It has been two years since Marvel announced the official cast for the much-awaited Captain Marvel movie. After months of speculation, we were finally given a name: Brie Larson. True, Captain Marvel is a dream role—but it’s also intimidating. Even Brie knew portraying a loved character is a double-edge sword. Really, it could only go two ways. I mean, we all know how touchy super fans can be when it comes to how their fave characters are fleshed out. They can go from critical, to flat-out bullies. But Brie knew that coming in. “To be fair, there are a lot of iterations of her, so there’s going to be some people there who think this isn’t right,” she said in an interview with SciFi Now magazine. Out of all the potential candidates, why her? Producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained: “Carol Danvers needs to be as rich and textured and real as the best of our characters. Maybe even more so. And we got very lucky that Brie—who has all of those attributes, and an Academy Award now—was still very interested in signing up and joining us to bring this character to life.”
We agree. Brie is definitely Captain Marvel material. Like the character she portrays, she is also a “believer in truth and justice.” She’s an outspoken feminist activist. We quote: “I’d put it all on the line and be an activist for the rest of my life because it doesn’t feel right to me to be quiet.” Here are other moments she proved herself as the feminist hero we need in real life.
When she dropped truth bombs on female sexuality and the male gaze
As part of the Women’s Month celebration last year, the actress interviewed her fellow feminist Jane Fonda for Net-a Porter. In it, they discussed key issues, including female sexuality and the male gaze, especially in their industry. Jane said she thinks there is “even more emphasis on how you look” now. Brie agreed, saying “Female sexuality was confusing for me. I went to auditions where they wanted a sassy, smart, sexy girl. I would arrive in sneakers and they’d say, ‘Come back in a mini-skirt and heels.’ I would come back and blow the audition. I felt more in my body when I wasn’t dressing as a fantasy for the male gaze.” She further shared an experience while being shot for a fashion magazine spread, and being handed a “one-off piece of clothing from the runway.” She said, “I asked, ‘Can you only be in magazines if you’re the size of this one piece?’ There was this silence. Men get custom suits or shirts made to fit, but as women, if you don’t fit into that sample you bump up against an aspect of your career you can never blossom into. We’d all love to get out of this cycle of abuse where our mental weight is based on our body weight.” Preach.
When she didn’t clap for Casey Affleck
Some context: Casey Affleck has faced two sexual harassment allegations in the past. Despite this, he continued being cast for various films, including award-winning ones like Manchester by The Sea, for which he won Best Actor at the 2017 Golden Globes and then again at the Oscars. While the rest of the crowd gave a standing ovation for Casey, Brie, who presented him with the award, refused to clap for the actor, and remained unimpressed and downcast the whole time. Incidentally, Brie won best actress for her role in Room in which she played a rape survivor.
This isn’t her first time to assume the role of an exceptional woman. She has previously produced and played the role of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president in the US (Yup, it’s not Hillary Clinton). Victoria ran for office way back in 1872 for the Equal Rights Party, at a time when women were still not allowed to vote, so yeah, you can safely assume she’s ballsy. She was a bad-ass suffragette and like Brie, was extremely passionate about promoting social reform. Although she didn’t win, her efforts were not in vain. She became a feminist icon and inspiration.
That time she fought for diversity
When Brie was honored with The Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at the Women In Film 2018, she took that opportunity to demand more diversity in film reviews. “I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time,” Brie said. “It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.” This statement invited heavy backlash, with critics saying she was a sexist, ageist, and racist. Bur Brie asserted that the problem isn’t that white men have a say; rather, that they get to dominate the conversation and be the only ones with a say on films, even when some of those films aren’t actually intended for them. “Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I am not. What I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie, and review your movie,” she said.
Her clever response to sexist trolls
Have you seen the released Captain Marvel teasers yet? We were pretty stoked about it. But apparently (and unsurprisingly), not everyone was happy. Get this—some trolls complained that Captain Marvel should “smile more.” Yep. Told you fans get touchy about everything. One person even went as far as to to paste a smile on her photos as Captain Marvel.