Say hello to Marvel’s first leading lady, Brie Larson. Photo: Marvel Studios
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, half the team was decimated and S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury also faded into black dust – but not before paging a mystery hero(ine). She was revealed to be Captain Marvel, perhaps the most powerful heroine in the current Marvel cinematic universe, to be played by Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson. Here are 10 things you may not know about Brie or Captain Marvel before the film comes out in March.
1. Brie has starred – and sung – in a Bollywood film before
What would Bollywood be without the extravagant songs and dances? In the 2017 Bollywood rom-com Basmati Blues, where she plays a scientist sent to India to sell genetically modified rice, Larson busts out a tune or two.
2. She’s an Oscar-winning actress
Larson’s terrific performance in 2015 indie-drama Room landed her an Oscar when she was only 26.
Based on the novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue, the film tells the story of a mother, Joy, and son, Jack, held captive in the eponymous room by her rapist, and their subsequent escape.
The film received critical acclaim worldwide, and Larson also won best actress at the BAFTA’s, Golden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, in addition to more than 10 other awards from smaller associations.
3. She worked out like crazy for nine months for Captain Marvel
After hiring trainer to the stars, Jason Walsh (who’s trained Emma Stone, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt and Alison Brie), Larson underwent nine months of intensive upper-body training and weightlifting.
Exercises included pull-ups, push ups with weighted chains around her waist, 97kg deadlifts, 180kg hip thrusts, and box jumps. We can’t wait to see her kickass in Captain Marvel and Avengers: End Game.
4. Larson is not her real name
Her real name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers (now that’s a mouthful), and Brie has told two different versions of how she came up with ‘Larson’.
In an interview with Glamour, she says she got frustrated with people failing to pronounce her name and adopted Larson, the surname of her great-grandmother.
On the Jimmy Fallon Show in 2015, Larson said she was inspired by the name of an American Girl doll called Kirsten Larson.
“The name of the doll is Kirsten Larson and my last name is French and very hard to say. I was so sick of it, so as a result I was like, ‘I’m changing my name! I’m changing it to Larson so that Kirsten can be in our family!’ ”
5. She was engaged to Alex Greenwald
While the name Alex Greenwald may seem unfamiliar, the American musician, actor and record producer is the lead singer of Phantom Planet, i.e the band who sang the theme song for The O.C ( Californiaaaaaa, here we come).
The pair had been together since 2013 and got engaged in 2016, but have reportedly broken up as of January 2019.
“They have taken a step back from their engagement for the time being but they remain close,” said a source to People magazine.
6. She’s vegan
Brie and Shailene are two examples of young, grounded, celebrities. Photo: New York Magazine
Like her bff and fellow actress Shailene Woodley (they co-starred in The Spectacular Now), Brie is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
7. Larson was inspired by Captain Marvel, and hopes to empower women
As with most outlandish superhero backstories, air force pilot Carol Danvers crosses paths with Kree alien superhero Captain Mar-Vell, gaining superpowers after an accident sees her DNA being crossed with that of the Kree.
Despite some questionable backstories in the earlier runs of the comic, Captain Marvel has since become a strong female character, rather than a side-character helping (or being rescued) by men, with previous writer Gerry Conway kinking Carol’s journey with that of American women at the time, for “raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity.”
Larson said taking on the role of Captain Marvel would allow her to push the cause female representation in cinema, through a film series that has mass appeal.
“They’ve been very open to hearing my thoughts and my take on it, which has been great,” she tells me.
“I think that’s why they cast me, I have a lot of similarities to this characte. Both are strong women in industries where sexism and gender stereotypes persist, and they want me to bring that into the movie,” said Larson in an interview with Vanity Fair.
This is the first time a woman has got top billing in any of the series 21 movies.
8. Captain Marvel dated War Machine
Could there be a possible War Machine x Captain Marvel romance in the movie? Photo: WireImage
That’s right, Carol Danvers and Tony Stark’s best friend, James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes aka War Machine had a thing during Marvel’s Civil War arc in the comics.
Seeing as War Machine (played by Don Cheadle) survived Thanos’ brutal massacre, it will be interesting to see if they keep this romance up in the movies.
Plus – her original love interest Mar-Vell (played by the ever-suave Jude Law) has been confirmed to star in the film… Can anyone smell a love triangle?
9. She was a pop star
Before she struck superstardom in Room, Larson embarked on a solo singing career. Her first EP, ‘Finally out of P.E’ was released in 2005, named after a P.E teacher she disliked. She also went on tour with Jesse McCartney (of Beautiful Soul fame).
10. Captain Marvel is a Star Wars fan
The crowds came out to meet Marvel’s most powerful superheroine. Photo: Marvel Studios
In the comics, Captain Marvel makes no secret of being a big fan of George Lucas’s hit space-opera series. Now that Disney owns Marvel and Lucas Film, it could lead to some great cross-over material given Captain Marvel’s named her pet alien cat Chewie, after the beloved Star Wars character Chewbacca.