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Jude Law on joining the MCU, being a Kree, and his role as mentor to Carol Danvers
When we spoke with Jude Law on the set of Captain Marvel last May, we tried to get him to give away some spoilers.
"That really would be the spoiler of all spoilers, to be honest," he said in reply to a question about how his character met Carol Danvers. So try to glean everything you can from that. But he did give us some information on the characters' relationship.
"Their bond as mentor and mentee, pupil and sensei, and how they met and what they offer to each other is very much at the heart of the film and the journey that Brie's character goes on," he explained.
There has been plenty of speculation on just who Law's character is in the film other than the leader of Starforce, "an elite special forces-esque group of Kree warriors" that Captain Marvel is a part of.
"I'd say that as leader of the group I lead by example, so he's very much hands-on combat," said Law. "The relationship really is about containment. There's a sort of control to my character, a sense of focus and clarity and discipline, and really that's one of the things of the piece is trying to contain: what is being in control and what isn't."
In the film, Starforce is fighting for the Kree in a war with their enemies the Skrulls, a shape-shifting alien race.
"The Kree and the Skrulls are constantly in conflict, so both communities are living really at high alert, and both obviously live with a huge wariness of each other," explained Law. "And obviously, as a part of the military, not only that but as a commander of the military, and as a poster boy of the military, obviously of the Krees, my character is somewhat judgmental and full of hatred towards the Skrulls."
Because the Skrulls can shape-shift, anyone could be a Skrull in disguise. Your mother, your best friend, anyone.
"That's what they feed their insecurity and their paranoia on," said Law. "There are posters that you'll see around Hala which say 'Know your enemy, it could be you.' There's a great line in one of the scenes where a warrior is asked if he's ever been simmed, and he says yes and that he had to kill himself. So it can be psychologically very scarring."
But just because he's committed to his life in Starforce fighting the Skrulls doesn't mean he's without motivations of his own.
"It's interesting, he has a very particular relationship — and any of you who know a lot about the Kree, there's sort of a divine element called the Supreme Intelligence — and that comes it play in this," Law said. "Each of the Starforce, indeed each of the Kree warriors, has a particular relationship with the Supreme Intelligence, and my character has a very particular relationship with the Supreme Intelligence which becomes revealed and is quite complex and ultimately very revealing of what it is that motivates him. I've kind of based him almost on ... not a religious fanatic, but he's got a sort of divine sense of purpose because of his relationship with this greater being."
With a character so far from the realm of what we know as humans, Law said he thinks small to keep the character grounded in reality.
"I think that a lesson I learned over the last few years is that when you take on characters with enormous sort of backgrounds or worldviews or situations that seem to be beyond one's personal imagination, it's always possible to play an individual and an individual within that," said Law. "Whether they're in awe of it or just dealing with it daily, you just sort of root it in simple things: We just talked about one; what's the motivation? What's your relationship with those around you daily?"
While jumping into a huge world like the MCU could be intimidating (and provide tons of homework), Law said he was fairly aware of the universe already.
"Well the test of it is the Infinity War, right?" he said. "Like if anyone goes and sees Infinity War and says 'Who's that? What's that all about?' then you haven't seen them all, and I didn't ask that question once. So clearly I've seen all of them. I actually had a couple of people next to me saying, 'Who's she? What is she doing?' So I was pretty conversant, but with my character in particular, there was a question, 'Should I go back and read up?' This is a very interesting chapter, I think, in the Marvel Universe, because it's split off in several ways, and I know a lot of them have come out in different guises, but this one even more so. I chose really just to follow the script."
Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8.