If a hero is only as good as their villain, Ben Mendelsohn has made a lot of heroes look really good. He hopes to do the same for Brie Larson’s titular protagonist in next year’s Captain Marvel. He also hopes to clear up a lot of bad press the Skrulls have received over the years, and maybe even make Skrullin’ happen.
Mendelsohn plays the villainous Talos, a leader of the shape-shifting Skrulls who also poses as Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) boss at S.H.I.E.L.D. In addition to invading Earth, Talos is in the middle of a war with another alien race, the Kree, from which Captain Marvel gets her powers.
“I was always aware of what punks the Kree were,” an unintimidated Mendelsohn tells Entertainment Weekly. “I mean, why would you try and start a war with the Skrulls? What sort of an idiot is gonna try to start a war with us? Ugh, please. Go get some help from Captain Marvel.”
The Kree will have help from Captain Marvel, but as far as Mendelsohn is concerned, that only sets Carol Danvers (Larson) up for her first defeat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “It’s very touching, actually. I mean, you want her to win. Now, unfortunately, not every fairytale turns out that well. Sometimes you meet a Skrull. But Carol’s resourceful. She’s going to have a few films to get over this and maybe come back from this. We’ll see.”
Though Captain Marvel may prove to be a testament to the glory of the Skrulls, Mendelsohn concedes that the film still offers a wonderful story for its hero. The secrets to the film’s success, according to Mendelsohn, are something that has been part of Marvel’s DNA from the beginning and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with whom he first worked on Mississippi Grind.
“I’ll tell you what Marvel have done really well — and what they’ve done really well from the time they were in print,” says Mendelsohn. “They always spoke to the issues of the day and the concerns of their audience, which was predominantly a young audience. And what’s great about Captain Marvel is it’s really beautiful. It’s actually a really beautiful, badass superhero story.”
Mendelsohn continues, “As people, Ryan and Anna are very sweet, and they’re very switched on. Their sensibilities are delicate and exacting, and I think at the heart of this story… Don’t get me started on it because I’ll get emotional. It really is a beautiful story, and it takes directors with heart and with what I think is a really good B.S. meter for weeding out notes that aren’t going to hit right and true. I think they’re an inspired choice for this.”
The MCU has its own appeal, to be sure, but Mendelsohn was happy to reunite with Boden and Fleck. “It involved certain machinations of what they’re doing and stuff like that,” he says of their initial pitch. “But I knew it was going to be Skrullin’. I knew I’d be Skrullin’, and that had a certain appeal.”
For more on the Skrullin’ sensation that’s about to sweep the nation, read Mendelsohn’s full interview at the link below.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly