For indie darling and Oscar-winner Brie Larson, signing up to be the female face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was an unexpected turn. So when the actress boarded Captain Marvel as the Air Force pilot (and insanely strong superhero) Carol Danvers, it was a departure to be sure — and not one she immediately leapt towards.
Larson, speaking to EW, explained how the prospect of becoming a superhero in one of the biggest franchises in cinematic history (under one of the biggest entertainment brands in history, with Disney) was a bit of a daunting ask. When Marvel asked her to be a hero, she didn’t agree right away.
Marvel went after Larson years ago, trying to land the acclaimed actress as the protagonist of its first female-fronted film, but she was hesitant. “I never saw myself doing something like this, mostly because I like being anonymous,” Larson said. “I like disappearing into characters, and I always felt like if I was out in the public eye too much, it potentially limits you in the future.”
That speaks to a very reasonable fear for an actor in the MCU. Chris Evans has had a hard time escaping Captain America when doing smaller indie side projects (even embracing the role on his personal Twitter) while actors like Chris Hemsworth only had parts of their acting abilities explored (like deadpan comedy, for instance) after they were introduced in the superhero universe.
That and the relative anonymity of an actor outside of a blockbuster franchise were heavy on Larson’s mind as she considered taking the role for several months before eventually saying yes. She cites the character’s emotional complexity (somewhere between Spock and Jessica Jones) as the reason she relented to Marvel’s advances.
“Just seeing a character who says how she feels and says what’s on her mind and doesn’t let people stand in her way is incredibly empowering,” Larson says. And becoming the face of a Marvel superhero doesn’t hurt, either: The first time she put on the Captain Marvel suit, she says, her first thought was, “Whoa, am I going to be a character at Disneyland?” Yeah, Brie. You 100 percent are.