Last year, we were lucky enough to be able to check out the "Captain Marvel" set in Los Angeles, and we got to chat with the actors. You already read our Brie Larson interview (and if you haven’t, you can check it out here), but today we’re giving you a look at what some of the other actors had to say, including Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and Jude Law. Stay tuned, because there will be more to come before the release of "Captain Marvel" on March 8.
Ben Mendelsohn had a lot to say about his character, and he was in full costume and makeup when he did it. Yes, Mendelsohn plays a Skull, and one of the antagonists in the film. He explained, “I'm Talos. I'm the battle commander of the Skrulls. I take it most of you know who Skrulls are? We kind of rule the sh*t. Most of the rest of the Marvel comic universe are punks basically. And I guess to quote Snoop Dogg, we are the shiznit. We stand above. I mean, look, we can be anyone, and we're stronger than the rest of them. Basically that's it. Yeah, we're maligned, we're misunderstood. But, you know, we're Skrulls. We're Skrullin. Any other questions?”
Mendelsohn told us that he started at the beginning of the Skrulls' comic book runs and read them through. “I started at the start because I wanted to see us when we were scummy little amphibious tadpoles scum, and see how we rose and became reimagined until this point where I could stand at the zenith of Skrull creation. We have a peek at this, and we have a peek at that, but I can't tell you that without showing you my petticoat, and I don't want to show you the petticoat I'm still shy.”
He also gave us some info on his character. “He's quite active, so he has to switch in and out of some various stuff. So, you know, I'm going to assume we're going to see Talos do his thing. And look, the thing about Skrulls and changing shapes, and I can say this with some authority. Physiologically any Skrull can change shape. It takes practice, and, dare I say it, talent to do it well. He's a battle commander because he does it well.” He continued, “See, the thing about him is, we know basically who you are for the last x amount of time, right? So you want to think it's a pretty good carbon copy of what's going on with 'Haha human, I got you' behind this. You might think of it like a chameleon, trapdoor spider, or just one of those spiders that just hangs there looking useless, but it doesn't look like spider, you know what I mean? But it knows you're coming; you're coming closer. I'm very gentle, and very meek. That kind of vibe.”
Samuel L. Jackson spoke about what’s going on with Nick Fury in the film. He said, “I mean, his job right now, his place in the world is to find out where the next enemy's coming from. And like most sane human beings with a job like that, you figure the next enemy is some other country or somewhere else. And all of a sudden he discovers something that we speculate about and now we know it's, well he knows it's true that there other beings in the universe, not just us. The next problem will be convincing everybody else that's true.”
He also spoke about Fury’s relationship with Carol Danvers. He said, “Like most people you meet somebody, you theoretically surmise that they're from outer space and I guess like most of us the first thing you think about is the difference and she looks like us, yes, but she also showed up with these things that can shape-shift. So is she what she appears to be? Is she a safe individual? Is she a dangerous individual? All those things come to mind. Spending time with her, he discovers things about her that lead him to believe that she is something other than what she has presented herself to be or even knows herself to be. So during the course of interacting with her, they do become compatriots. They have a shared sense of humor. He's open to the difference in what she may be and what she may not be. And he's definitely willing to help her explore what she needs to find out to find out who she is and what and how she came to be.”
He spoke about the importance of being part of a female-led superhero film. “I have a daughter and I have a wife who feels undervalued. Because she is a Black woman, she is in this business and she's been in this business longer than I have. She was a professional actor when she was a kid and doing all this stuff. And she's a specific body type and a specific… skin tone. Which is not the preferred skin tone of this business basically. I mean, Viola Davis is the biggest dark skinned star. And… being able to uplift women in a very specific way, I grew up in a house full of women. Who always made me feel special. And made me tow a specific line. I understand a lot about who they are and what they felt just because I heard it. And I had to experience it every day. How hard the world is for women specifically. And I guess as I got older because my world was specifically black and white when I grew up, 'cause I grew up in segregation. So I didn't talk to white women, 'cause I didn't know any. So I only talked to black women, so I know what their worldview was and what it meant. And it wasn't until I got older that I realized that white women might be as beat down as we were in a specific way.
And to work with Brie who has a very political aware sense of self, who not afraid to use her platform to push female agendas has been a real joy. This is my third movie with her. I did 'Kong' with her, so we went all over the world. And then I did her movie, 'Unicorn Store.' And to be a part of this specific story where she has such an enormous responsibility, especially in the success of the Marvel Universe and what it means every time there's a Marvel film. And to look at what happened last year with 'Wonder Woman,' DC almost figured it out with that movie. To know what's going to happen when this movie does actually hit theaters for women and little girls is going to be amazing. Just because of who she is and what her understanding of her responsibility to not the male audience, but the female audience that's coming to this film. To be able to be alongside her, support her and to give her what she needs to be this strong character questing for self identity, number one. And once she realizes what her power is and how she wills it has been a real honor for me. 'Cause I want Brie to succeed in a very real, very strong way. And… to have the opportunity to come into this particular place where they actually know how to do this. They figured it out. There's a Marvel playbook that works. I mean, as out of the box that people think 'Black Panther' was, it's part of the Marvel playbook. It just happened to have black people in it. And this is a Marvel movie being made through the Marvel playbook and it just happens to be a strong female character in it. And it will hopefully incite people the way Black Panther incited us racially when we saw it. So I'm really proud to be part of it.”
Jude Law spoke about who Mar-Vell is. He said, “He heads Starforce which is an elite special forces-esqe group of Kree warriors, he's also mentor to Carol, Brie's character.” About the relationship between Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers, he couldn’t say too much because of spoilers, but stated that, “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 later explained, “Because of the age it's not like a sort of wise old master. I'd say that as leader of the group I lead by example, so he's very much hands on combat. 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."
Mar-Vell is a Kree, and Law told us about his character’s feelings on the Skrulls. “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. 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. The Skrulls to the Krees really represent despicable maneuvering and manipulation. The Skrulls have this way of simulating other people and turning into other things, so it's this idea of subterfuge where you're not who you really are, whereas the Kree have a kind of purity and honesty to them as I see it.”
When he was asked about Mar-Vell’s relationship to Earth, he laughed, “That's a really good question. I think it's a curiosity. It's actually described as a sh*thole by someone, as is often the case in these we're always pitied, like why would you want to possibly stop there, they're so backwards. It's not much difference, I think on the grand scale of things we're viewed as unthreatening, rather idiotic, and somewhat backwards. Which is not far wrong really.”
He also spoke about the Skrulls and their ability to shape-shift, and how that poses a problem for Starforce, the group he and Carol are part of. “That's what they feed their insecurity and their paranoia on. 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.” Yikes!
Are you guys excited for Captain Marvel when it hits theaters on March 8? Let us know in the comments. Tickets for the film are on sale right now.