It is no secret that Marvel were caught off guard by DC’s sucsess with their Wonder Woman juggernaut. While Marvel had no problem having female Avengers it did seem they were hesitant on taking that next step and making one a title character for one of their films. Well that era comes to rest now with Captain Marvel about to hit cinemas.
While many newcomers might be scratching their heads on who exactly Captain Marvel is, comic book fans will know here as Air Force Pilot turned intergalactic warrior Carol Danvers. The actress that Marvel selected to carry the weight of this role is none other than Oscar winning actress Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island, Room). She and co-star Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight, Pulp Fiction) recently sat down to chat about the brand new entry in the Marvel universe.
“There are a lot of elements of Carol and Captain Marvel that I admire that me interested in taking it on,” says Larson as she talks about what led her to want to play the latest Avenger. “I think the one aspect that really intrigued me though is that she is flawed, she makes mistakes in this movie and yes she is very powerful and she takes really big risks – she is confident and bold in that way, but that doesn’t always mean that it plays out the way that she hopes that it would. But when that happens you watch her get back up again and try again and I think that is what life is all about – taking the big risk and then atoning for the mistakes you make along the way.”
“When we met Carol she knows herself as Vers and she is living on another planet and is part of these elite, noble warriors – it is called Star Force,” says Larson when she is asked to describe the plot of the film. “That is her identity – there is this planet and it is her role to protect it and the folks that are closest to her. Then something happens, this freak accident happens and that allows her to unlock these certain memories that are happening in her brain. And it first she thinks that maybe they have been implanted because they seem so far removed from the world that she knew and the people that she loves. And the film is exactly that – she is trying to uncover more memories and work out where she came from. I think that is a very unique and special part of this film that you are not trying to follow a woman that is trying to get to somewhere – she is instead trying to get to herself.”
The bug question there is is Star Force the galaxy’s answer to the Avengers? “Star Force is an elite squad and each member has their own unique gift,” says Larson really thinking about her answer. “They form this cohesive unit and one of the things that I love is how diverse the cast is inside Star Force and they all kind of fit in together to complete something that is really powerful.”
Preparing for the role also took Larson on her own personal journey. “Because this is one avenue of what female strength can look like it was important to me to put myself in that position as well,” she explains. “I didn’t just want to put on a magical costume and suddenly me super strong, I decided to put my mind and body to the test and I was able to put myself right outside of my comfort zone and do more than I thought was possible. My goal was to train for nine months just to see how far I could go, I never thought that I could deadlift 22d pounds by the end or bench press 400 pounds or do pull-ups, push-ups, weighted push-ups. I mean the things that I can do with my body now is amazing and it is great that I can sit here and say that it is possible for women to do incredible things, it is possible for girls to do incredible things – we can go toe-to-toe with the boys.”
As much as this is a Captain Marvel origins story it is also a Nick Fury origins story. While Fury has appeared in most of the Marvel films it still seems that we know very little about him and he became involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. – that all changes here.
“Nick Fury’s super power is that he is a master manipulator,” says Jackson laughing loudly as he talks about the in-depth side of Nick Fury. “He has this power of bringing people together and manipulating them – he gets them to do what needs to be done to serve the greater good. The biggest challenge here was that I have two eyes and it is set twenty or thirty years ago. I had to kind of forget about who Nick Fury is at this particular junction, in all the movies I have done before, because he hadn’t formed those opinions yet. And he is essentially a bureaucrat, an alphabet badass in one of those Government alphabet things – here he is still a badass but he kinda takes orders, he listens to people that are above him and he wants to call them and let them know what is happening rather than keep it to himself.”
When talks to what kind of ‘relationship’ Fury and Carol has he is quick to say “There is a buddy cop element to it and it almost develops like a Lethal Weapon kind of thing,” he says thinking deeply about it. “We met when we are in an adversarial position but we don’t have to have a knock-you-down-knock-you-out-fight in order to become buddies but we have to get to a place where I understand something about her and she understands something about me and there is a level of trust and belief in who each person is and the discovery they have been through. She helps me discover things about myself and I help her discover things about herself.”
Captain Marvel is in cinemas on March 7th.