When it comes to representation on the big screen and superheroes, it’s been an uphill battle. Ant-Man and The Wasp is unique in that it’s the first time a female Marvel hero has received title billing, and considering one of the main jokes of Ant-Man was how much more suitable Hope (Evangeline Lilly) was to superhero-ing than Scott, it’s good to see it play out.
Lilly spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the various ways she wanted to make Hope distinct.
Even for the first film, it was very important to me that Hope be an extremely empathetic and compassionate person. And I still did that while having that stereotypical or archetypical [quality] of femininity of being nurturing, compassionate, empathetic. Men can of course be compassionate or feminine, but femininity is at the core of what is disrespected in the patriarchy, so it was important to me to always push for feminine qualities to be apparent when she is dealing with situations — how she emotionally reacts to them, [for instance].
It wasn’t just in the way Hope interacted with the world that Lilly was focused on, but also the fight scenes. Men and women have very different ways of fighting, and she wanted to make sure Hope’s was realistic to women.
In her fight scenes, as trivial as it might seem, I really pushed and fought for her to fight with elegance, grace and femininity. She moves differently than a man. I wanted her to have a signature style that little girls, like I was when I was a feminine, girly little girl, would be able to fall in love with, emulate and relate to in their own movements.
While training for Ant-Man she trained in several fighting styles that were very masculine, and she wanted to change that for this movie.
When we did Ant-Man I had to study a little bit of Muay Thai and MMA style fighting. And MMA style fighting is distinctly masculine, it’s got a very masculine posture and a very masculine attack, and that was so difficult for me because I don’t move that way naturally. I really wanted to change that in this film. I wanted to move the way my body wants to move, as a more graceful, feminine woman.
Early reviews for the movie say that Lilly’s Wasp steals the show and is one of the best parts of the movie. It seems to acknowledge that she’s way cooler than Scott, and even Scott seems aware of this and is totally okay with it.
Summary: As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
Ant-Man and The Wasp, directed by Peyton Reed, stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Douglas, and Michael Peña. It will be released on July 6th.