The Fantastic Four actors were chatting with Southside Steve of the Rock 100.5 Morning Show in Atlanta — aka Steven J. Rickman — in an interview that began with what Rickman called an "obvious" question: How could their characters be brother and sister if Jordan is black and Mara is white?
"Am I missing something?" Rickman asked of the characters, who are both white in the comic books. "You're white, and you're black. How does that happen?"
Jordan patiently, if a little surprised, explained how exactly that could happen.
"They could be raised as brother and sister," the actor said of the Storm siblings. "There's a whole bunch of family dynamics that could be without the 'obvious adoption.'"
Rickman later steered the conversation toward Mara's hair, which he deemed not worthy of a "hot" woman.
"You're way, way hot," he said. "Why'd you cut the hair? Your hair was beautiful.What would you cut your hair for?"
Mara tried to explain that her job as an actress also dictates her appearance. "I cut my hair for a movie I just did… They asked me to. I'm an actress. I have to be a chameleon."
But Rickman wouldn't let it go. Watch the creepiness in its totality.
Co-host Jason Bailey defended the interview on their radio show Monday morning. "We can't ask race in a story line fashion in a movie that's make-believe and not have the word racist thrown around?" he said, adding that Jordan got defensive when Jimmy Kimmel asked a similar question.
"I was curious about the brother and sister thing," Bailey wrote to Buzzfeed. "You have a white sister and black brother wouldn't you want to know how that happened? I did. The other Fantastic Four franchises explain the relationship so I figured with this new hipster version they'd have some different back story."
Rickman dismissed the charges of sexism as simply being the result of Mara's "mood."
"I guess it was the time frame [they were scheduled to have five to seven minutes with the cast] or her mood that it came across as sexist," he wrote in a text to AJC.com. "I was just shocked to see that she cut 22 inches off her head, but she looked fine with short hair too."
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