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Brie Larson Explains Why She Almost Turned Down ‘Captain Marvel’

Marvel Studios is finally serving up their first female-led solo superhero film, and as always, they cast the hell out of the role, recruiting Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson for the gig. But the actress, best known for her dramatic roles in festival hits like Short Term 12 and Room, almost turned down joining the biggest franchise in the world.

As a part of EW‘s ongoing Captain Marvel cover story, Larson spoke with the outlet about her decision to take on the role of Carol Danvers, and all the life-changing frame, career commitment and physical training that comes along with it. Marvel first approached Larson about playing Captain Marvel several years ago, but she was hesitant.
“I never saw myself doing something like this, mostly because I like being anonymous,” Larson explained. “I like disappearing into characters, and I always felt like if I was out in the public eye too much, it potentially limits you in the future.” And Larson took some time to come around on the commitment, waiting several months to officially sign on, but ultimately it was too big of an opportunity to bring a character like Captain Marvel to screen.

“Just seeing a character who says how she feels and says what’s on her mind and doesn’t let people stand in her way is incredibly empowering,” she explained. And Carol Danvers is a complex character — part Kree and part Human — a sometimes impulsive warrior at odds with herself.

“You have this Kree part of her that’s unemotional, that is an amazing fighter and competitive,” Larson said. “Then there’s this human part of her that is flawed but is also the thing that she ends up leading by. It’s the thing that gets her in trouble, but it’s also the thing that makes her great. And those two sides warring against each other is what makes her her.”

“This is not a superhero who’s perfect or otherworldly or has some godlike connection,” co-director Anna Boden told the outlet. “But what makes her special is just how human she is. She’s funny, but doesn’t always tell good jokes. And she can be headstrong and reckless and doesn’t always make the perfect decisions for herself. But at her core, she has so much heart and so much humanity — and all of its messiness.”

For Larson, part of the appeal was that Captain Marvel isn’t skimping on that humanity — it’s making room for the type of dramatic work she’s known for. “That is something that is really exciting to me about this film: We did not cut corners on that stuff,” she explained. “Like, when it’s funny, it is funny, but also when there’s deep emotional things happening, it’s real. So I was able to bring some of those same things that I’ve brought to full dramatic roles into this, which I’m really proud of because I think it will really set this film apart.”

We’ll see how those dramatics hold up to the demands of the Marvel formula when Captain Marvel arrives in theaters on March 8, 2019. For more on the film, be sure to check out the links below.

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