This Q&A was provided to the press by Disney's public relations and marketing partners.
AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL RUDD AND EVANGELINE LILLY FOR THE HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASE OF MARVEL’S ANT-MAN
The latest evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the newest member of the Avengers: Marvel’s Ant-Man. Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) joins forces with his new mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit. Full of humor and heart, as well as awesome special effects, this action-packed adventure will shortly be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD – complete with never-before-seen deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, a gag reel and audio commentary.
To celebrate the exciting in-home release, we talk to Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly – who play Scott Lang/Ant Man and Hope Van Dyne – to discover their thoughts on the daring heist adventure…
Q: Ant-Man is an iconic new character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How much comic book research did you undertake when you signed up for the role, Paul?
Paul: Growing up, I didn’t know about this character, so I read a lot of comics before we started shooting the movie and writing the screenplay. I did a lot of research and I tried to get into his mindset as much as possible. To prepare for the film shoot, there was also all of the physical training that I wanted to throw myself into in order to feel as though I could play the part. Not only did I want to be convincing, but that also helped me feel comfortable in the role. I enjoyed being able to do shoulder rolls and flips for the first time in my life.
Q: Does this mean you were able to tackle a lot of the stunts and fight scenes in the movie?
Paul: I did some of them; I did as much as I could do. Even when Scott is hidden in the suit and the helmet, the director wanted me to act out the scenes because you can tell when I’m not inside. You can tell when it’s me just by the way I move. However, it wasn’t all me. I had a great stuntman who could put on the suit and do the really heavy lifting. I still did a lot of the fighting, though. I worked with a gymnast who taught me all kinds of tumbling and very light parkour. It takes a while to really get it down.
Q: How else did you physically prepare for the role?
Paul: I didn’t eat anything for about a year and I worked out all the time. I took the Chris Pratt approach, which was to just basically eliminate anything fun for about a year. That’s a good way to prepare to play a superhero. But again, it also helped me feel the part.
Q: How comfortable did you feel in the Ant-Man suit?
Paul: I’m biased because I loved the suit. I think it’s the coolest-looking suit of all of them, so I loved wearing it. It was not too uncomfortable, so I’d wear it all the time – even on my days off. Something happens when you get into it. It’s inevitable. I would stand differently and I would feel different. I’d feel like Ant-Man in that thing.
Evangeline: Even though you looked like a total dork!
Paul: Ha ha! Yes, thanks. They kept the sound stages a little bit cooler because the suit didn’t really breathe that well, but it helped me feel the part. It was cool. I would sometimes catch myself and think, ‘Gosh, this thing is amazing-looking!’
Q: Let’s talk about your character, Evangeline. Hope Van Dyne has been praised by fans for being the biggest badass in the movie. Did you feel like you were playing a full-on superhero, even though she doesn’t wear a superhero costume?
Evangeline: That was the most exciting thing for me about the role. While we were filming and during post-production, there was a lot of buzz on the internet: “Is Evangeline playing the Wasp? Is she a superhero?” I had a lot of questions directed my way about that, but I couldn’t have felt more comfortable or happier saying that Hope is a really capable, very powerful force to be reckoned with. She doesn’t have a superpower and she doesn’t put on a fancy suit and look dorky in it. My super-suit was my power suit that I would go to work in to be a high-level scientist and a senior member on the board of a very powerful corporation. I think that’s a fantastic example for young women. Playing the role of female scientist in a world where mostly scientists are men is a great role to play.
Q: When the Wasp costume is revealed at the end of the movie, Hope declares: “It’s about damn time.” Did you feel like you were speaking for all womankind in finally getting this intense female superhero moment?
Evangeline: Amen and touché. I think that there is a lot of excitement with the female audience about this character in general, and about the fact that Marvel are really, really taking female characters very seriously. Looking at their line-up, you can see that they have great intentions.
Q: How much effort went into the creation of your feisty female character?
Evangeline: As a woman who came into a predominantly male film, I had a great time working with the director, Peyton Reed, and with the producers on this character because I could see a hunger in them to really do right by Hope. I know they want to do right by their female fans and the female audience. When I pick a role, one of the things that I aspire to is that somebody’s parent will come up to me after the film to say, “My daughter idealizes that character. You’re her hero.” That’s what we aim for, especially with this brand. We’re in the business of making heroes.
Q: Talking of youngsters… What does your son think of you playing a superhero, Paul?
Paul: This is the first thing I’ve ever done that they're legitimately jazzed about. My daughter is still a bit young, but my son can see it -- his friends know about it, and that's great. We were at Disneyland for an Ant-Man event a while ago and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he was watching a preview scene. As soon as it ended, he looked at me and said: “That’s awesome!” Every time a commercial comes on, they yell, “Dad, Dad, Dad!” They're so excited and I’ve never experienced that. It's wonderful to be able to share this with them.
Q: What do you think of the father-daughter storyline in Marvel’s Ant-Man? Does it add another level of depth to the character?
Paul: In regard to the father-daughter theme, that was the thing that I hung the whole story on. You can have a movie with amazing effects, brilliant visuals, a lot of action, humor and whatever – but whenever you see something that you can connect to that’s emotionally resonant, it stays with you in a very different way. I think that’s the key to any movie and that’s what I thought about throughout this whole film. That is what the movie is about.
Evangeline: And with Bobby Cannavale’s character, Paxton, and Cassie [Paxton’s stepdaughter/Scott’s daughter]; I thought it was really cool that there was also the stepfather and daughter relationship.
Paul: I also think there’s an interesting father-son dynamic with Hank Pym [played by Michael Douglas] and Darren Cross [played by Corey Stoll], so the whole idea of parents and children runs throughout the movie. I think that’s the thing that’s most relatable. I think it’s great.