As the star of Marvel's first female-led solo superhero film, Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson knows she will be a role model and that the best way to do that is by being herself. After 10 years and 20 movies, Marvel will finally have a female superhero leading her own movie in front of the camera and a female director, Anna Boden (who is co-directing with Ryan Fleck), behind it. There is a lot of pressure associated with being the first and a lot riding on this movie.
The first two trailers for Captain Marvel have given fans a small glimpse of Carol Danvers in action. In one scene, she flies through space punching anything in her way; in another, she navigates a SHIELD quinjet. Captain Marvel is the one of the strongest Marvel heroes and to see a woman on screen in such a role is rare and amazing. Larson doesn't look like a typical action hero either - despite putting on muscle for the part she still doesn't look like a professional athlete or weightlifter, making Carol all the more relatable.
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This human quality to Captain Marvel is one that makes her so compelling. She's brash and confident and not your typical hero. In an interview with Screen Rant while on the set of Captain Marvel, Larson spoke about the role being the "most dynamic" she's ever played.
"I think she has an ego, but in a healthy way. She doesn't have an unrealistic expectation of herself, she just owns that she's really good and really skilled, which feels good to play. She also has an incredible sense of humor, makes fun of herself, makes fun of other people...I've had to go through every emotion possible with her. And a lot of this movie, although it has great comedy in it, there's also real depth to it and emotion... Which for me, that's what I want. I wanna see complicated female characters. I wanna see myself, which is not a simple person."
It's good to remember this when suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Larson is no stranger to Hollywood, but it's one thing to win an Oscar and another thing entirely to star in a Marvel movie. She is going to have thousands of new fans overnight - many of them younger - now looking up to her. Larson acknowledges that she is not going to change who she is in order to be a role model. "I'm just gonna do what feels true to me," she said. "I'm not gonna go out of my way to do things in order to be something to people." In speaking about her own role models, Larson continues:
"All of my heroes were just unapologetically themselves. And they were flawed at times, and that's okay. So for me, it's part of who Carol is, too. She's flawed. She's not perfect. So in order for me ... to feel comfortable stepping into this position, I have to accept my humanness, and remind everybody that I'm a human."
It seems as though Larson and Carol already have a lot in common. Both are strong women unafraid to speak their minds. Both are not what you would expect. Both are women who, through extraordinary circumstances, become a symbol of something so much more.