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Fun Things We Learned from the 'Captain Marvel' Press Day

05 Mar, 2019    added by : Landon H. Johnson
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Captain Marvel, the first installment of the MCU since the passing of the iconic Stan Lee, definitely goes higher, further, faster.

The film places us in the ‘90s, where we meet Vers (Brie Larson), a member of the Kree Starforce whose mission is to eradicate the Skrulls. When Earth becomes jeopardized by the Skrull, Vers travels there to stop them but finds out she is more connected to the planet than she knew. Finding out about her past, Vers, aka Carol Danvers, also learns to control her newfound superpower to become one of the most powerful heroes the MCU has ever seen.

At a recent press day, ScreenPicks got to hear from the Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Judd Law, and the rest of the cast and crew behind Captain Marvel and here is what we learned.

Marvel Studios guru Kevin Feige spoke about the genesis of the film and the original pitch, saying it was all directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.  “It’s their body of work.  And it’s their focus on character.  And it’s their focus on… and our belief that they wouldn’t have lost the character, amongst the spectacle and the fun and the effects.  Um.  And really, Anna spoke very eloquently about, ah… Carol Danvers and about that… about that female hero and over the course of developing the movie, and producing the movie, Anna went up in a jet, as did Brie, which was super impressive and I wouldn’t do for a million dollars.” Feige explained.

Feige went on to explain, “It was those early meetings and their amazing body of work that made us realize… they could bring Carol to life.”

Captain Marvel herself, the badass Brie Larson, then went on to speak about what it was like to play the dynamic, complex, and most powerful superhero in the Marvel Universe.

The Oscar winner explained, “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.”

Larson discussed how relatable her character is. “Getting to play a character where the whole character arc and turn of this is watching her be this major risk taker, which means it’s not always going to work out the best.  And those are the moments, the defining moments of her character, where she doesn’t lay down, she gets back up.  I mean, that’s everything.  That’s for everybody.  There isn’t a person who can’t relate to that, I don’t think.”

And while she loved playing the role of a lifetime, training for it was, well… “You’ve been training for those many hours every day for nine months, like every day, I was just like, I’m amazing.”

“Like I sobbed in the gym many times,” Larson confessed. “My trainer would be like, ‘Oh, she’s crying again.’  It’s very emotional when you’re kind of 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.”

The actress’ main reason for playing the role was because of “Carol’s strength.” She said, “We’re talking about, you know, what I learned from her, it’s that I’m stronger than I realized.”

She also added, in a not-so humblebrag, “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.?”

A big part of Captain Marvel’s appeal is that it pays homage to the ‘90s, as Vers crashes into a Blockbuster after she penetrates Earth’s atmosphere from her planet, Hala.

Director Ryan Fleck spoke on the epic soundtrack and ‘90s nostalgia within the film. “When we started, we made like a big playlist at the beginning of the movie and we shared it with the crew and some of the cast and… some of those songs are in the movie, but it was really just… in post, we put the scenes together and just threw songs in and see what stuck. I actually worked at a Blockbuster in 1995, so…..that brought back a lot of memories, creating that set.”

Marvel veteran Samuel L. Jackson chimed in to provide insight on what it was like to portray a Nick Fury that we haven’t quite seen before.

“Oh, you know, sort of a kinder, gentler, not so cynical world-weary, chip-on-the-shoulder Nick Fury. Who hadn’t met anyone from another universe just yet and sort of 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 all-knowing, you know, angry persuader that Nick Fury always is and — and you know, even… even more refreshing to have two eyes, so I don’t have to cover one eye while I was learning my lines.”

Jude Law then took over and spoke about joining the Marvel Universe and if his teenage children were interested in his role.

Law explained, “Oh no, they cared. But they cared only in vernacular of those teenage kids, so it was like… you know, it’s cool. Yeah, it’s really, really great. It’s about all I got, but I knew that that was quite high on the Richter scale, you know?”

Then, just as she does in the movie, Lashana Lynch stole the show talking about achieving her lifelong dream of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I am a Marvel fan,” Lynch exclaimed! “So… I’ve grown up watching them.  I’ve grown up loving the characters, enjoying the trajectories and — I just had a feeling that something would come up. And it’s in the tapes.  And then they all didn’t work out for a reason.  They didn’t work out because… I felt like energetically I was drawing towards something that represented something that I care about; women.  So yeah, I campaigned to be up here.”

Clark Gregg also said he was glad to be back in the Marvel-verse, saying: “It wasn’t a long conversation. You know, they said, ‘Hey, do you want to come back? It’s the ’90s.  Cool soundtrack.  Ryan and Anna.  Little origin buddy stuff with Sam.  And they’re going to give you more hair and make you look younger.  Oh, and Brie Larson is going to be Captain Marvel’ and I was like, ‘Okay, where do I go?’”

Crazy Rich Asians actress Gemma Chan said she also enjoyed her role, even go as far to describe it as regal.

“I loved it,” she exclaimed. “You know, I like to change it up and surprise people a bit and it was really fun going from playing Astrid, who is this very warm-hearted, kind, empathetic person to Minn-Erva, who is much, like she’s got a harder edge, she’s… she’s sarcastic, she’s, yeah, she’s a big of a mean girl.  Um.  But I like her.  I like kind of tapping into that… that side of me.  It was fun,” she added.

One of the main characters and Fury’s feline sidekick in Captain Marvel is the Goose the cat. But Jackson admitted he is not really a pet person, per se.

Jackson explained: “No, I am not a cat person. But I’m also not a dog, bird, or a fish person, either. I just don’t engage pets. You know, Reggie is like most animals that, you know, people bring to set that have been trained to do this, that or the other — he’s snack-oriented. You give him something to eat, he shows up. You talk softly and nice to him, give him something to eat again. They love you. There were actually four cats, but Reggie did the majority, he did the, you know, heavy lifting most of the time.”

Then, a young member of the press spoke up and shifted the focus back to Larson, asking her what she hoped kids would take away from the film. Larson flipped the question back on the ambitious 12-year old reporter, asking: “I’m more curious to know what you thought of the movie.  I mean, we made it for you, so what did you think?

The 12-year-old said that she thought it was “amazing!” Adding that Captain Marvel was, “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.”

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