Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen
During our recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of interviewing both Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen. We discussed their work with Marvel and their roles as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. They were so forthcoming and open during this interview and it was refreshing to hear from the Marvel newcomers. From their “interview” with Joss Whedon, to being the “new kids” in this awesome ensemble cast, read all about their journey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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You did a lot of running and obviously some of it’s special effects, but did you have to really do a lot of running?
Yeah. That was pretty much what I did all day long. You know, it was like if in doubt, run. All the special effects is sped up. We’d shoot the scene [and] 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. 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. -Aaron Taylor-Johnson
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?
We actually didn’t have an audition process. We both met with Joss separately. You [to Aaron] met with him before I did and we were about to Godzilla when we both met. I don’t remember when I met with him, but I met with him at some point. We finished filming Godzilla and then we both [that summer] got a phone call that was ‘you guys got the parts’ and we’re like ‘whoa, okay!’ and that was kind of it. It was really crazy and exciting and Aaron and I were really excited that we got to work with each other again – more so because in Godzilla we, if you’d seen it we didn’t really get to work with each other as much. – Elizabeth Olsen
It felt kind of daunting to step on [the set] with Lizzy, we already had that kind of work relationship which made it feel a lot more comfortable. -Aaron
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Featurette
What attracted you most to the roles?
Well, I’m a fan of Marvel already and then Scarlet Witch. I didn’t know who she was beforehand and Joss was telling me about her. Then, we both asked for a lot of research on our characters. They gave us every comic book page that both of our characters have ever been on basically, and it was this huge stack. I think she’s one of the coolest characters in the entire universe of Marvel I think largely because of the House of M series because she’s the most powerful person in the entire universe, X Men and Avengers combined. I think she’s really nuts too and it’s a lot to play with because it’s a lot of psychological stuff to play with instead of just being physical. -Elizabeth
I was really excited about [the fact that] they have really cool super powers, but I really wanted to explore who the character was behind Quicksilver and Pietro was kind of our main goal and Wanda [Scarlet Witch] as well to bring it back to the origins and it was based on someplace in Eastern Europe. We wanted to embrace that kind of accent and 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. Hotheaded and impatient and all those things I wanted to kind of play around with and especially balancing against her kind of more thoughtful, slower, more emotional sort of nurturing side with him, and always drawn really close together.
It gave us a sense of insecurity when they went with each other or kind of vulnerability. All they had was each other. So we kind of played around with everything that we could visually see, what we could read and that was kind of fun. And Marvel really opened to suggestions and ideas and wanted to do those characters justice so it felt very collaborative very early on. – Aaron
[Tweet “”I think she’s one of the coolest characters in the entire universe of Marvel” -Elizabeth Olsen #AvengersEvent”]
Since all of your powers are special effects how was it for you to act out those parts where you’re just kind of staring?
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 like a stunt double come in and do that. I was always doing everything. I even had to do a triple flip back kick situation, but I always got to be in control over my character’s body movements which was cool and, it was fun because there’s no blueprint to how Scarlet Witch moves because you just see these awesome finger, hand gestures and these circular red things.
I worked with a movement coach and she and I watched Joss’s version of Scarlet Witch and that was really enjoyable to watch because he would do the motions and we would interpret it into our own thing but it was really fun. It was really fun to work with the dancer on something like that and it adds a different element to the fighting, 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. So, you just kind of trust that you’re going put a robot where my eyes [are] or something. There’s a lot of trust that goes in when you have special effects that I wasn’t used to and then after seeing the movie I was like aha, now I’m comfortable. – Elizabeth
[Tweet “There’s a lot of trust that goes in when you have special effects. -Elizabeth Olsen #AvengersEvent “]
You said that when you came onto the set with you guys working together before that made it easy but what was it like coming out to the set with the established cast?
Yeah, that was kind of the initial thing of like oh, god everybody knows [each other], this is like their fourth or fifth movie playing these characters. They’re pretty comfortable in that kind of situation and with each other and just understand the whole mechanics of it because this movie is such a machine. It just keeps going and going and you’re a small piece to the Rubik’s Cube and 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.
It feels slightly daunting but it very quickly becomes a very family environment they’ve set up over the years. And very comfortable with one another, so it feels — you’ll be meeting them all over, 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 cool and you can think about what you’re doing rather than observing — this is pretty fucking cool and overwhelming and surreal. It’s kind of crazy but yeah, it was good. – Elizabeth
With Lizzy it’s just like our characters are kind of combined so I can rely on her and vice versa. In those sort of situations it’s just we feel slightly uncomfortable around the Avengers anyway, so early on that we’re kind of outsiders anyway. So, I think it also kind of played within it. – Aaron
When talking to Aaron, we were interested in what it was like playing a vigilante vs. his role as an Avenger. He was seriously funny when he says it’s more have fun having powers. Honestly, who wouldn’t like to have super powers.
What was it like going from playing a vigilante with essentially real superpowers in Kickass to an Avenger with actual superpowers?
It’s a lot more fun having powers. 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. Visually, it’s the most exciting for me to see all of your favorite superheroes all fighting together as a team and they all have their different skill sets and they also collide into set with each other. It’s amazing to watch but also it’s amazing to do.
The final fight sequence was this epic, two or three week long shoot where they found a site that they were gonna bulldoze anyway, with these towers and they pretty much did exactly that for them, blew up buildings and smashed up cars. The stunts that are involved are guys that […are] gymnasts and they’re guys — it’s just the most incredible thing to be around and you just live off of that high. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, so, you know. – Aaron
[Tweet “”It’s a lot more fun having powers.” – Aaron Taylor-Johnson #AvengersEvent”]
Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer
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Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015