If you've been following along with our coverage of Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron over the last few months we've been slowly releasing interviews from our visit to the film's set last summer. It's here where for two days we explored Avengers tower, the new Quinjet (and a few other locations) and met the (larger) team in person to talk about their roles.
On day one, while hanging out in Bruce Banner and Tony Stark's lab, new cast member Aaron Taylor-Johnson sat down with us to discuss Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver, a uniquely interesting character since another version of him appeared on screen last year in X-Men: Days of Future Past. And yes, we talked about that too.
Taylor-Johnson made quite an impression since he's the only actor I've ever met on a set visit with a large group of journalists who shook the hand and asked for the name of every single person there. He and Elizabeth Olsen, who plays his sister Wanda in the film (read our Scarlet Witch interview here!) both stood out to me and not because of their bond in person and on screen (they starred as husband and wife in Godzilla), but because of their youthful enthusiasm and approach to bringing a different kind of super-powered character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Both are excited about the future, where their characters can go in other movies, and both took ownership of working together to develop their Eastern European accents and background.
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Can you talk about your Easter European accent?
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: I can. We're doing one. Whether they decide to re-ADR that in the end, I don't know.
Can you demo it?
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: I can't. I don't think I should do [Smiles] that but it has been fun. Me and Lizzy have been doing dialect coaching together and trying to get that to sound similar since they're playing Twins, brother and sister, her being American and me British. It's fun. When I spoke to Joss [Whedon] about it a long time ago and he approached me for the role, it was one of the things I kind of wanted keep.
One of them was that I wanted to have white, silver kind of hair to look like the Character and the other one was that if i could kind of embrace the roots, where he's from. Being Eastern European, it would be great to do some kind of accent to impart that kind of feeling so I'm glad that we're doing it but like I said, they might screen it and go what are they saying? So you never really know. I'd like to think that they'll keep it there. The Marvel guys, they totally understand. When it comes to their Characters, they're a Studio that really care about their Characters and have real creative input and are totally for that. But at the end of it, you always want what's best so we'll see so hopefully it will continue on that route.
How much reading did you do of the comics to see what the character is like? Did you have to see what the Studios would like or...
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Yeah, yeah, some of the original stuff, sort of a mixture of things. Obviously the character sort of jumps in and out of different Universes being like in their sort mutant world and all that, which obviously we don't embrace because of Fox [Laughs], as you're all aware, that's no sort of secret. But yeah, I take bits and pieces that have been done in history and all sorts of comic books to kind of get the essence and the sense of Pietro as a character rather than Quicksilver just in the sense of "oh yeah, okay, his superhero power is that he runs faster than the speed of sound" but what's he really like to get to the depths of him and wonder. And they're travelers, they have to look out for themselves and it's a really close, intimate relationship that can be seen in many ways.
And also that sort of Motherly and Fatherly kind of figure. He's very protective of her in a kind of physical way and her more in a psychological way and we try and embrace that. There's a lot of stuff that I pick up from and one of the ones I like looking at for this was the Ultimates because I think that kind of ties in more with what they've been doing recently with the Avengers, it's more keeping in tone with it.
So your power set is really something we haven’t seen in these movies before. We’ve seen super speed in other films. It really feels still like there’s ground to be broken. Physically how do you prep for that and work with the team to figure that out?
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: I run a lot [Laughs]. We've done it before. Right now, I think they're gonna play around with maybe getting into "Quicksilver time" which would be sort of my point of view and kind of playing around with that. Like I said, that's another thing that it's experimental really. That's the great thing with these things, with new powers and things like that, that you can really play with that sort of stuff. We did a lot of testing... [Laughs] The first time we did a running test, I was on what's essentially like a running machine but it was a huge Lorry-sized rig which is something the width of this [Points around room] but it was something that they sped up and it was a great big running machine, and they had me on a harness and a green screen, and they put it on an incline and I ran on that.
But it didn't really give a sense of anything that was really traveling so when you played it back, it was just like everything actually looked too clean and neat. So it didn't really look real and then when we did some stuff on the road and when we shot onto like a 120 frames per second and they're on a truck and they're driving, I'd sprint for a hundred meters and the more kind of crazy and ducking and diving, and when they sped that up, it had a lot more of a really interesting flow to it. So I mean, we experimenting with it. It's a lot of fun. I usually turn up and ask "What am I doing today? I run in ... and I run out. Yeah, that should be fine." [Laughs]
Elizabeth was talking a bit about the humor of the character which kind of, I mean, super speed is something to lends itself to hear. Plus Joss Whedon has an ear for humor. What’s it been like working with that and the humor of the character?
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: The thing is, in the Marvel Universe in general, everything's not taken seriously in a sense. There are points of real Drama but I love that there's a lot of sarcasm and humor to it and people have their moment of humor, and it's fun. What we didn't want, from me and Lizzie's standpoint, is our accents to be like the humorous thing and to be laughing at the fact that we've got these silly accents you know, wanting to actually make the words and the feeling of the scene have humor but yeah it's good. It's all kind of sort of fed through Joss and bouncing off some of the other actors and stuff.
Next Page: Costumes & Comparing to X-Men's Quicksilver