Eye on Film: Paula Patton

Warcraft is the long-awaited cinematic adaptation of the popular Blizzard Entertainment video game, World of Warcraft. Written and directed by Duncan Jones, Warcraft stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper.

Yesterday, Patton attended a Q&A session at AMC 34 in Manhattan after a media screening of the film that was hosted by the Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee. The Shadow League was in the building.

“First it was just the way they wanted her to look,” said Patton of her character’s tone physique on screen. “They wanted her to look like she could be half orc. So, the director wanted me to look yoked. So, I spent a lot of time in the gym. Two and a half hours a day, six days a week, all kinds of protein shakes, steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was painful. You just have to go through this phase where you kind of look like a man. You’re kind of fat but you’re not, and everybody was just like ‘Trust me you’ll get through this’.”

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In the film, Patton plays a half human, half orc character named Garona Halforcen. Her name in the orc language means cursed. She was asked how her character, who started off as a slave but becomes integral to the film’s arc, could positively affect the viewer.

“(No) matter what life you’re born into you have the power to decide your fate,” she said. “That’s the reality of it. It’s unfair in life but you cant dwell on it. We can’t chose our parents but you can chose your mindset, your hopes and aspirations, and you can change your life if you want to. There’s something in Garona where her heart guides her. It’s not her strength or anything like that. Her heart gets moved. Because of that, you see a king see these things in her. You see the change in her that might be the bridge between humans, orc and peace.”

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Because of her biracial parentage, Paula was asked if she felt any special connection to her character’s motivations. She pondered for a long second before answering and goes in depth about her background, her upbringing and how it relates to her character.

“My mind has been changing recently about a lot of things, but I hate the term biracial because oftentimes people use it as a way to disassociate from being Black, which we all know is a struggle,” she said. “But my Mom, who’s White, doesn’t feel like that. She’s like ‘No, you’re Black. That’s the box you check off.’ And I always thought of myself that way and didn’t like that idea because of what I’ve seen people go through. My mind is changing in this way because we have so many people from different cultural backgrounds and it depends on where your heart space is at.”

“My Mom is proud of the way I am and she’s White, for sure,” Patton continued. “She’s got blonde hair. I didn’t know what to think about that. Like, ‘Can we get to a place where these things don’t matter?’ Things are really changing today. Gender identity, sexuality, it’s amazing how fast these lines are being blended and really young kids don’t really care about these things. Somehow, you’re watching this movie with orcs and humans and you’re feeling compassion for someone who isn’t human. We’re feeling compassion for orcs and humans. I think somehow we’re saying it’s about the soul.”

“People have love, pain, anger and all of it the same and we need to get to a place where we appreciate our traditions, our culture, because that’s special,” she said in summary. “But it’s so divisive. But what would that be like to bring people together and feel like you’re just part of humanity? I know that’s a grand, crazy thing in our world. But it’s something to aspire to.”

Warcraft opens in theaters nationwide Friday, June 10.

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