Hannah John-Kamen Interview: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Hannah John-Kamen is on a roll.  The British actress has appeared in Game of Thrones, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, and is now playing the Ghost in Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.  Hannah brings a complexity to the role not normally seen in movie villains. The movie hits theaters July 6, 2018.

Screen Rant: Your character's powers opens the door for the entire Marvel cinematic universe. How does it feel to join such a crazy franchise after the events in Infinity War?

Hannah John-Kamen: It's amazing. It's an honor. I am pinching myself. It's such a huge universe to join. And I was honored to play Ghost. To come and play Ghost. And she's badass, she's badass. She really does it for me. And also, to have a male written comic book character and, as a female, take that and adapt it into my own and have the freedom to do that. That was, yeah, that’s an honor to do.

Screen Rant: Not a lot is known about Ghost, at least in this iteration for the film. What is Ghost’s motivation to you in this film?

Hannah John- Kamen: I think Ghost’s motivation… With any villain. I like to call her the antagonist, the threat of the film. Is the motivation is high. It's high stakes, it's high stakes. She sees herself as the good guy and everyone else, the bad guy. That's the approach I have whenever I play someone who is not seen through the eyes of the protagonist of the film. So, to me, it’s you've got to play that desperation, the stakes of what you need and your wants in the film, and your objective with playing it like, well, why shouldn't I? Why wouldn't I? So, yeah, it's things aren't black and white. They're kind of gray.

Screen Rant: Exactly.  Now, Marvel does a great job with their characters in sculpting them in such a way that they're a little bit of a departure from their comic book counterparts and made specifically for the film. With Ghost, was there any inspiration you drew the character on your performance on?

Hannah John- Kamen: Well, I always…I mean in terms of like reading comic books growing up and the Joker. I love the Joker. Because he makes it-- nothings simple with him. Nothing is simple. Nothing is black and white. I love the psychology of his character. I didn't actually read the original comic and go, right, I'm going to take that and do that because it's a completely different entity. So, actually what it was, it was actually figuring out the character with Peyton and sitting down and going, okay, this is who she is, this is who she was, this is who she-- This is the process, this her transition in the film, this is what's happening, this is a relationship. And it was amazing to kind of start there and then kind of let the character just evolve and grow and into Ghost.

Screen Rant: Ghost is a member, in the comics, a member of, one of the members of, the Thunderbolts.  I’m sure you know.

Hannah John- Kamen: Yes, I do.

Screen Rant: Where would you like to see the character go next? And could it be with the Thunderbolts if you had your choice?

Hannah John- Kamen: That would be fun. That would be fun. You know, in the original comics, Ghost was in Iron Man. It was actually originally in Iron Man And then, I actually went when I was in Atlanta, went and bought the Thunderbolts comic books. With any Marvel character, whatever happens to them, you always go, the possibilities endless. And with me, it would be an honor to work with any of the heroes and any of the antagonists in any of the things in the Marvel universe. That would be amazing.

Screen Rant: So, you've done a lot of physicality, a lot of physical roles like Ready Player One. But Marvel's on a whole other level. Can you talk to me about the preparation that it takes to play a superhero or super villain?

Hannah John- Kamen: I love doing my own stunts. I, hands down, like that sort of stuff, I loved doing my own stunts. I feel like the physicality of the character is so important, and that's part of the process as an actor, of getting the character is how the style of fighting. There's a whole different style with different-- especially in the Marvel universe when everyone's had an established style with their powers. it's amazing. That was a fun part to create that with them. So, I had a huge input with that, which was great to have the freedom of going, well, you know, let's try this. And I would do rehearsals with my costume on so that—

Screen Rant: Wow.

Hannah John- Kamen: I know, I know I put myself through that. I do that, just so I could know what I could do and what would be, okay, well how about this move. And this move feels better because I can do this with my body in this suit. And it really helped us.

Screen Rant: That’s amazing.

MORE: Peyton Reed Interview for Ant-Man and the Wasp

Key Release Dates
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
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