On 14 February, we met up with stars Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Samuel L Jackson as well as directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck of Captain Marvel at their only promotional stop in Asia.
Finally making their way here after the epic announcement in January, the cast and directors of Captain Marvel were all smiles as they greeted members of the media that had gathered excitedly awaiting their arrival. Despite the morning call, everybody looked bright and fresh-faced as they took their seats, ready for the onslaught of burning questions from the floor.
Seen as a breakthrough in the otherwise male-dominated MCU, Captain Marvel is the universe’s first standalone film for a female superhero, helmed by a directing duo that includes their very first female director. Though it is a pretty big deal to achieve equal representation in the MCU after over 20 films, both the creators and stars are all hoping that this will amount to more than that.
In order to prep herself for her big Marvel debut, actress Brie Larson underwent nine months of intense training which comprised of weightlifting, meditating and martial arts to build her mental and physical strength, while finding a way to lend credit to the authenticity of the character.
Talking about the off days she would have during her training that reminded her of Carol Danvers, Brie said, “I’ve gone through training crying and begging for it to stop, but all of that is what Carol is. When I see that montage of her over the years getting back up, I feel like that was a hundred percent my experience.”
But that was not all those training sessions were for Brie, who also found time to share videos of her newfound strength with her co-star Samuel L Jackson. “When you’re pushing a Jeep up a hill for 60 seconds, I think you’re allowed to brag about it,” she added with a laugh.
Fellow co-star Gemma Chan also had to undergo strenuous physical training in preparation for her new role, which is notably worlds apart from her previous stint as Astrid Leong-Teo in hit film Crazy Rich Asians. As such, having to portray the character of Minn-Erva, a member of the Kree Starforce, is definitely not a walk in the park for the British actress. “I had to start kickboxing and sniper training. My ongoing concern was trying not to accidentally hit myself in the face with my own rifle as the one I had practiced with was a bit shorter than the one used in the film,” shared Gemma with a sheepish smile.
As the first MCU film to be released after the loss of the late Stan Lee, Samuel L Jackson conveyed his continued admiration and gratitude for the OG creator (and included a jovial remark about his iconic cameos). “He might still be in every Marvel movie that we shoot,” he quipped. “If they scanned him as much as they scanned us, he’ll be in a lot of movies.” While it was expected to be a passing comment, Brie took the opportunity to fill us in on the insider context, “What he is trying to say is that whenever we put on a costume, we will need to go into this room with a hundred cameras for a 3D scan of our body to create like a hologram.”
However, before she could continue with her seemingly harmless explanation, Samuel cut her off with a hushed “I don’t think they are supposed to know that,” and the pair launched into a playful banter where Brie eventually accepted responsibility for letting slip classified information with a resigned, “Well, the Marvel ninjas are going to come after me now!”
Although the questions thus far have been kept purely related to the upcoming film, there’s simply no way of ignoring the elephant in the room. Taking one for the team, a brave soul asked if Captain Marvel would indeed play a pivotal role in Thanos’ defeat in the next film, Avengers: Endgame. As everyone waited with bated breath for her response, Brie simply broke into a knowing smile and ended off with this epic response, “Yeah, good luck. That is a really good question that I absolutely cannot answer, but more power to you for asking.”
Touché Brie, touché.
Photo credits: Jasmine Ong
Captain Marvel opens in cinemas 7 March 2019.