When you decide to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe your entire world is going change. There’s just no way around it. These are some of the biggest movies ever, and when you’re a part of that it is going to follow you for the rest of your life. It’s going to elevate you to a level of stardom at which it’ll make the basic parts of life a lot harder. This is the reality that Brie Larson was facing when she was offered the role of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. Larson spoke to Total Film about her hesitation.
“My consideration for doing it had nothing to do with my capabilities for playing the role, or whether or not I thought it would be a powerful and beautiful and important film. It all had to do with the stuff that comes with it,” she admits. “And a huge part of how I’m able to portray human characters is the fact I get to be out in the world, hang out with people, observe people and walk around, see the world, go to an art museum. How can I continue to give the work that I want to give if my very reality I’m living in is separate from yours? That was something I needed to take the time to think about. What is the sacrifice here when it comes to that?”
For Larson, the thing that made her want to take the risk and change her life forever was how much this role could impact people. She saw this as a natural progression of what she was trying to accomplish as an artist.
“I realised what they were trying to do with this movie was basically everything I ever wanted on this crazy, international scale. And I just felt like I needed to believe in myself – that I’m clever enough to figure it out.”
While there is nothing wrong with the perfect god figure in a movie or in a story Larson wanted to bring something else to the table with Carol Danvers. Women are so rarely offered the opportunity to be flawed but also heroic at the same time and that realism is what Larson and the team for Captain Marvel wanted to bring to the big screen.
“That was a huge part of what was important to me about the depicting of a female superhero on screen. She wasn’t this perfect icon, because I don’t think that that’s a realistic role model or image. And I have not made it to this point in my life because I did everything perfectly. I made it to this point in my life because I made a lot of mistakes – but those things have made me what I am today. We need women to feel comfortable taking risks, knowing that it might not work out. But we need them to know that the risk needs to be taken. This film represents the struggle as well as the success.”
Of course, bringing this icon to the big screen meant talking about something that every Marvel actor has been asked about; the suit. These outfits were drawn onto the page without thinking of how they might work in the real world.
“It’s not comfortable, it takes two people to get me into it and it’s a 30-minute process to put it on,” she grimaces. “It makes going to the bathroom a bit of a thing – it’s a team of five people just for me to go to the bathroom. That was the part that, when the movie was done, I was the most excited about. I was like, ‘I can go to the bathroom by myself! I don’t need to make an announcement!’”
For the role, Larson took on an extremely intense training regime and she pushed herself to the absolute limit in every capacity for this role. Whether that was denying herself her favorite snack [mozzarella sticks], getting sick while simulating a dog fight, or having to announce that she needed to go to the bathroom so she could get out of the suit, Larson wanted Carol to be effortlessly powerful.
“I really want to push myself to the limit with this – I wanted to give everything that I had to it, to be strong. To me, strength isn’t really forceful. The most strong, powerful people in my life are quite chill on the outside, because they don’t need to prove anything. She doesn’t have anything to prove.”
Larson is aware of the impact this movie could have on the industry and the fact that if it does well then it proves that female lead superhero movies aren’t a fluke. However, Larson is also more than aware that while this movie is a good step it doesn’t mean the fight is over.
“I’m grateful to be part of this opportunity of opening the door. But I don’t think I should be anybody’s role model – if it’s of value to a young girl or woman or a young man, then that’s awesome. But I want to be aware of the fact that just because this movie came out, it doesn’t mean we’ve answered all the questions and that feminism is solved. … I’m kind of carrying the torch for a sec. It’ll get passed onto someone else after.”
Higher, further, faster is the motto of Captain Marvel and that is exactly what will happen to Larson should this movie hit a cultural nerve. We’ll have to see how the opening weekend goes but we think that Larson might be carrying that torch for a little while longer.
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.