While I’m attending an expense paid trip by Disney to the press events for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Monkey Kingdom, all opinions and views expressed are 100% my own.
Last week hopefully you caught my interview article with Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) from Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. That same day my fellow bloggers and I had the privilege to meet and interview Marvel newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays Quicksilver, and Elizabeth Olsen, who plays his twin sister, the Scarlet Witch!
This isn’t the first time that Elizabeth and Aaron have worked together. You may remember them as husband and wife, Ford and Elle Brody, in GODZILLA. From watching AGE OF ULTRON, and seeing them interact in person during the interview, they absolutely do have such sweet chemistry. They portray characters who care for one another, and you can tell that off screen that the friendship bond between them is genuine.
You did a lot of running. Obviously some of it’s special effects but did you have to really do a lot of running?
Aaron: That was pretty much what I did all day long! All the special effects is sped up. We’d shoot the scene, like if Lizzy was in the scene, I’d run up to her. We’d shoot that. We did the dialogue and then we’d have to do a plate afterwards where she’d step out and I’d do the run up and then they would speed that up. It’s like a plate shot. Even though you wouldn’t really know because it goes so quick. All the running where there’s a blur it was me behind it.
So with this being your first Marvel film, can you tell us about the audition process and where you were when you found out you had the role?
Elizabeth: We actually didn’t have an audition process. We both met with Joss (Joss Whedon, the director) separately. Aaron met with him before I did, and we were about to GODZILLA when we both met. We finished filming GODZILLA and then we both that summer got a phone call that was like ‘you guys got the parts’ and we’re like ‘whoa, okay’ and that was kind of it. It was really crazy and exciting. Aaron and I were really excited that we got to work with each other again more so because in GODZILLA we didn’t really get to work with each other as much.
Aaron: Because stepping onto the set seemed kind of… it was such a big ensemble. It felt kind of daunting to step on with Lizzy, who we already had that kind of work relationship, which made it feel a lot more comfortable.
Luckily I got in a question that was quite popular among my Twitter followers… What attracted you most to the roles?
Elizabeth: I’m a fan of Marvel already and then Scarlet Witch. I didn’t know who she was beforehand and the Joss was telling me about her. Then we both asked for a lot of research on our characters and they gave us every comic book page that both of our characters have ever been on basically. It was this huge stack.
Photo credit Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com. Text edits by me.
Aaron: There’s like a lot to play with.
Elizabeth: It’s a lot to play with because it’s a lot of psychological stuff to play with instead of just it being physical.
Aaron: I was really excited that they have really cool super powers. I really wanted to explore who the character was behind Quicksilver and Pietro. It was kind of our main goal, and Wanda as well, to kind of bring it back to the origins and it was based in Sokovia (fictional nation in Eastern Europe), so we wanted to embrace that kind of accent. I really wanted to have this same kind of look from the comic books. Quicksilver needed Scarlet Witch because they balance off each other. They’re twins and they’re very much Yin and Yang in the way their personalities are. He might be quick in speed, so he’s kind of quick in temperament. He’s hotheaded and impatient and all those things I wanted to play around with and especially balancing against her kind of more thoughtful, slower, more emotional sort of nurturing side with him.
So it kind of gave us a sense of like insecurity when they were not with each other or kind of vulnerability. All they had was each other. We played around with everything that we could visually see, what we could read and that was kind of fun. Marvel was really opened to suggestions and ideas and wanted to do those characters justice. It felt very collaborative very early on.
What was the most emotionally challenging scene to shoot?
Elizabeth: The one that was the hardest for me was when Scarlet Witch can see what’s going to happen to the world if Ultron has control. A lot of times my character just had to respond to something that is not existent most of the time because it just like popped into her head. No one else felt it but I did. I would have to have a humongous reaction that is coming from nothing. So that always just kind of feels stupid until you really just go for it.
Since basically all of your powers are special effects, how was it for you to act out those parts where you’re just kind of staring?
Elizabeth: It’s actually really fun because a lot of people have stunt doubles and my stuff is like a dance kind of. So I can’t have a stunt double come in and do that. So I was always doing everything whereas, I even had to do a triple flip back kick situation, but I always got to be in control over my characters body movements. It was fun because there’s no blueprint to how Scarlet Witch moves. You just see thees like awesome finger, hand gestures and these circular red things.
I worked with a movement coach and she and I watched Joss’ version of Scarlet Witch. That was really enjoyable to watch because he would do the motions and we would interpret it into our own thing. It was really fun to work with the dancer on something like that. It adds a different visual element to the fighting. It also felt a little funny because you’re like ‘I’m not making contact with anything,’ like literally zero contact. There’s a lot of trust that goes in when you have special effects that I wasn’t used to. Then after seeing the movie I was like ‘Aha, now I’m comfortable!’
What was it like coming out to the set with an already established ensemble?
Aaron: That was kind of the initial thing of like ‘everybody knows (each other)!’ This is their fourth or fifth movie playing these characters. They’re pretty comfortable in that kind of situation and with each other. They just understand the whole kind of the mechanics of it because this movie is such a machine. It just keeps going and going. You’re a small piece to the rubric’s cube. They said that you just have to trust with these guys, but you’ve seen the quality of movies they’ve done before so you can have trust but it’s just you don’t quite understand.
It feels slightly daunting but it very quickly becomes a very kind of family environment. They’ve set up over the years, and are very comfortable with one another. It feels very relaxed and chill and the way they are here is the way they were on set. It’s just a lot of fun and once you have a laugh with that then you know it’s kind of cool and you can kind of think about what you’re doing rather than kind of observing.
Photo credit Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com. Text edits by me.
What was it like going form playing a vigilante with essentially no real superpowers in KICKASS to an Avenger with actual superpowers?
Aaron: It’s a lot more fun having powers for sure. Yeah, I mean it’s good fun. They’re both really different characters with different dynamics, but it’s a lot of fun having powers and doing these fight sequences. Just visually it’s the most exciting for me to see all of your favorite superheroes all fighting together as a team. They all have their different skillsets and they also collide into set with each other. It’s amazing to watch but also it’s amazing to do.
We had the final fight sequence (in Eastern Europe) and it was this epic two or three week long shoot where they found a site that they were going to bulldoze anyway with these towers. They pretty much did exactly that for them. Blew up buildings and smashed up cars and the stunts that are involved are like guys that do Parkour, they’re gymnasts, and it’s just the most incredible thing to be around. You just live off of that high.
Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch Featurette
Want to see Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch’s superpowers in action? Check out this featurette from Marvel on the twins!
Aaron and Elizabeth were so kind enough to take a group photo with us after the interview. It was very cool to meet both of them and I’m really excited that they have joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Just in case you haven’t seen the trailer…
Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer
Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON will hit theaters everywhere on May 1st, 2015!
Want a glimpse back on my trip to Los Angeles? Be sure to check out my Twitter (@AshBG) and Instagram (@ashb4211), and look for the hashtags #AvengersEvent, #MonkeyKingdom, #LAZoo, #ABCTVEvent, and #AgentsOfSHIELD.