ArtsCinema & TV

Captain Marvel Press Conference in Singapore: It’s an Action-Packed “Emotional Journey” for the Latest MCU Movie

On February 14 2019, the cast and directors of Captain Marvel graced their presence for a press conference and Red Carpet Event at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre – the only promotional stop in Asia.

After a warm welcome by members of the media from across the Asia-Pacific countries, cast Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Gemma Chan (Doctor Minerva) and Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck went on to share about the movie enthusiastically.

Captain Marvel PC - Group Shot

While the cast shared about their respective characters in detail and how they came to embody themselves in their roles, the directors talked about how they got chosen to direct the much-awaited movie on one of best Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has to offer. Here’s what went down at the press conference:

Brie Larson

How do you give (Captain Marvel) gravitas when it’s such a pivotal character in the MCU?

Captain Marvel PC - Brie Larkson Shot

Brie: I think the film itself is so big and there are many aspects of it that are larger than life. We’re dealing with a superhero with incredible powers, fighting aliens in space. But I think the thing that grounds it, in reality, are the smaller moments – the character moments, the moments between the big fight sequences. So those are the things we spent a lot of time tacking down to make sure that those had as much care as a giant explosion.

Captain Marvel goes on a transformative journey when she discovers her memories, and in prepping for this role, you mentioned that you’ve been through a transformation as well. Could you tell us a little bit more about how you’ve infused some of the insights you’ve gleaned from this experience into playing Captain Marvel and growing through that transformation?

Captain Marvel PC - Movie Still 1

Brie: Totally! For me, it’s all about putting myself in experiences that allow me to confront myself and then those real things I can infuse into (the character). The main piece in this was her strength – in getting strong and meditating a lot on what female strength could look like, and not wanting to emulate things that I’ve seen on screen before but to understand what that felt like and embodied myself.

In so, I went on this path of just training everyday for nine months to see what I was made of and how I could get. In the end, it changed me so much – it changed my mind, it changed the way I view the world, especially martial arts. It’s crazy how differently you start to view the world and people that are standing in front of you. Once I started doing more judo, I’d be like, “Ooh that guy has a jean jacket on; I could totally throw him right now.” It’s just weird; your brain goes to these crazy places.

Captain Marvel PC - Brie Larkson Closeup

But there’s something about pushing yourself beyond the threshold that’s comfortable and then going even further than that. I was lucky to have a really great trainer, Jason Walsh, who got me into weight lifting. It was really that – it was these moments of breakthrough, of going beyond what you thought was possible, what you thought your body was capable of doing. And it means, sometimes you’ll end up on the floor crying, begging for it to stop – but all of that is who Carol is. When I see that montage of her over the years getting back up, I feel like that was 100% my experience in my life, in particular, the prep in my film.

Samuel L. Jackson

You look so different in this film! What was that like, going back in time? You must have had so much fun – (kind of) dangerous, but really fun – to have you play a younger Nick Fury.

Captain Marvel PC - Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel: It was the same way I played all the Nick Fury – with a little less knowledge… Hanging out with Jake, my makeup artist, in the morning was a lot of fun; not having to put the scar on and the patch on and do all of those things. So, it was kind of interesting being that guy. Along with having two eyes, I have a lot less instinct than older Nick Fury… I learnt a lot from (Captain Marvel) in the course of the film, and it helps a lot. She’s my first alien!

Gemma Chan

Welcome back to Singapore. We cannot wait to find out more about Minerva’s role, but what really attracted you to this character and the MCU family in general?

Captain Marvel PC - Gemma Chan Closeup

Gemma: First of all, who wouldn’t want to be part of the MCU? It’s the coolest club in town! I like playing a character that’s different from what I’ve done before. (Minerva’s) pretty badass – she’s not so nice, she’s got a bit of an edge – and I like the idea of the physical challenge a bit as well.

What was the transition from Crazy, Rich Asians to being in the MCU like for you, and how do you feel being cast as Minerva?

Captain Marvel PC - Gemma Chan

Gemma: The characters really couldn’t be further apart. Astrid is very gentle and kind; Minerva is kind of the opposite. The main thing was the physical challenge – I had to start doing kickboxing training and sniper training. The main thing – during Captain Marvel – that I had to be concerned about was trying not to hit myself in the face with my own rifle. That was an ongoing concern that I would accidentally do that. The (rifle) that I practised with was a bit shorter than the one we ended up using in the film, so I had to adjust for that. It was great to play a character that was sarcastic, and she has a lot of sassy one-liners.

Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

Anna, you (and Ryan) go back a long way together – but in the 21st instalment of MCU, you are their first female director. How does that resonate with you, or is it just another day on the job?

Anna: Captain Marvel is a movie I really wanted to be part of, so having that experience has been amazing and being able to work on this canvas with a character that so many people care so much about. But it’s 2019, and I think that everybody here looks forward to the day when it’s not newsworthy that a woman is directing this kind of movie.

What is it that the audiences are going to experience when we see (the movie) on March 7?

Captain Marvel PC - Movie Still 2

Ryan: Like other Marvel movies, this movie’s going to have awesome action – we have action at space, we’ve got action in alien planets, here on Earth we have action in the mountains and desserts and city trains. What people might not be expecting is what Brie alluded to earlier, which is the emotional journey that they’re going to go on. We watch Carol Danvers go on this incredible emotional journey and as an audience member, you kind of get to go on it with her.

(Tell us more) about your pitch that got you guys selected as directors for Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel PC - Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Ryan: There were a lot of meetings; there were a lot of pitches. Gosh, when you saw Half Nelson, it just seemed obvious we were going to make a superhero movie next – we were like, “It’s coming”. When we went to talk with Kevin and the team at Marvel – and Brie as well – we were on the same page about making sure that this character was dynamic and complex and as human and messy as possible; funny and tough, but also vulnerable at the same time.

Anna: (The team at Marvel) said, “We know how to make the big explosions, we need people who are going to focus on the story and the character.

Captain Marvel releases in cinemas on 7 March 2019, and advanced tickets are already available for sale at the cinemas’ respective websites – including sneak preview screenings happening on 6 March 2019 – don’t miss out!

Photos by Angelica Sanchez of the DANAMIC team and
The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte. Limited.
Visuals courtesy of The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte. Limited.

Deepa d/o Chevi Vadivelu

Animal and music lover, bookworm and movie enthusiast. #blackismyhappycolour

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