Captain Marvel: Ben Mendelsohn Talks Directors, Playing a Villain, and Biggest Challenge

Posted by September 7, 2018 Comment

There are a lot of reasons an actor decided to join a project. Maybe they just heard about it, maybe the script really spoke to them, or maybe they really want to work with someone again. In the case of Ben Mendelsohn in Captain Marvel his decision to come onto the project was the opportunity to work with director Ryan FleckAnna Boden according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Yeah, it was Anna and Ryan, who I’d done Mississippi Grind with, along with Ryan Reynolds. And they were on to do this thing. They asked me aboard the good ship, and no one blocked it.

When asked how Fleck and Boden pitched the role to him Mendelsohn came up with a new verb and that being a Skrull was part of the appeal.

It involved certain machinations of what they’re doing and stuff like that. But I knew it was going to be Skrullin’. I knew I’d be Skrullin’, and that had a certain appeal.

Mendelsohn, who worked with Boden and Fleck on the indie Mississippi Grind back in 2015. Since he is the only principal cast member to work with the directing duo before he was asked what made them the right choice to bring Captain Marvel to the big screen.

I’ll tell you what Marvel have done really well — and what they’ve done really well from the time they were in print. They always spoke to the issues of the day and the concerns of their audience, which was predominantly a young audience. And what’s great about Captain Marvel is it’s really beautiful. It’s actually a really beautiful, badass superhero story.

As people, Ryan and Anna are very sweet, and they’re very switched on. Their sensibilities are delicate and exacting, and I think at the heart of this story… Don’t get me started on it because I’ll get emotional. It really is a beautiful story, and it takes directors with heart and with what I think is a really good B.S. meter for weeding out notes that aren’t going to hit right and true. I think they’re an inspired choice for this.

Mendelsohn seems to be taking on a lot of villain roles; he was the villain in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One and in Robin Hood later this year. He’s playing duel villains in Captain Marvel as the Skrull leader Talos and impersonating a human in S.H.I.E.L.D. When asked why he keeps snagging villain roles Mendelsohn said that they are just more fun.

Well, it’s like the old Rod Stewart album: Blondes Have More Fun. Villains have more fun. What do I like about it? I don’t know! It leaves an imprint on people when you do it right. I think that’s nice. I think it’s nice to provide the counterweight that people have got to get over, you know? In order to get ahead in the hero’s journey. It’s a job of honor. It’s not for everyone. [Laughs] But I do take it as an honor. I do.

Just because Mendelsohn plays a lot of villains didn’t mean that this role didn’t present its own unique challenges. Mendelsohn seemed to know that the Skrulls are a huge part of Marvel lore and making them interesting is crucial.

I think the challenge is to make you feel that Skrull. Because Skrulls are important! We’re kind of like the thrash metal component of the Marvel universe. We’re tough, we’re brash, we’re loud. People want us to have warning stickers on us, like explicit lyrics.

If there was anyone who can make a villain compelling it’s Mendelsohn and judging from these interviews he’s having a great time playing a shape shifting alien. It’s always obvious when an actor is really enjoying themselves and it almost always elevate the entire experience.

Summary: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

Captain Marvel, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, will also star Brie Larson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Samuel L. Jackson. The film is set for release on March 8th, 2019.

(Last Updated September 7, 2018 7:37 pm )

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, comics, and political satire. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

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