Tessa Thompson Says It's an 'Instinct' to Join Socially-Conscious Projects Amid Border Controversy (Exclusive)

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Tessa Thompson is all about using her platform to make an impact. 

ET spoke with the actress at the 10th Annual BAMcinemaFest Opening Night Premiere of Sorry to Bother You in New York City on Tuesday, where she opened up about her latest role, and took a moment to comment on the border controversy. 

Thompson's character, Detroit, expresses herself through her earrings, and told ET that if she was wearing some statement accessories to the premiere, they would say, "Take the babies back to their parents." 

"Yeah, don't separate families," she said. "I really should be wearing some statement earrings. It feels like in this country right now, every day there's a new statement to be made." 

"I was really excited to play a character like Detroit who uses every inch of herself as a canvas and uses it for activism, and I think that's such an important thing," she continued. "I think she's someone that is, in earnest, trying to be of use and make social change and we need people like that."

Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Anne Hathaway, Jimmy Kimmel and more made headlines earlier this week after speaking out against President Donald Trump's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy that resulted in 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border during a six-week period in April and May. Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to reverse the policy. 

Thompson said that attaching herself to projects with a bigger message has become especially important to her. 

"It's also just an instinct. It's sort of the things that I gravitate towards," she explained. "I think that we have an incredible privilege and a gift with the work that we make, that you have the ability not to just reflect culture, but also to create it." 

"Cultural change always proceeds political change, so I do think that there is something important that people's minds and hearts can be changed in a dark cinema," she added. 

Sorry to Bother You hits theaters on July 6. See more on Thompson in the video below. 


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