Blake Lively first gained the attention of critics and audiences alike with her first starring role, in the 2005 hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and went on to star on TV on the popular CW series Gossip Girl, which enters its fifth season this fall.
In her new blockbuster movie Green Lantern, based on the DC Comics, Lively portrays Carol Ferris, a test pilot who has always flown ‘by-the-book,’ enabling her to move up in the ranks in her father’s company, Ferris Aircraft.
Her childhood sweetheart Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is the first human to be selected to join the Green Lantern Corps, a mysterious, elite, powerful force that protects peace and justice in the Universe. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy Earth, it is Jordan’s humanity and willpower that will ultimately save mankind from certain destruction.
What was the appeal of portraying a character in a superhero movie like this?
I think Carol is very unique in this genre; she’s an incredibly powerful woman, she’s also a fighter pilot, along with how she runs her father’s aviation company.
It’s rare to see such strong women existing as equals amongst men in film, especially in this genre, and I love that if this franchise continued, she does become a villain. That was also a very, very appealing element to this.
What is Hal and Carol’s relationship in this?
Carol and Hal have an interesting dynamic, and Ryan and I had that same sort of playful banter.
Regardless of what they might have felt, or feel, for each other, Hal and Carol have always butted heads. She’s no damsel in distress. Like Hal, she’s a test pilot, and now she’s about to inherit her father’s company.
Even after this unbelievable thing happens to him, she challenges him as much as he challenges her. If he can’t believe in himself, she’ll believe in him enough for the both of them. She’s not about to let him walk away from this amazing opportunity.
You play a more realistic leading lady in this. Was that you bringing your own energy to it, or was it written that way?
It was definitely written that way, that was what was so appealing about Carol. I think in a lot of ways, this film was much more straightforward and honest.
We talked about the scene where I first see Hal as the Green Lantern, and every single superhero film, how on earth do they not see that this is the person they’ve known their whole life, that they’ve been intimate with?
You don’t recognize him because he has a four-inch mask on his face? In a lot of ways, we just decided this movie [would] tackled those things, and I think it’s a really refreshing take on such a big film full of fantasy, to have those moments where you actually acknowledge what every other comic film doesn’t.
That bled through to each of our characters, and the fact that Hal is a superhero, but he’s also very, very human and he’s flawed and doesn’t know if he wants to be a superhero, I think that that’s incredibly unique and that’s why I think this story’s so special, because you can really connect with the people at the heart of this story.
Coming from a TV show with a mainly female audience like Gossip Girl, and moving into a comic book movie which tends to be more male-leaning, what could be done more to attract female audiences to this genre?
I’m always attracted to strong women, and I think Carol is a character I wish was portrayed more on film.
It’s so nice to see a woman fighter pilot up there, flying this plane, and I think women will appreciate that because somebody [said to] me, ‘This is a very modern film because now women are strong.’ And I said, ‘Women have always been strong. They’ve always been standing behind the heroic man; it’s just a new idea to see it more on film.’
I think women will appreciate that. I think anybody that goes to a theater, they want to sit down and be transported to another world for two hours, and this movie is appealing to everybody.
It’s full of heart, humor, action, and the fact that it takes place not just on planet Earth, but it’s also in the entire galaxy, there’s tons of alien species and different planets, and I don’t care who you are, it’s going to the cinema like you were as a child and just having your imagination blown open.
Also, Ryan is half-naked a good part of the film!
How did you feel seeing the film for the first time?
It was a very special experience for me because I got to watch this film almost as an audience member. I grew up always a fan of these comic films, and I would come out wanting to fly and kick someone’s butt.
Never have I seen a film that I’m in where I’m able to watch it somewhat objectively, and I was surprised throughout the film and cheering, it was a really cool experience to be on screen and see the way that it came together.
We saw all of the visual effects, all of the artwork, all of the designs, but it was such a big undertaking that it seemed impossible that this movie would actually come out.
We’ve been living with this movie for a year and a half now, so I can’t believe that it’s actually here. I’m so excited to share it with everyone because I think it is very special.