Tom Hiddleston & Elizabeth Olsen Reveal The Toughest Part Of Making Marvel Movies
Two of Marvel's darker antiheroes, Loki and Scarlet Witch (played by Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen), want audiences to know that Marvel movies may be based on true stories. "There's a lot of original source material in the Marvel land. They could be true stories in their own right!" Olsen says while promoting her latest, I Saw The Light. "Are you saying The Avengers isn't a true story?" Hiddleston, who also stars in the film, is quick to add.
And while there may be some "true" elements to these comic book stories — maybe — producing a Marvel movie is incredibly different than filming a smaller film like I Saw The Light, a biopic about legendary country singer Hank Williams. For these actors, who are accustom to acting in front of green screens in exotic locations, appearing in the Marc Abraham written/directed film was a welcome change. "It is a breath of fresh air to be on an intimate set... and not be waiting in a trailer for six hours," Olsen says. "That's true," Hiddleston agrees.
"To convey you're saving the world in one look... that's a lot of pressure," Olsen says of her work in the Marvel universe. "So many things have to go right when you're doing a scene for Marvel: There's an explosion that has to be timed at the right time. Camera moves are very complicated. People have to pick up their cues, and that's hard for eight people. Thank god we have editing. Those scenes would be horrible without editing," she admits.
Scenes in I Saw The Light often involve only Hiddleston and Olsen as they share intimate and quiet moments. But as the Marvel universe expands into sequels and prequels and spin-offs galore, more and more superheroes are getting thrust into a single film, and every Marvel release feels more like an ensemble piece. And while every actor on set of Marvel productions are welcome to suggest changes to their character, the Marvel hierarchy of approvals can be frustrating, according to Hiddleston.
"On I Saw The Light, if you wanted to have an opinion on the film, you were on set. With Marvel, you're part of this huge universe. There are people who have hugely important opinions on the day's work who can't be there in person, so decisions have to go through decision making process and approvals, which can slow things down a bit."
Production on a Marvel film is undoubtably different, but Hiddleston admits he approaches all roles in exactly the same way. "Our obligation and our duty is to step into characters and play them truthfully — whether that's a Norse God of Mischief or a real life American icon. In terms of that commitment of empathy and psychological excavation, to me there is no difference. You're exercising the same dramatic muscle. The extension of compassion and understanding is the same."
Nonetheless, country crooning Williams is a world away from Loki's biting one-liners.
I Saw The Light hits theaters March 25.