Based on the Marvel comic-book series, Disney’s new movie Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel turns the origin story on its head, by casting a female in the role. Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room) portrays Carol Danvers, who after growing up on Earth discovers her superhuman powers and joins the intergalactic elite Kree military team called Starforce, led by Commander Yon-Rogg (Jude Law, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald).
Set in the 1990s, Danvers finds herself back on earth, wondering about her past. She encounters Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson, Marvel Studio’s Avengers: Age of Ultron) and together they must fight the notorious shape-shifting Skrulls who are invading earth.
The stars of the movie came to Beverly Hills last week to talk about their new movie, which opens on March 8th, 2019.
The physical transformation you make into Captain Marvel, you make her look like the strongest being in the galaxy. Was there ever a day when you were training that you thought, ‘I need back up’?
Brie Larson: Yeah, all the time (when) you’ve been training every day for nine months. I sobbed in the gym many times. My trainer would be like, ‘Oh, she’s crying again.’ It’s very emotional when you’re stirring up something very vulnerable and raw inside of you and you’re also learning that it’s just for you; there was nothing for me to prove. I wasn’t proving it to other people at the gym. I certainly wasn’t proving it to my trainer, because he was never going to be fully impressed; it’s his job to not be impressed. It was for myself.
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. So this concept, when it comes to gender norms or what the human body is capable of, in particular, what a female body is capable of, it’s capable of a lot.
With the research with the comics and the physical prep, at what point in your emerging your work did you find Carol?
Brie: Usually I prep for a really long time to put myself in the feeling or in the experiences of the character to try to like see how I react and try to become her. But usually, it’s super delayed for me. It’s my mom that points it out, ‘I think you’re turning into somebody else.’ I’m like, ‘No I’m not,’ and then two weeks later I’m like, ‘Oh, shoot, I’m Carol now.’
I know some actors who have this moment where they’re like, she’s arrived. I don’t have that. And I think part of it is because I never want to feel like I have it or that I know her. It always feels a little elusive to me, which is how you can keep trying and searching every day for a year. If you feel like you’ve arrived then game over.
Sam, this is a Nick Fury we haven’t gotten to see before. What did you particularly like about embodying this ’90s version of our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. leader, who doesn’t have a patch over his eye?
Samuel L Jackson: A kinder, gentler, not so cynical world-weary, chip-on-the-shoulder Nick Fury, who hadn’t met anyone from another universe. (He’s) looking at the crazy lady, trying to figure out why she thinks she’s an alien and what all that means.
It’s kind of fun to not be the all-knowing, angry, persuader that Nick Fury always is. Even more refreshing to have two eyes, so I don’t have to cover one eye while I was learning my lines.
Did you see Robert Downey Jr’s de-aging in Civil War and were you like, ‘Okay, I need to get this immediately?’ What was that process like?
Samuel: There is not a real on the set process, more like they put the wig on me and they put dots my face, so it kind of felt like I was in Wakanda (from The Black Panther).
They started exploring different things that I had done before so that they could use facial expressions that were already there. Fortunately for me, I’d done three movies before this one. So they had the stuff to refer to. So it was cool. It was just me and dots on my face having fun with Brie.
Jude, how did you feel going into a Marvel movie?
Jude Law: Before this film, it kind of felt like a party you’ve heard about for years, and you know and admire all the people who go, and then you suddenly realize that you haven’t had an invitation yet. So, to get an invitation is a good feeling. I’d been a fan for a long time, and being able to step into and be part of the things that I admire and love is a thrill.
How did you prepare for the role of Yon-Rogg?
Jude: I wanted a quick education in the characters. So, they sent me some stuff, which I read. Then I relied on the script and treated it just as I would any other piece of writing. But here’s an interesting story. Captain Marvel was my father’s favorite character when he was young. So, he could tell me all about it, from the male iteration into the female iteration. And he knew exactly who my character was.
If you could bring something back from the 1990s what would it be?
Brie: He is very passionate about Laserdiscs, by the way. That’s not a joke.
(I’d bring back) butterfly clips.
Jude: Oh, good call. I was a big fan of the band The Verve. Richard Ashcroft is on his own now. Sad. They were The Verve and then they were just Verve.
What was the biggest takeaway from the movie?
Jude: I think you always take away the experience of meeting new people. That’s one of the blessings of the jobs we have. You meet and work with a whole new group of people and I think that’s always a blessing.
Brie: That I was stronger than I realized, which was crazy because I knew I was really strong.
Samuel: I walked away thinking my friends (were) crossing over into a new space that’s going to be really awesome. The anonymity is gone.