Seeing Marvel’s Avengers re-assemble to save the world again is only a part of the reason moviegoers can get excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron. What has writer and director Joss Whedon in fanboy mode in creating the sequel is in how he’s able to bring more of his own creations to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Specifically, two of his personal favorite comic book characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
The “twins” as they’re referred to, Pietro (Quicksilver) and Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), were key parts of The Avengers comics when Whedon was reading at a young age and even while working on the first movie he knew that if he got to come back, the story would involve the pair alongside Paul Bettany as The Vision. Now it’s all happening, and Whedon (read out set interview with Whedon for more) hand-selected Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play the super-powered siblings who bring an entire new element to The Avengers roster.
Moviegoers got a brief glimpse at the pair during the post-credits button of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and last summer when we visited the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron we had the chance to sit down with Elizabeth Olsen to talk about this version of Wanda and what she and Whedon hope to bring to the movie (and future movies). In our interview we discuss Wanda’s growing power set, what he specific abilities are; her relationships with Pietro, Hawkeye and others; her Easter European accent and designing a costume and fighting style that fits in the modern, real world.
Can you talk about your Eastern European accent?
Elizabeth Olsen: Can I talk about it? Um, that’s something we’re… we know that we’re from Eastern Europe. And it’s something that we got to create. It’s a make believe place, so it’s something that Aaron and I, with the dialect coach kind of create together.
What’s the name of the fake country?
Note: Here the publicist interrupts saying “that we can’t tell” but we’ve since learned that her and Pietro’s home country is called Sokovia and it’s where Baron Strucker’s Hydra base is setup as teased at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and detailed in the official Avengers: Age of Ultron prelude comic.
Elizabeth Olsen: That I can’t talk about, but it’s, but I get to, you’ve got to make it up, so, yeah.
How are we introduced to your character?
I think you’ve already been introduced. I think as the beginning you will see is what’s in the end of Cap 2, and it’s almost likely…
Is that continued?
Elizabeth Olsen: A little bit, yeah. There is definitely a connection that is very evident.
Is that how she’s going to look in the movie [pointing towards the prison garb type clothing at the end of Captain America 2]?
Elizabeth Olsen: No, for the film, that world is very specific, so it’s almost like they’re hospital-ish, you know. And the way that we’ve designed costumes is based off of these two kids,these kids being on their own and what the use, using whatever they can to their best ability, like if they see a street vendor and they just grab something off a street vendor. So it hits to Eastern Europe, but it’s also this kind of kitschy vagabond feel as well.
In some of the original drafts of Godzilla your character and Aaron’s character were brother and sister. When that was switched had you guys already talked about doing this together? Or was that very late in the game?
Elizabeth Olsen: We weren’t in a part of the brother-sister conversation for Godzilla. They just told us that they weren’t sure if they wanted them to brother and sister, but they’re pretty sure they want them to be married and they’re pretty sure they’re gonna give them a kid. [LAUGHING,] That was the impression we got and that’s where we basically started, and we didn’t know about this until after we finished filming Godzilla which was kind of funny.
Did that help with the comfort level working on this film, having just come off of something else with Aaron?
Elizabeth Olsen: Totally, I mean, if you look at the comics the two of them are always like so, so close to each other, that the proximity, their comfortability around each other is so specific, and to the rest of the group. And so it’s nice to know Aaron and it’s also nice to have a friend when you’re joining such a big project like this with potentially intimidating people and so it’s been really nice to have Aaron.
And it is nice to feel like, to feel like “they have their movies, well like we had a movie too! It’s not just that one, but, you know”… [LAUGHING.] It was that kind of teammate feel.
What was some of your first meetings with the cast members like and did they kind of give you any insight? Who was the first person you and Aaron got to work with?
Elizabeth Olsen: The first person that Aaron and I got to work with is Jeremy Renner, because we were shooting in Italy as everyone has seen [Laughs].
Note: Olsen is referring the the bountiful amount of unofficial set photos from the beginning of production with the three of them in costume.
And he was so, I don’t know, he was so straight about how this is gonna go. This was one of the first days of shooting the cast I think, and it is the most waiting I’ve done on a film, so keeping an energy up is really difficult so you get on set and like you just have to have like one thing that you hook into to remind yourself, to give you that energy and the drive of your character. Just talking with him was interesting and fun, and I still enjoy working. Everyone that we’ve met, everyone is so nice. I was ready for like maybe some sort of diva, anything, but there’s none of that at all on this set. All of the actors are unbelievably fun and giving and kind and it’s, it’s amazing.
Do you have a favorite Avenger?
Elizabeth Olsen: Personally? I’m kind of digging what I get to do, and I’m really excited. Well, my favorite just as a fan is Iron Man. Those are my favorite films and that’s how I got into the Marvel world and becoming a fan myself. But I wouldn’t mind continuing to do this for quite some time because I’m having so much fun working on the Scarlet Witch Wanda. She’s so awesome. I think Joss is excited by her also and so the two of us kind of dork out a bit and… it’s pretty fun.
Going off of what we saw in Cap 2, what is the relationship like between Wanda and Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann)? Is that something that continues throughout the film?
Elizabeth Olsen: It’s something people will be wondering later. I guess it kind of is what it is, what is there, I mean, looks like, you know, we’re almost, I mean, it is what it is.
Do they share ideals?
Elizabeth Olsen: I don’t know. I think there’s a bit of all of it, you know. I think it’s, it’s interesting, I don’t know what I can tell…
Publicist: That one we’re keeping back.
In that scene at the end of Cap 2 we see the character manipulating objects and today we learn that your character can get in the minds of people. Can you talk about the power abilities of Wanda?
Elizabeth Olsen: Yeah, so I am able to go into someone’s head and I can feel and see what they feel and see, so it’s not just me manipulating them, but what I love about her is that in so many superhero films, emotions are kind of negated a bit, but for her everything that someone else could feel, like their weakest moments, she physically goes through that same experience with them, which is pretty cool. If they have the biggest, darkest fear, I get to see that.
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