Cast and Directors of ‘Captain Marvel’ Discuss Empowerment, Emotion, and Bringing Carol Danvers to the Silver Screen

At a press conference in Los Angeles, the cast of “Captain Marvel” assembled to talk about the film and the journey to get there. The participants were Kevin Feige, Executive Producer and architect of the MCU, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, and Clark Gregg.

Moderator Jacqueline Coley started by asking Kevin Feige about his first meeting with Boden and Fleck, and why they were the right choice to direct “Captain Marvel.” He said:

“…It’s their body of work. And it’s their focus on character… And our belief that they wouldn’t have lost the character, amongst the spectacle and the fun and the effects. And really, Anna spoke very eloquently about, ah… Carol Danvers and about that… about that female hero… So, yes, it was those early meetings and their amazing body of work that made us realize… they… they could bring Carol to life.”

Speaking on why she was attracted to the role, Brie Larson said:

“There’s a lot to love about her, which is why I was really excited to do this; in particular, the idea of playing a superhero, or a female superhero in particular because my interest is in female complexity; I was a little worried about playing somebody, a superhero that would be perfect — because I don’t feel like that’s realistic, or something aspirational at all. Um. In particular, even with my job, like you could just see this beautiful finished product where I look great, maybe… in your opinion. [LAUGHTER] Ah, but you don’t know all the other takes that are on the cutting room floor where sometimes I physically landed on my face doing stunts — and sometimes I just do a bad take. It’s just how it goes.”

Coley asked about Larson’s now notorious training regimen and what that taught her. Larson answered:

“…The main reason for doing it was so that in moments like this when we’re talking about Carol’s strength and we’re talking about, you know, what I learned from her, it’s that I’m stronger than I realized. Of course this movie is like assisted with the VFX, because I can’t personally shoot photon blasts. There’s not enough prep in the world for me to do that, yet — but I will figure it out if there’s a way. But I can stand here and say that I am really strong; I was able to dead-lift 225 pounds; I was able to hip-thrust 400 pounds. I was able to push my trainer’s 5000-pound Jeep up a hill for 60 seconds. Um, so this concept, when it comes to like gender norms or what the human body is capable of or in particular maybe what a female body is capable of, it’s capable of a lot, you know.”

Lashana Lynch, who plays Carol’s best friend Maria Lambeau, connected their two characters:

“[Carol]’s able to be every facet of what a woman represents today — sarcastic, dry, funny — she can kick men down and thrown them into different parts of the universe. Um, so I feel like Maria embodies that in a very human way. She’s able to just be a kind, good person.”

Asked what they learned about themselves from the process of creating “Captain Marvel,” Anna Boden said:

“I think I realized, um, over the course of making this movie that I’m… as a person, kind of more comfortable hiding and — and not being seen and… like literally, I just remembered this story of how Ryan and I, when we made our first short film together and we’re at Sundance and we won an award and we got onstage and I literally, literally hid behind him. [LAUGHTER] Um, and it’s on tape somewhere. [LAUGHTER] Um, and just, I think, ah, this process, the whole process has helped me, you know, be more confident in my voice and just be more comfortable — or I’m not very comfortable right now; I’ve got to be honest. [LAUGHTER] But a little bit more comfortable just being seen.”

Co-director Ryan Fleck simply said:

“…I’ve always sort of known this but I learned just how kick ass my directing partner is. She’s awesome.”

The final question of the conference came from 12-year-old writer Lula Alderson from Scholastic Kids Press Corps, who asked, “What do you hope for kids my age to take from ‘Captain Marvel?'”

Larson turned the question back on Alderson in a hero’s moment:

“I’m more curious to know what you thought of the movie. I mean, we made it for you. So that’s really what this is about. I feel like… the world is already telling you so much, as to how you’re supposed to think and feel and interpret things and who you’re supposed to grow up to be. We’re not supposed to put that on you. We’re just showing you images and it’s up to you to decide. So what did you think?”

When Alderson said it was amazing, Larson followed up, asking what she particularly liked. The girl answered:

“I loved… you as Captain Marvel, because I thought you were such an empowering female role figure. And role model. And I think that all my friends and me, when we watch the movie, we’ll all really appreciate that.”

“Captain Marvel” is distributed by Disney and is in theaters now.

Be sure to read our official review here.

Have you seen “Captain Marvel” yet? Share your thoughts below!


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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.

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