At the 2016 Oscars, a reluctant star was born. So how is Brie Larson doing three years on? As she takes the lead in the Marvel franchise’s most anticipated movie, she talks to Keah Brown about vulnerability, finding inner strength and her plans to diversify the film industry
When Brie Larson won an Oscar for the 2015 movie Room, I jumped for joy as if I knew her. I hadn’t even seen the film yet, but I’d just finished the moving novel by Emma Donoghue that it was based on (about a mother and her five-year-old son held captive in a room), and felt certain she had done the role of Ma justice.
I wouldn’t get to know her until 2017, when we started following each other on Twitter. I was feeling insecure about being vulnerable, so when I heard her talking about her own vulnerability, I decided to reach out to her. What would follow were messages about work, life, self-care and cross-stitching. These messages were sporadic in nature. After all, we are both busy people. She is an actor, producer and director; I write about pop culture, disability (I have cerebral palsy), blackness and womanhood. But the consistent, overriding impression I always got was that Brie Larson is a person who cares about the world and the people in it.
Aside from Room, the 29-year-old has starred in Trainwreck (2015), the critically-acclaimed indie film Short Term 12 (2013) and the blockbuster Kong: Skull Island (2017). Last year, she made her directorial debut in the indie comedy-drama Unicorn Store. It’s an impressive body of work in a relatively short space of time, but most people might not realise that far from being the ingénue, Larson – who was born in Sacramento, before moving to LA with her mother and sister – has been working since she was a child. Best known stateside for the sitcom Raising Dad (2001) and Disney Channel movie Right On Track (2003), she also had a stint as a pop star, signing a record deal at 13. These days, as a Time’s Up activist and advocate for sexual-assault survivors (she famously refused to clap when presenting Casey Affleck with an Oscar because of allegations against him), the actress utilises any power she has to be vocal about social and political issues. I can’t wait to see what she does with the power that comes with her latest role – Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel, the 21st (and first female-led) film in the multimillion dollar franchise.
It was a tad surreal waiting for Brie Larson at a dimly lit, rustic Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills. I’m a Marvel comic-book editor, as well as the co-creator of Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American hero whose idol happens to be Captain Marvel, the very role that Larson, 29, is playing in movie theaters around the world this month. Meeting the star of Marvel’s first female-led superhero film felt, well, a touch meta.
As far as hero origin stories go, Larson’s began quite early. She says her first “Aha!” acting moment came when she played the Energizer Bunny at the age of 4 during her family’s Christmas talent show. “At one point I had to walk across the living room in the costume, and my whole family laughed,” Larson says, smiling. “I didn’t know that was something that could happen, and I didn’t understand why it happened, but I liked it.”
As a young girl, she would pull at her mother’s shirttails in her childhood home in Sacramento, Calif., to tell her it was her “dharma” to be an actress. “It was a way of learning how to be a person,” recalls Larson, dressed in a black sweatshirt, a jeweled choker, and jeans as she sips a Campari cocktail. “This is how you make eye contact. This is how you talk. This is how you hold a conversation. This is how you connect with your feelings. This is how you express yourself. I’d be in a completely different place if I hadn’t found acting so early on, because I think I really would have found comfort in my extreme shyness.”
Captain Marvel leads the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s new issue, with an exclusive first look at Brie Larson’s Air-Force-pilot-turned-intergalactic-hero.
Film fans know Carol Danvers only as the mysterious person paged by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the last scene of Avengers: Infinity War, and she’ll appear in the still-untitled Avengers 4, presumably to help beat up on Thanos. But before that, she’s got her own story to tell — and EW has all the exclusive intel on her upcoming solo film.
When Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8, 2019, it’ll be the 21st entry in the MCU — and the first to star a solo female superhero. In the past decade, the MCU has assembled a diverse lineup of female heroes, from witches and warriors to widows and wasps. But never before has a woman headlined her own story — until Captain Marvel, the part-Kree, part-human pilot who made her comics debut back in 1968.
“She can’t help but be herself,” Larson tells EW. “She can be aggressive, and she can have a temper, and she can be a little invasive and in your face. She’s also quick to jump to things, which makes her amazing in battle because she’s the first one out there and doesn’t always wait for orders. But the [not] waiting for orders is, to some, a character flaw.”
To read more, go to EW.com
Miss Larson is on the cover of the April issue of The Big Issue (Japan) magazine. Please, make sure to take a look at the picture below.
Magazine Scans > Scans From 2016 – The Big Issue (Japan) – April
“I felt like if I keep everything plain in front then it brings my mind to the forefront,” says the Oscar winner on why she previously rejected being a fashion star. She credits her stylist Christina Ehrlich with helping her embrace fashion saying, “you can wear something that actually makes someone understand you better and want to get to know you better.”
It’s several hours before the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon is set to begin at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and Brie Larson rolls into her suite wearing dark jeans, a black sweater, ankle boots and zero makeup. She could be any pretty young woman arriving at the hotel from the airport; she did in fact just step off a 14-hour flight from Australia, one of the many far-flung locations where she’s been shooting “Kong: Skull Island” for the last four months.
This crazy juxtaposition of worlds — the Hollywood glamour surrounding a first-time Best Actress nominee; the dark indie film “Room” that showcased her talent and set her on the Oscar campaign trail (she’s already nabbed Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild trophies); and the big-budget, CGI-laden “King Kong” reboot that she’s currently filming, would be enough to send any 26-year-old into momentary shock. Instead, Larson is extremely present, taking it all in as it comes, journal in hand and bright-eyed — even though she’s had precious little sleep for the last month.