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How the mo-cap suit helped Tatiana Maslany truly understand what it meant to be 'She-Hulk'
She-Hulk has a very different approach than the Hulk's first MCU adventure.
From the moment we saw the first trailers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, it was clear that the MCU's early adventures for Jennifer Walters were going to be rather different from those of her cousin, Bruce Banner.
While Banner (Mark Ruffalo, who returns for She-Hulk), began his MCU tenure constantly wrestling with the "other guy" who lived inside of him, his cousin Jenn (Tatiana Maslany) seems to adapt at least a little more easily to life as a big green lady. With a little help on balancing herself, she seems set to go out into the world and become not just a superhero, but someone who might be comfortable walking around in her green skin, something that took Banner years to master. But that doesn't mean the green skin and larger body is any less strange.
"There's something about the duality of a woman occupying two different bodies,” Maslany told USA Today in a new interview. “Culturally, we're so obsessed with women's bodies in terms of control, projection, ownership, aesthetic, all of this stuff. Exploring that feels very prescient, and (it's) very rife with interesting nuance.”
For writer and series creator Jessica Gao, that nuance was key to unlocking the depths of the She-Hulk series, which is being billed as the MCU's first-ever half-hour comedy series, the story of Jenn using her She-Hulk identity both in her work as a lawyer and as a new superhero in the MCU. Jennifer Walters may not have to fight the beast within like Bruce, but there's still a fight going on somewhere in there, and it's vital to the show.
“Her struggle is different than Bruce's because hers is so much more internalized,” Gao said. “It really is about her wrestling with her identity and what it means to see people change how they treat her vs. how they treat She-Hulk.”
For Maslany, part of embodying that struggle came when she had to don a motion capture suit to become She-Hulk. Though we don't see the suit onscreen, it became an essential piece of the performance for the actress, simply because the act of walking around while wearing it is so strange.
"[Ruffalo] and I talked about how bizarre that suit is," Maslany said, adding that when you wear the mocap suit "nothing about you feels like a superhero so there's also an outsider feeling, which is sort of what the Hulk's place in (the Avengers) is."
Adding to the struggle, as well as the comedic potential in the series, is the way Jenn learns to carry herself as a warrior in the MCU. She doesn't approach it from a place from physical expertise, which means we'll see a more improvised fighting style than that of some of the MCU's other bruisers.
“She-Hulk is not a trained fighter; ultimately, she's Jen in a huge body that's able to flick somebody and they go flying through a wall," Maslany said. "She doesn't fight cool.”
We'll see She-Hulk's fighting style, and much more, when She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres August 17 on Disney+.
Looking for more sci-fi adventure in the meantime? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.