Elizabeth Olsen, aka Wanda Maximoff, finds her role in the Scarlet Witch, a powerhouse superhero that possess the power to destroy an infinity stone. Though Olsen has starred in other movies such as Wind River and Marth Marcy May Marlene, it was her part in the Marvel Universe which launched her career and has placed her in the spotlight, breaking her away from the shadow of her famous sibling, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Although known world-wide, Elizabeth never shied away from the fame, thinking it as a job rather than a life-long dream. “I didn’t know anything outside being famous, so it was never weird to me – that’s just what it was . . . It was a job and work and there are different ways of drawing attention to yourself that you don’t want,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. This, she claims, is the result of growing up with high-profile siblings. With Disney recently announcing that there is a spin-off series coming to its Disney+ streaming service, starring Elizabeth called WandaVision, it is clear that Olsen has no problem carrying on the family tradition.
Fun, loving, and “looks horrific” (as said by Drax), the character Mantis is arguably one the main reasons for laughter in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Pom Klemrntieff, a French actress, is equally delightful, which is a testament considering her dark history. Her father died of cancer when she was only three years old and her mother was schizophrenic, making her unable to take care of her daughter. So, she was raised by her uncle and her aunt. Unfortunately, her uncle died on her 18th birthday and her brother, Namou, committed suicide on her 25th birthday. Though she went through a lot of hard times, to say the least, Pom continues to look on the bright side, and uses her passion for acting as a way to ease the pain. “It’s cathartic in a way,” she said. “Sometimes you relive things and it helps you deal with it. You relive it and become accepting of it and you touch other people’s hearts with your experience and performance. It’s beautiful!”
Having his start in WWE, Dave Baustita was a professional wrestler, beginning in the industry in 1999. After making a successful career and name for himself in the wrestling world, Bautista looked for a new challenge and found it in acting. Since 2006, he has starred in movies such as The Man with the Iron Fists, Riddick, and the James Bond film Spectre. It was 2014 when he joined the Marvel Industries as Drax in the film Guardians of the Galaxy. From then on, he has been the cause for most of the laughter. Baustita has officially retired from wrestling in April 2019, putting all his focus now into acting. He has since suggested to Disney about making a standalone movie for the beloved character, mainly because, he says, it would make a “beautiful story”. Sadly, Disney has not pursued the idea, and Baustita fears that they never will. “I really wish they would because I think there’s a story to be told there and I think the fans would really love to see that story, even if it’s not me portraying Drax, I just think it is an interesting story to tell.” Though there has yet to be a sign that Disney will consider Bautista’s request, the fans will only have to wait and see. Until then, the fans are left to enjoy Bautista and Drax in the much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is set to release in 2020.
God of thunder, Son of Oden, and heir of Asgard – Thor is the Avenger that is known for both his incredible power and his incredible abs. However, as Chris Hemsworth’s contract is set to end after Avengers: Endgame, many are wondering if this is the last time that we will see him adorn the red cape and hammer. Playing the beloved character since 2011, Hemsworth has appeared in seven Marvel Universe Films. Though the character has gained him huge success, it is possible that we may never see him as Thor again. When not fighting the forces of evil, he returns to his home in Australia and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, Elsa Pataky, and three children. Hemsworth prides himself as a family man, and is often seen taking them on trips, whether to the beach or to the park. Though Hemsworth leaving the Marvel Universe has yet to be confirmed, one thing to know is that Hemsworth is happy where he is.
First entering into the marvel universe as the Human Torch in the movie Fantastic Four back in 2005, Chris Evans truly found his role as the First Avenger – Captain America. Though it might be hard to believe, Evans was hesitant about accepting the role, passing on it multiple of times, because he was afraid that the character was too “vanilla”. Evans said, “There’s no real darkness to him. How do I make this guy someone you want to watch?” Thankfully, this didn’t prevent him from taking on the red, white, and blue shield. Instead, Evans strived to bring Captain America into the modern world, making him still a good guy but not a dull guy. Without the stars and stripe suit, Evans is just a regular man who enjoys playing golf and eating burgers. It has been said that Evans is taking a break from acting after finishing his role as Captain America. He says that he would like to start directing. “I just enjoyed it. You know when you are a kid and you get a hobby? You find something you like, and you wake up on a free day, and it’s the first thing you think about? You just wake up and you run to do it. Directing was that thing I felt.” Evans still claims that he loves acting, but, in the future, he is ready to explore other opportunities.
From Fast and Furious to being a tree in an intergalactic superhero team – Vin Diesel takes on the voice of Groot. At first, he was hesitant on taking on a character known for only saying one line. Even though his fans encouraged him to take the part, he was still unsure. It wasn’t until he showed the conceptual art for Guardians of the Galaxy to his children that he made his decision. “ . . . I took the book of conceptual art into the room with my kids and I opened it up to the page where all five Guardians of the Galaxy characters are and I say, ‘who do you think they want daddy to play?’ And my daughter so quickly pointed to Groot. From that moment on I was Groot.” Other than spending time with his current girlfriend, Paloma Jimenez, and three kids, Diesel enjoys cooking and staying fit. When he really wants to unwind, he will play video games or even a good round of Dungeons and Dragons.
To the master of the magical arts to the master of our hearts – Benedict Cumberbatch graces the silver screen in Doctor Strange and has a major part in Avengers: Infinity War. Although only being a part of the Marvel Universe for about three years, which is young compared to most of the original cast, Cumberbatch’s character has already made a significant impact on the industry. But, like so many of his costars, Cumberbatch knew nothing about his character when he accepted the part. “I wasn’t familiar with Doctor Strange as a child, not at all,” he said. “So, it’s been a fast catch-up.” If you take away the enchanted cape, infinity stone, and mystical powers – the reality is that Benedict is a total sweetheart and a known goofball to his fellow costars. Also, not only is he a superhero on the screen, but many claim him to be one in real life as well. Back in 2018, while riding in an Uber in his hometown of London, Cumberbatch saw a group of muggers stealing a bike from a delivering man. Cumberbatch immediately jumped out of the car and chased down the muggers, who fled the scene, saving the delivering man from a serious beating, or, perhaps, even worse. Looks like you don’t always need a cape to be a superhero.
Letitia Wright is inspirational both on and off the big screen. Now known worldwide for her brilliant performance as Shuri in the film Black Panther, the British actress was not always the confident woman that she is today. In fact, she claimed to have suffered from depression right before being casted into the role as Shuri. She even admitted to have almost given up on acting entirely. When looking back on it now, Wright says, that it was her “relationship with God” that pulled her out of her depression. “I may have never been in “Black Panther” if I wasn’t able to be rescued out of that.” Thankfully, Wright got the role that not only gave back her confidence but helped others to find theirs. With Black Panther 2 set to release in the near future, fans are excited to see what else Wright has in store.
Pushing all the boundaries of cinema, Chadwick Boseman took on the role of Black Panther because he loves a good challenge. “For me, every project, it has to be something that’s challenging and cool and that’s a challenge for me. It keeps me interested. So that’s all that really matters. This is definitely one of them.” One of the things that worried Boseman about the role was the fact that he had to be a king of a fictional nation. Having such a responsibility to carry a nation on his shoulders was a bit intimidating, but he didn’t let his fear stop him, and the Marvel Universe has become better for it. Though he is grateful for the opportunity and the platform for which he was able to advocate for people of color everywhere, Boseman is tired of one thing that has followed him since the release of Black Panther – the Wakanda salute. Now a powerful symbol, the Wakanda salute signified pride and was something that Boseman was proud to display. However, as time goes on and the salute becomes more and more frequent, making it borderline annoying, the salute has become one of the things that Boseman has had to deal with. “If I don’t want to do it, I have to not leave the house, pretty much,” Boseman said on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” In the end, Boseman chooses to live with it because he knows that he is spreading awareness to people that were otherwise ignored.
Being Black Widow for the best part of the decade has done many things for Scarlett Johansson, one of them keeping her physically fit. “The gift of fitness has been one of the best parts about working for Marvel. I am stronger and more capable now than I was 10 years ago, which is so awesome to be able to say.” When preparing for a role, especially Black Widow, Johansson takes it very seriously and wants to be in her best shape, forcing herself to hit the gym almost every day, making her dangerous not only on screen but off screen as well. When she wants to take a break from her tough working schedule, Johansson enjoys exploring different cities when she is shooting. Ultimately, the 34-year-old actress loves staying in bed. But when she does get the energy to move after a long day at work, she will opt for walking around a park or explore the local galleries.
Though small and fluffy, Rocket the raccoon is anything but cute. Bradley Cooper, the voice of Rocket, enjoys playing the unique character, classifying his inspiration behind the voice as, “It’s like Gilbert Gottfried meets Joe Pesci.” Now playing the character since its first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, Cooper confessed that he is beginning to see himself in the furry character. “I look at him now and it’s like, ‘Yeah, it’s me.’” Along with his success as Rocket, Cooper has also achieved some recognition in other films that he starred in, specifically in his latest film, which he also directed and co-wrote, A Star is Born. Though he appreciates his career in acting, for it gave him his livelihood, Cooper prefers to keep his personal life and career life separate, which is why he is not necessarily a fan of interviews. When he wants to tell his story, he will do it and in his own words.
Nebula, otherwise known as Karen Gillan, has become an important character in the Marvel Universe, making it surprising to know that Gamora’s sister was almost killed off in Guardians of the Galaxy. Gillan confessed that, “there was a point where Nebula actually died in the first movie. I thought, ‘Okay, so that’s going to be it for her,’ at one point. Then suddenly they rewrote her ending – and then they rewrote it again, and I was like, ‘Oh, okay. What’s going on?’” Thankfully, the writers decided to keep Nebula alive, to Gillan’s excitement. What’s next for the rising star? Other than world domination, Gillan’s next project is being a filmmaker. Her directorial debut was in 2018 with The Party’s Just Beginning, in which she also starred in. Her desire is to one day direct a Marvel movie. She is still waiting for a response from the head of Marvel Studious, but she has come this far and is determined to go further.
From ballet dancer to “the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy”, Zoe Saldana broke into the film world with her stunning role in the Guardians of the Galaxy as Gamora. She has also graced the silver screen in many other films such as Avatar, for which she broke records, and Star Trek. Out of all the roles that she has played, Gamora and the Guardians in general have a special place in her heart. “We’re like the ones who always fail in class but for some reason we can burn the house down, and I like that.” Can’t help but agree. If you take away the green, Saldana has a lot on her plate with raising three young boys with her husband, Marco Perego. This includes changing the style of her house in order to keep her home safe for her children. “I have three boys and they’re going to be jumping, ripping, and biting. I also wanted it [her home] to be durable.” Though having three boys means constant chaos, Saldana wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jeremy Renner has been apart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since his first cameo in Thor. Since then, he has been a key player in the Avenger team, especially in the Avengers: Endgame. Though he is a movie star and has gained a lot of fame, Renner is happy living the simple life and seems to be in no rush in taking on a new role anytime soon. “Right now, I’m not focusing on new work,” said Renner. Instead, he is choosing to turn his attention and time to his renovation business and, most importantly, his four-year-old daughter. “As much as I love some of these big movies that take you all around the planet, you’re on the road like a travelling band and it gets a little unsettling after so many years of it.” Unfortunately, it looks like we may not see Renner in anything soon. That is, of course, if Disney decides to make a stand-alone Hawkeye movie. We are crossing our fingers!
Being the powerhouse of the Avengers team, Hulk is a giant, green superhero that has an affinity for smashing things. His alter ego, Bruce Banner, is extremely smart but physically unintimidating – entering in Mark Ruffalo. Playing the big green goliath has been a challenge for Ruffalo, mainly because, at first, many fans were concerned because they always considered the actor a nice guy – not really Hulk material. Ruffalo, on the other hand, thought otherwise. “I’ve heard of some of the fans and I totally respect them and I hear their concern about Mark Ruffalo being a nice guy, but I assure you just like everybody else I have my very dark side. Maybe more because I’m an actor.” Since his first appearance in Avengers in 2012, Ruffalo has silenced the doubters with his wonderful performance and has become the Hulk that we all know and love. Aside from his role on the big screen, Ruffalo is also widely known for being an environmental activist. He particularly focuses on fracking in New York, and has even received an environmental award at Dickinson College in 2015. Continuing his passion for the environment, Ruffalo founded the Solutions Project, which pushes for 100 percent renewable energy, and is also active with Water Defense, a group dedicated to clean water initiatives. It is obvious that instead of smashing things as his character Hulk, Ruffalo prefers to rebuild a better future, especially for the world that we live in.
Being Marvel’s “biggest bad”, Josh Brolin had the nerve-racking responsibility to bring the Mad Titan to life. The task was difficult, especially for Brolin who had never heard of Thanos before he got the role. This, he says, turned out to be a benefit to him because he was able to go into the character with a clear mind and build him from the ground up. “. . . what I see is this in this guy’s eyes. This super, super, super intelligence. There’s this constant contrasting thing about this Neanderthalic lughead who’s way more intelligent than anybody else in the movie, by far.” It is this contrast, this added layer of complexity that makes Thanos such an interesting character, and Brolin a terrific actor. Deep down inside, Brolin is a country boy and chooses to unwind away from the city. Being raised in the country, Brolin has learned to enjoy the simple, even with all the fame the Marvel Universe alone has garnered him.
Known mostly for his role as Pheobe’s love interest in the popular television show Friends, Paul Rudd takes up the superhero costume to become Ant-Man. His character on the screen is known for his sweet smirk, goofy personality, and all-around “nice guy” persona. The same can be said for Rudd in real life, who is typically considered by his coworkers and fans as being the guy that is instantly likable. When asked about this, Rudd said, “I don’t think that I have more than most people but I try not to be rude. I like when people are polite and kind to other people. I just think life is so hard, why make it harder?” When not acting, Rudd is a family man, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Julie Yaeger, and their two kids. And whenever he has a chance, Rudd, a die-hard Kansas City Royals fan, is eager to go to a baseball game and cheer on his all-time favorite team.
Brie Larson takes center stage as being the first female to lead her own movie in the Marvel franchise in the much-anticipated film Captain Marvel. Though Larson is proud to be at the forefront for change, she wishes that diversity will be pushed harder in the industry. “I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of this type of content and to prove once again that representation matters. Diverse storytelling matters, the female experience matters, and these are marker.” Larson, like many, are starting to see the positive changes taking place on the screen, but she is eager to see more things happening faster. With about 20 years of acting experience, lately, Larson is venturing into directing. She has a new movie, Unicorn Store, that is currently on Netflix, with Larson taking on the main lead. Whether directing or acting, Larson is rising as Hollywood’s most independent stars, taking on the world with as much fierceness as her Captain Marvel character.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe started with Iron Man in 2008, beginning a powerful legacy that would change the cinematic world forever. Now extremely successful, Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t always the superhero that he is today. Downey struggled with addiction when his father introduced him to drugs when he was six years old. From then on, Downey was fighting an uphill battle, trying to maintain his career while simultaneously fighting his addiction. Thankfully, after years of hardship, Downey finally announced that he became sober in July 2003, and has maintained his sobriety till today. “For me, I just happened to be in a situation the very last time and I said, ‘You know what? I don’t think I can continue doing this.’ And I reached out for help and I ran with it, you know?” Thankfully, Downey was able to pull himself out of his rut and now he basks in the spotlight of not only his fame but his new, healthy life.
Winning a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role as Kate Austen in the ABC program Lost, Evangeline Lilly exchanged being stranded on a deserted island for wings. To Lilly, the role of Wasp was worth more to her than just being able to put on a superhero costume. Lilly saw this role as an opportunity to empower other women, which she strived to do with every scene. Not only did she put on a great performance in Ant-Man and The Wasp, her and her co-star, Paul Rudd, had equal billing, which was the first for Marvel. Through it all, Lilly’s main drive was to be an inspiration to little girls everywhere. When discussing Wasps’ fighting style, Lilly said, “I wanted her to have a signature style that little girls, like I was when I was a feminine, girly little girl, would be able to fall in love with, emulate and relate to in their own movements.” Though she continues to fight for women and their rights, she does not consider herself a feminist. “I’m very proud of being a woman, and as a woman, I don’t even like the word feminism because when I hear that word, I associate it with women trying to pretend to be men, and I’m not interested in trying to pretend to be a man.” No matter her views, Lilly takes her place in the Marvel Universe, adding to the growing of powerful female superheroes.
Of the 21 Marvel movies, Nick Fury, otherwise known as Samuel L. Jackson, stars in nine, making him an integral character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When choosing a person to play the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jackson knew that he was perfect for the role, especially since the character in the comic books was based off of his looks. He reported this to Marvel, who quickly apologized and promised him a role in future movies. Thus, we have the birth of Nick Fury. When not working on the set, Jackson prefers to spend his time relaxing. More specifically, relaxing on a yacht in the French or Italian Riviera. “The yacht,” he says, “is a level of luxury that I didn’t know about until it happened. It’s also a level of relaxation that I can’t find anywhere else, considering my workload.” Even with the heavy workload, Jackson stated that he would be happy to play Nick Fury well into his 80’s because of his love for the character. Honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
When Marvel announced that there would be yet another Spider-man movie with a new starring actor, many people were skeptical of how well it would turn out since the ones previous weren’t the best. Though many doubted that they could take the overdone superhero and make it better than what it once was, his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War grabbed the world’s attention. By Avengers: Infinity Wars, when he faded into dust as he called out for help from “Mr. Stark”, did the world fully fall in love with the young superhero. Since gaining worldwide fame, Tom Holland credits his father for keeping him humble and not letting the fame get to his head. He looks forward for the movies ahead, especially for his upcoming movie Spider-Man: Far From Home, even though the directors are keen on keeping many things secret from him, on account that he is infamous for spilling the beans.
Starlord, otherwise known as the one to blame for Thanos’ victory in the end of Avengers: Infinity War, is a character known for his love of good music and carefree attitude. The same could be said for Chris Pratt, who was introduced into the superhero universe in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy. Before the movie broke the box office, Pratt was known for his role in the popular show Parks and Recreation. Since then, Pratt has dominated the silver screen with his roles in Jurassic World, The Lego Movie, and others. Though his life on the big screen seems perfect, in real life it’s a different story. Pratt divorced his wife, Mom star, Anna Faris in 2018. Unlike most Hollywood separations’, Pratt and Faris chose to remain tension-free for the sake of their 6-year-old son, Jack. While both Pratt and Faris have moved on to other relationships, with Pratt getting engaged to Katherine Schwarzenegger early this year, they both still choose to be there for Jack, sharing joint custody. “Our son has two parents who love him very much,” said Pratt, “and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward.”
American actress and playwright, Danai Gurira, takes pride in her role in the Black Panther film, especially in her character Okoye, who is the greatest fighter in all of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda. Growing up in Zimbabwe, Gurira knew the significance of playing a female general, especially one of color. “I’m an African woman. I try to tell stories that – even as a playwright – give African women perspective they rarely get. To get to put a character like Okoye up on the big screen, what’s better than that? It’s very exciting to me to put an African female character on that platform.” As her much anticipated role in the new Avengers: Endgame is to be expected, Gurira continues to stay active in other roles such as the The Walking Dead, though it is confirmed that she will be leaving the show in the near future, mainly because of her busy schedule. Having a hand in television, Broadway, and now movies – Gurira is a woman of many talents.
Don Cheadle was never supposed to take on the role of Tony Stark’s best friend, otherwise known as War Machine. The part was already given to Terrence Howard and in 2008, Iron Man was released. However, things took an unexpected turn when Robert Downey Jr. and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, called him on his daughter’s birthday to offer him the job. Since then, Cheadle has taken the role and has developed War Machine into the powerful superhero that he is today. One of Cheadle’s passions, other than acting, is playing poker. He is so good at the game that he has even played in many televised poker tournaments. Instead, of keeping all the money he earns, Cheadle donates it to his charity foundation, “Ante Up for Africa”, which focuses on addressing the humanitarian needs in Sudan. For Cheadle, he is happy to do it because he believes that it is the least he can do to try and make the world a better place.