At a press conference for Avengers: Endgame, Happy Hogan himself, Jon Favreau, asked Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson what it was like to be the new kid at school, and an entity powerful enough to take on Thanos (or as Favreau likened it, “like in the World Series, having someone called up as a designated hitter”).
“I felt kind of chill,” Larson admitted, “but now I’m ... scared?”
Avengers: Endgame is a more momentous occasion for Larson than audiences may realize. Though Captain Marvel is a critical hit and a box office sensation (with over $1 billion worldwide, it’s now the eighth biggest MCU movie of all time), it’s not actually Larson’s original Captain Marvel performance. That would be what we’ll eventually see in Endgame, which was shot back-to-back with Infinity War before Marvel rolled cameras on Captain Marvel.
“[Endgame] will always be personally dear to me because it was my first time playing Captain Marvel,” she said. “We shot this first, so I had stumble and figure out who this character was with no script for this and no script for Captain Marvel, and perform for the first time in front of legends.”
Marvel’s legacy of secrecy made carving a character out of Carol Danvers a difficult task for Larson, who also had to keep mum about the challenges. The game of squashing spoilers aside, Larson only had one word for the team-up sequel: surreal.
“I came [to the MCU] at the most magical time,” she said. “It’s come at exactly this 10-year anniversary, and my first real introduction to everyone was at the 10-year photo, which was remarkable day, and super surreal, and also [I wasn’t] allowed to talk about it. The whole thing has always felt like a dream.”
If there was any high-stakes pressure, as Favreau insinuated, the purity of fun balanced it out for Larson.
“There’s a balance: as big as it is, it still feels like a bunch of kids doing what I was doing over my summer break, making movies in my garage. There’s still this sense of wonder and play and encouragement. This film deals with heavy subject matters, so you’re bouncing between things that are deep and serious, then we’re going off and playing Boggle — which I am very good at.”
Perhaps the biggest revelation out of the tight-lipped Endgame press conference: the Avengers love Boggle. They play it on airplanes, they play it on breaks, and most of the time, Larson, Don Cheadle and Paul Rudd school everyone. (According to Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo is awful, though after pulling “asbestos” out of the air in one game, is prone to Boggle brilliance.)
Throughout the hour-long press conference, most of the Avengers cast members reflected on how close they’d become over 10 years of MCU movies, and how Endgame offered a sense of closure. (What kind of closure was left unsaid — but Evans spent most of the time squirming in his seat out of fear of saying the wrong thing, so take that as you will.)
But for Larson, Endgame is just the beginning — and her exuberance was a welcome complement to everyone else leaping to safe ground across a spoiler minefield.
“I can’t wait for this movie to come out,” she said, with a sense of relief. “I want to talk about my experience, which I haven’t done in a long time.”