Welcome to a she-centric edition of BAM! POW! ZAP! in which we hear from a trio of knockouts from the Marvel movie universe who don’t need superpowers to get by.
Emily VanCamp admits prepping the role of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Agent 13, or Sharon Carter as she’s known in the comic books, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier involved a good deal of education: namely getting up to speed on her character’s place in the Marvel Universe.
“One of the most interesting things was actually learning about it, to really start to understand just how grand this universe is,” VanCamp tells us. “Researching my character, I started to get interested in a lot of other things that I was reading. It was just a really fun process.”
She was also intrigued by the variations on Agent 13 that have emerged due to the sliding scale of passing time, thanks to Cap’s WWII roots. Sharon was originally a younger sister to Steve Rogers’ wartime love interest Peggy Carter (played in the film by Haley Atwell), then “retconned” as Peggy’s niece, and yet again as a more vaguely distant relative.
“There are so many different versions of the character, so really what you have to do is sort of take all of that information and make it your own and hope that the fans like it,” says VanCamp, who also stars on ABC’s Revenge. “It's a little bit of a gamble, and it's a little bit nerve-wracking at times, but that's also part of the fun.”
With some of the details of her role in the film still under wraps – it’s been hinted that the character will have an emerging prominence in the films beyond the Cap sequel – she does cop to having a certain special chemistry with Chris Evans (“and I guess you'll see what kind when you see it,” she teases). She’s also game to pop into her network neighbor Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (“We’ll see what they say!”) and she prefers her espionage catsuit to the fancy frocks of her TV series.
“It was a lot more comfortable, I have to say,” she laughs. “The great thing about Captain America 2 was that the Russo brothers [the film’s directors] really wanted to root it into a sense of reality. I think people will be pleasantly surprised that you feel so immersed into this world because… it has a very real feel to it.”
Give ‘Em Hill
One SHIELD agent is definitely going to be crossing back and forth between Marvel’s film and TV worlds: The Avengers’ Maria Hill, as played by Cobie Smulders, has already made her first guest spot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s premiere episode and she’s ready to make a return trip to the Marvel Universe whenever it makes sense. “They're going to put out a great show, so it's sort of like, I don't want to go in there and step on any toes,” she says. “It's their show – if they invite me to play for an episode or two, I'd be happy to.”
She, too, keeps current on Maria Hill in case she’ll be providing support to an individual superhero in a solo Marvel film. “When I did Avengers, I did a ton of research,” Smulders says. “Any comic book that had her involved, any storyline – and there's all different ways to go – I read, and then it just kind of comes a point where you have to start making it your own. …It will be interesting to see which direction they take with her.”
She tells us what she loves best about living in the Marvel Universe. “It's make-believe, and it's a world that people believe in,” she says. “It encompasses everything that I love about movies: it's a glimpse into a totally different world; it's a spectacle; it's funny; and it's just like why you want to go to the theater, to be entertained. It's just cool to be like, ‘I was in that movie!’ Because it's a movie that I would go to see in the theaters anyway.”
Not all the ladies of Marvel quite get it – but that doesn’t mean they’re not having fun. She may have made it through four films as Tony Stark’s paramour (with Iron Man 3 just out on home video this week) but Gwyneth Paltrow admits that the appeal of superhero and other genre films still eludes her. “It's not that I wasn't interested. It's just that I don't get it,” she explains. “I'm not intelligent enough to appreciate sci-fi, I think. I think I'm missing something – or maybe I just have a vagina,” she deadpans.
Paltrow, who takes on a more down-to-earth role in Thanks for Sharing as the new woman in the life of a recovering sex addict played by her Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo, finds an easier way into more grounded tales. “I mean, I love doing Iron Man movies, don't get me wrong, and I love working with Robert [Downey Jr.],” she affirms. “I love the fact that this movie is about what we should all be doing, which is bumping up against our damage and seeing what's holding us back and keeping us from being whole people [but] I think you can look for metaphors and stuff in a movie like Iron Man about triumph and different archetypes.”
The actress – who says she know if she’ll be asked to join the cast of Avengers: The Age of Ultron – insists she doesn’t prefer one type of filmmaking over the other. “I love doing Iron Man, I loved doing action, I had an amazing time doing special effects, and I had never really done that kind of thing,” she says. “So I'm very lucky that I get to do both.”
Who did the TERRIBLE masking job on these photos? Ugh!
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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