Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson, Lashana Lynch Talk Character, Empowerment, and Friendship

Captain Marvel is a first for Marvel Studios. A film with a solo focus on a female superhero is new territory for them. Last summer, the Wasp joined Ant-Man sharing top billing on the sequel film and that was a big step. Now we’re just days away from this new venture. Sure, we’ve seen Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Gamora, Nebula, and Valkyrie, but always as supporting characters. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, Marvel introduces audiences to several strong women. During a recent press conference, actresses Brie Larson and Lashana Lynch talked about the friendship between their characters, getting their roles, and their overall experiences on the film.

Lashana Lynch has been working in film and television for more than a decade, and landing a Marvel role has been a goal of hers for a long time. When asked about campaigning to be in the film, she said that was indeed the case.

“I’m going to get me in that room. I’ve got to…the words that you just said was the words I had in my head for two years. I am a Marvel fan. So…I’ve grown up watching them. I’ve grown up loving the characters, enjoying the trajectories and — I just had a feeling that something would come up. And I’d send in tapes, send in tapes, send in tapes. And then they all didn’t work out for a reason. They didn’t work out because…I felt like energetically I was drawing towards something that represented something that I care about; women. So yeah, I campaigned. Of course I did.”  

Lynch’s Maria Rambeau might not have powers like Carol Danvers, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t equally as strong. The women meet in the military and that’s where their friendship begins. Lynch and Larson addressed the relationship between the characters and what would have drawn them together.  

Lynch says, “They’re both in the military, so they come from male-dominated environments where they were drawn towards the women anyway. They would find power in whoever they find energetic connections to. I think they had a sarcasm together. They did a nice thing about how Brie has represented Carol is that she’s just a normal person. She’s able to be every facet of what a woman represents today — sarcastic, dry, funny — she can kick men down and thrown them into different parts of the universe. I feel like Maria embodies that in a very human way. She’s able to just be a kind, good person. A matching version, I think. [Of Carol]”

Larson says, “I think they would have been friends outside of that experience and I think that that’s a really tight-knit bond that they have and they’re family. I mean, that’s kind of what we’re talking about in this film is — without being too showboating about it, this is the love of the movie; this is the great love. This is the love lost. This is the love found again. This is the reason to continue fighting and to go to the ends of the earth for the person, the thing that you love. And it’s her best friend and her… her best friend’s daughter.  Which to me is so natural….It’s not something that we made a big deal about, but it just feels so natural because that love is so strong…”

For many Marvel fans, this film will be their first introduction to Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers. While she’s not a rare character, she hasn’t shared the same visibility as characters like Black Widow, Spider Gwen, or women in the X-Men franchise. Larson spoke more in depth about Carol Danvers and what she likes most about her.  

“There’s a lot to love about her, which is why I was really excited to do this; in particular, the idea of playing a superhero, or a female superhero in particular because my interest is in female complexity; I was a little worried about playing somebody, a superhero that would be perfect — because I don’t feel like that’s realistic, or something aspirational at all.”          

“Getting to play a character where the whole character arc and turn of this is watching her be this major risk taker, which means it’s not always going to work out the best. And those are the moments, the defining moments of her character, where she doesn’t lay down, she gets back up. I mean, that’s everything. That’s for everybody. There isn’t a person who can’t relate to that, I don’t think.”

Larson had to undergo nine months of rigorous training to prepare her body for the role of Captain Marvel. And while this was a physical transformation, it was also a personal one.

“It’s very emotional when you’re kind of stirring up something very vulnerable and raw inside of you and you’re also learning that it’s just for you; there was nothing for me to prove. I wasn’t proving it to other people at the gym. I certainly wasn’t proving it to my trainer, because he was never going to be fully impressed; it’s his job to not be impressed. It was for myself. And for me, the main reason for doing it was so that in moments like this when we’re talking about Carol’s strength and we’re talking about, you know, what I learned from her, it’s that I’m stronger than I realized.…I can stand here and say that I am really strong; I was able to dead-lift 225 pounds; I was able to hip-thrust 400 pounds. I was able to push my trainer’s 5000-pound Jeep up a hill for 60 seconds. So this concept, when it comes to like gender norms or what the human body is capable of or in particular maybe what a female body is capable of, it’s capable of a lot, you know.”

During the question and answer session towards the end of the junket, someone asked what was the biggest takeaway or lesson from this experience. Lynch says she discovered a new appreciation for single mothers.

“Mine was my forever appreciation for single mothers, who don’t get enough light shine on them ever.” Lynch also says, “it really goes a long way just to say thank you daily. Because then they’re able to feedback to other mothers and say, you know, we’re actually doing an all right job. We’re actually enough.”

You can catch these women in action on March 8, when Captain Marvel arrives in theatres.