'd been following Marvel's Phase 4 closely, you'd been binging on movies and shows like us! The latest series that aired was Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye/Clint Barton and Fil-Am Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. The tie-in film to the series is Black Widow where Florence Pugh's character Yelena returns in a hunt for Hawkeye.

Yssa Mei Panganiban appears on Episode 5 of Hawkeye and plays another Black Widow. She accompanies Yelena on a rescue mission as they try to save widows who have been brainwashed. It's a quick scene but more than the cool stunts and fights she got to do, Panganiban explains it's the representation on-screen that matters most.

In an interview with The Illuminerdi, she talked about what it was like working with Florence Pugh and where else she'd like to see Sonya pop-in within the Marvel universe. Panganiban votes for Shang-Chi since her widow training would fit right in with the martial arts. We think it's a perfect match!

It [Hawkeye] was actually my first, it was the first project I’d ever booked actually... And to be in for it to be Marvel, it was just so overwhelming. It was really overwhelming because I’ve been in love with Marvel since about 2012.

Yssa Mei Panganiban

Marvel has added a lot more diversity in their projects and we're seeing more and more Filipinos on the roster. In the MCU alone, there's Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Mary Rivera as Ned’s Lola, and Ayla Perez as the diplomat/pilot in Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

“Oh, It feels like a blessing, really. I like to say that we’re in a Renaissance right now for, um, AAPI representation, but particularly Filipina representation. I mean, it’s evident in the Marvel universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. We're really making our way in and to be one of the people that's kind of spearheading that it feels really, really, really good. - Yssa Mei Panganiban

Cover Photo Credit: Yssa Mei Panganiban Instagram

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