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Cast Interview Avengers: Endgame – Actors Feel Like a Strong Family

Super hero actors tell us about working together for ten years and more.

Apr 22, 2019

By: Lynn Barker

As ten years’ worth of Avengers movies comes to an end, the cast of Avengers: Endgame unites to talk to reporters about their characters, feeling like family and being a bit sad it’s all wrapping up. Jon Favreau, who plays Happy, serves as moderator for the big press conference. We could get no spoilers on the secretive new film so questions and answers are general, about the Marvel Universe and the actors’ places in it.

Avengers: Endgame Trailer

 

The cast members all admit that they bonded over the 10 years of the Avengers arc of movies and feel like family. They’ve seen relationships come and go, kids be born and get bigger etc. Seeing an end to the magic on set and off has left them proud, grateful and a little sad, as are some of us. 

Actors Feel Like a Strong FamilyActors Feel Like a Strong FamilyCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Check out the cast comments by:  Robert Downey Jr. (“Tony Stark / Iron Man”), Chris Evans (“Steve Rogers / Captain America”), Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Scarlett Johansson (“Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow”), Mark Ruffalo (“Bruce Banner / Hulk”), Jeremy Renner (“Clint Baron / Hawkeye”),  Brie Larson (“Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel”), Don Cheadle (“James Rhodes / War Machine”),  Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang / Ant-Man”), Karen Gillan (“Nebula”), Danai Gurira (“Okoye”) and a final question for directors Anthony & Joe Russo.

Q: Brie Larson, you were set up in the end credits on the last film. Everyone is anticipating Captain Marvel’s involvement. Is that cool or hard for you?

  • Brie: I mean, stressful. I’ve felt kind of chill. But now I’m scared. So I hope you guys did a good job. I came at just the most magical time I think. To come exactly at this ten year anniversary and really my first introduction to everyone was the ten year photo, which was a really remarkable and special day and super surreal and also like not being allowed to talk about it. So the whole thing has always felt like a dream.

Brie Larson as Captain MarvelBrie Larson as Captain Marvel

Q: Your movie was a huge success.

  • Brie: Yes but this film will always be personally dear to me because it was my first time playing Captain Marvel. We shot this first. So I had to stumble and try to figure out who this character was with no script for this and no script for Captain Marvel either. And perform for the first time in front of legends. But the set still feels like a bunch of kids. Just like what I was doing over summer break. Making movies in my garage. There is still this sense of wonder and play and encouragement.

Q: And this is the wrap up film so pretty serious too.

  • Brie:  This film deals with some heavy subject matter. So you’re bouncing in between things that feel very deep and serious. And then we’re going off and playing boggle. Which I am very good at. Just to be clear. And so it’s nothing. There is no other word I can describe it as other than surreal. And I’m super excited for this to come out. Mostly just so that I can talk about it. I want to be able to talk about my experience. Which I haven’t been able to do for a very long time.

Will Tony Stark still be Iron Man?Will Tony Stark still be Iron Man?Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Robert, when you first suited up as Iron Man, could you envision Tony Stark’s arc and where you wanted to see the character go?

  • Robert Downey Jr.: In the moment, I was just hoping day to day we were making good scenes and getting good stuff in the can. I’ve been just feeling like I’m kind of an oddball nanny offered the opportunity to usher in this large (franchise). You’re seeing family and stuff. And I look around (at fellow actors on the panel) and we are close and growing closer by the moment. To me, it’s just the coolest relay race in the history of entertainment for my money.  

Q: Jeremy Renner, Hawk Eye is back. How do you feel to rejoin the Avengers and take up your bow again?

  • Jeremy: I feel good. I feel rested and stretched out. It was good. Ready to rock.

Hawkeye, Ant Man and Nebula suited up for actionHawkeye, Ant Man and Nebula suited up for actionCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Danai Gurira. Black Panther introduced your character Okoye to the world. Now she is fighting beside the Avengers. What makes her such a respected and well liked character?

  • Danai: What I can say that I love about her is that she is very unapologetic. She’s a traditionalist in the sense that she believes in the sovereignty of her nation. And I guess that really resonated with me because I was born here, but I was raised on the continent. And so seeing a country like Wakanda which has had no history of colonization and became so powerful and that she is like the guardian of that nation in a sense was something that really resonated with me. She has a good time. She doesn’t have rage issues. She loves her life. She loves her country. She loves her people. And she’ll do whatever it takes to take care of what must be done. There is a fierceness and she kind of unapologetically also embraces her femininity. So it’s been really fun to get to see her in all these different ways.

Danai as Okoye in Black PantherDanai as Okoye in Black PantherCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Chris Hemsworth, what has made Thor such an entertaining and beloved character through his own franchise and in the Avengers as well. And what do you like best about playing him?

  • Robert Downey Jr.: Yeah, why are you so great?

Chris Hemsworth: Chris Evans, why don’t you answer this for me?

Chris Evans: No. I’m curious.

  • Chris Hemsworth: Well, in Australia, I would have been just straight out of high school and watching Iron Man 1 and thinking ‘Oh my God, imagine, I wish I could be a part of that world’. And then a few years on, getting cast in it, as Thor and having the opportunity to embark on this thing, and at the time I thought, was this film even going to make it past DVD or make to the cinemas or was I going to be recast and all those sorts of questions.

Thor in a serious moodThor in a serious moodCourtesy of Marvel Studios
  • What made it so special for me was just the different people I was able to work with. Through the films with each director and with each different cast member, I would learn something different from them. And by the time of “Ragnarok”, I felt like I finally had enough confidence to go ‘Okay, what is it that I could possibly bring to this?’ (After that I thought) I’ve got this new version of Thor that we’ve just shot and I want to continue that version. It’s just about the people that’s made it so special and I think unique each time with any of our characters. It’s everybody you get to interact with and the fact that we’re all willing to be open to what new possibilities lie ahead of these franchises and these characters. It’s been a pretty remarkable journey. 

Thor powers upThor powers upCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Cool. Chris Evans. Captain America is a classic hero with an unshakeable moral code and you have perfected your portrayal of him plus shown us even more of what makes him tick. What has it meant to you to play him and what do you like best about Captain America in this film?

  • Chris: There’s been so many wonderful elements of working on this movie. And I’ll echo what Chris said. Just truly, not to seem like a safe answer or something, but really honestly, the friendships and connections I’ve made over these ten years now, it truly has become a family.

Black Widow asks Cap if he is okayBlack Widow asks Cap if he is okayCourtesy of Marvel Studios
  • Robert Downey Jr.: But you couldn’t make it to (Paul) Rudd’s birthday last night?
  • Chris Evans: Well, okay. Yeah. I didn’t make it. I was exhausted. It was a long day yesterday. I’m sorry, Paul.
  • Paul (Ant Man): It’s all right. I’m one of the newer guys.
  • Chris Evans: At least I texted and said I couldn’t make it.

Captain America sheds a tearCaptain America sheds a tearCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Scarlett Johannson, you have been part of this since Iron Man 2 and your character has always represented women as strong and equal. How has Black Widow changed over all the films?

  • Scarlett: I was talking with Danai about this yesterday. We spent the whole day together analyzing this whole journey. But the character really started as a sort of sexy secretary with a skill set on the side and I certainly didn’t know how the audience would react to my interpretation of her. The next time that we saw her in Avengers, she was sort of one of the boys for better or worse and that made sense then. I think the fans and the audiences have pushed all the studios and filmmakers to really throw up on the screen what represents what’s going on in the world and wanting to see diverse films and casts that represent their own aspirations and how they feel.
  • I feel the character has sort of grown in reaction to that. And the movies have really grown in reaction to that kind of fan encouragement. And honestly, I have to say I felt like I had been in this testosterone fest for such a long time so it was so nice to see other female cast members; Brie coming on and Karen and Danai. I’m amongst so many wonderful actors, so many strong actors. It’s just grown beyond my wildest dreams. I could never have imagined where this would take us. And all of us. It’s been quite a journey.

Black Widow and Hawkeye hope they can do some goodBlack Widow and Hawkeye hope they can do some goodCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Karen Gillan. Nebula is such a complex character. What excited you about bringing her back for Avengers: Endgame?

  • Karen: I think it’s maybe safe to say that she suffers from some daddy issues. Because her dad is Thanos, so who wouldn’t? And I think I’m excited for her to finally face the source of this abuse. This has sort of been building through multiple movies through the Guardians movies. And she’s talked about how she wants to inflict revenge. And so we all know about that. So I would like to see her try and face that. I don’t know if she will. Maybe she won’t. I’m not saying anything.

Nebula with Rhodey/War MachineNebula with Rhodey/War MachineCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Don’t worry. What can we expect from Ant Man this time around? And how does he fit in with the remaining Avengers?

  • Paul: Everyone is kind of echoing the same sentiment. Which is this sense of completion with this story. But the relationships that are forged. It’s a weird thing to be hired in any job and then to get to, for somebody like me, step into it as it’s already picked up speed. It’s like having the Beatles say ‘Come on, jam with us for a while’. It’s an unreal sensation.

Q: What has your experience with this team of Avenger actors been like?

  • Paul: It’s amazing to meet so many people who are so passionate about it. It’s incredible to meet so many kids whose lives are affected by these characters and to play a small part in that. Pun intended. It’s just something I will always treasure. And so to be here on this panel today, amongst all of you, is really just an incredible feeling. I’m just honored to be a part of it.

Ant-Man wants to do what he canAnt-Man wants to do what he canCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Don Cheadle, Rhodey has been there since the beginning. What do you like best about playing him and suiting up as War Machine?

  • Don: Well, Rhodey obviously started, I think it’s fair to say, as lighter toned and sort of bigger than life than I am in real life. But as the character sort of darkened and things became more compact, the narrative, I think we’ve seen a real growth of this character as he’s gone through his trials and tribulations obviously over the course of these films and come out the other side. Now he is able to really be a part of this team and really contribute at a high level.
  • It’s been a lot of fun to see where he’s come from and see what else happens next. We’ve had a great time this whole time. Being together and having the Downey lunches that he’s put together and to get to know these people. I’ve always known their work but to get to know them as individuals and get to be friends and to get to keep coming back to these relationships again and seeing where everybody is and people that have kids and kids going on to college and people having relationships starting and ending. It’s rare to have that kind of an experience over the course of ten years with the same group of people. So it’s really nice.

Rhodey/War Machine with HawkeyeRhodey/War Machine with HawkeyeCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), is that how it feels to you and why is that or is that not the case?

  • Mark: It doesn’t feel like family to me because we all really get along well. There’s not that much drama. It’s a family that you wish you had in a way. I don’t know if you could tell but this is a different press conference than the last time. It has a little bit of sadness to it. We’re all talking about it like we’re dead. I loved working with these guys. It was great knowing them. They were great boggle players. There is something very bittersweet about this moment because, as actors, we’re like vagabonds. We kind of bounce around. We have these intense relationships and then you don’t see anybody until you get nominated for something and you end up in an award ceremony.

Banner/Hulk wonders what's in storeBanner/Hulk wonders what's in storeCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Chris how would you build a superhero team in real life that can serve to make the world better?

  • Chris Evans: Well you want people who are well versed in that area. I suppose you try and galvanize like-minded thinkers and have a common goal.

Q: Okay, lighter question. Do you prefer bearded Cap or clean-shaven Cap?

  • Chris Evans: I prefer bearded cap.
  • Robert:  I’m going with neither. I like Chris Evans, I like Chris Evans with a beard with prosthesis over it when Joss Whedon asked him to come do the tag for the first Avengers.
  • Chris Evans: I was in the middle of shooting Snowpiercer. I couldn’t shave the beard. They were like ‘Oh, it’s okay. We’ll do prosthetics’. (Allergy) It was like a billion bee stings but we’re making Ruffalo green. We can’t just lose this. But we spent some hours in the chair and put prosthetics on it.

In front of Avengers HQIn front of Avengers HQCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Robert, what was it like shooting the scene in Infinity War where Spider-Man turns to dust.

  • Robert: I just love the lighting in that scene. I look so shredded. I was more shredded than a julienne salad, man. I make a lot of faces. I need some help in the editing. It was one of those moments. (I was saying to myself)This is the most serious thing that’s happened since you were nine. Now don’t F this up. I think we restaged it once or twice. Anyway, it was crazy to shoot it but it was just another day. I happened to see it with this amazing Scottish kid who couldn’t go to a theater. I saw it with him and his reaction really F’ed me up. So I think what a lot of us are looking forward to is a surprising delight experience with Endgame. I think we made a pretty serious choice with that (Spider-Man death). But I think audiences liked that.

A very serious side of Tony StarkA very serious side of Tony StarkCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Through the movies Captain America tends to be a leader and captain. Chris, how does that stick when he meets other leaders like Captain Marvel of Black Panther.

  • Chris Evans: I think he tends to lean on those people who are of like mind and nature, who kind of are intrinsically selfless. I mean, all the heroes up here have their baked in the cake flaws. And I think a lot of that makes for really good conflict in storytelling. That’s why my favorite stuff in this character arc has been my stuff with Downey because we (Cap and Iron Man) approach things so differently. But at the end of the day, our hearts are both in the right places. But it provides a lot of great friction.
  • But introducing characters like Captain Marvel and Black Panther, people who also kind of align very similarly to Cap’s nature, I think it reinforces Cap’s sense of purpose and home. It’s an environment that it feels more natural for him. So I think it’s nice to see the certain pockets where he feels at peace and the certain pockets where he feels his buttons might be getting pushed.

Thor is introduced to Captain MarvelThor is introduced to Captain MarvelCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: This question is for co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo. I’m 12 years old and I often make short films with my friends. I aspire to be a director when I grow up. What skills do you think it takes to direct an amazing movie like Avengers: Endgame.

  • Anthony: That’s an awesome question. First of all, congratulations, because you’ve started making films more than ten years before we did. So that’s very impressive.
  • Joe: When anybody asks us about getting started, it’s doing what you’re doing. It’s picking up a camera and it’s shooting. You have iPhones now. Steven Soderbergh just shot an entire movie on an iPhone. And you have free distribution on Youtube. You can put things out there. We discovered Donald Glover for “Community” on YouTube. So it’s much easier now I think for people’s voices to be heard and seen than it was when we started. You had to go out and get a camera and buy really expensive film and figure out how to get it developed. And so I think find a story that you want to tell. Be really passionate about it. Care about it. And then go out and tell that story. I think that’s really the secret to being a successful filmmaker.

See Avengers: Endgame in theaters Friday, April 26th

Courtesy of Marvel Studios
 
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