Educating About Cancer Through Film
- Marvel just confirmed that they will be incorporating cancer into the storyline of the highly anticipated film Thor: Love and Thunder.
- Natalie Portman’s character “Jane Foster,” who will be coming back as the Mighty Thor, will battle breast cancer just like the comic book version of the character.
- Cancer in TV and film is a superb way to educate and raise awareness about the disease.
Portman—who we first saw as Thor’s girlfriend “Jane Foster” in the original film—will be “battling cancer in her human form” in this flick, while fighting off Christian Bale’s “Gorr” when she’s performing her other superhero duties.Read More
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Portman’s “Foster” will be battling breast cancer, the same disease the comic-book version of the character faces.
The Oscar winner addressed the rumors of the storyline back in 2019 at a fundraising gala in Los Angeles. “It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she told Variety. I really don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about.”
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Cancer in Film and TV
Cancer in film and TV, while most often sad to watch, is an important way to educate about the disease. And nothing raises awareness more than a blockbuster film that will most likely put the series over the 1 billion mark in earnings.
In the TV show The Big C starring Laura Linney, her character handles relatable issues that many cancer patients struggle with, such as how to tell your child you have cancer.
“At the end of the day I could wash [the makeup] off, which a lot of people can’t,” Linney acknowledged of playing a cancer patient. “The reality is I’m a very healthy person who has the privilege of being an actress who can hopefully tell a story that other people can relate to.”
Linney, who won a Golden Globe for her role, shared a touching story with The Hollywood Reporter back in 2013 about learning just how powerful the show’s value was while having an emotional exchange with a cab driver.
“I was in London, and I had gotten into a cab, and the driver burst into tears,” she recalled. “I was so confused because I didn’t realize that the show was that popular there to begin with, and he was so very grateful for the show. His wife has cancer, and they watch the show together, and he was very sweet and grateful that the show allowed them a way to talk to each other. That was really nice. You don’t realize when you make a TV show that that’s what you hope for.”
To be able to understand what a person with cancer is going through is monumental, and beautifully complex characters like Linney’s does more for this community than she even knows. Watching the show, drinking in the character, and seeing what she struggles with during her daily life shows another perspective and helps a partner or family member without cancer have more empathy for their loved ones going through it, especially when it’s well done.