With Marvel's Avengers Age of Ultron opening in theaters this week, I thought it would be fun to tell you guys a little bit about some of my newest super hero crushes...Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch! Oh, I mean Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth "Lizzy" Olsen, who play twins Pietro Maximoff and Wanda Maximoff, respectively, in the new Avengers Age of Ultron movie!
I am one of those kind of people who don't warmly embrace the introduction of new characters into my favorite stories. As the twins were introduced in the beginning of the movie, I was like, Quicksilver?! Who the heck is that?! And who is this witch messing with my Iron Man?!
Well, by the end of Avengers Age of Ultron, I was singing a different tune and I loved them both. It's a good thing, too, because the very next day, I actually sat down with Aaron and Elizabeth for a chat about their roles in the movie!
We had lots of questions for the pair, but since they were brand new to Marvel, our first question was your typical, OMG What is it like to be a Marvel Superhero? Well, kinda.
We asked: With this being your guy’s first Marvel film can you tell us about the audition process and where you were when you found out you had the role?
Elizabeth: We actually didn’t have an audition process. We both met with Joss separately. You (speaking to Aaron) met with him before I did, I think, and we were about to Godzilla when we both met. You met with him before we finished filming Godzilla and then we both that summer got a phone call that was like "you guys got the parts" and we’re like "whoa, okay" and that was kind of it. It was really crazy and exciting and Aaron and I were really excited that we got to work with each other again - more so because in Godzilla we didn’t really get to work with each other as much.
Aaron: Yeah, I mean ‘cause stepping onto the set seemed kind of, you know, it was such a big ensemble. It felt kind of daunting, to step on with Lizzy, who we already had that kind of work relationship, which made it feel a lot more comfortable.
We asked: What attracted you most to the roles?
Elizabeth: Well, I’m a fan of Marvel already, and then Scarlet Witch - basically I didn’t know who she was beforehand, and Joss was telling me about her and then we both asked for a lot of research on our characters and they gave us every comic book page that both of our characters have ever been on basically and it was this huge stack. And I think she’s one of the coolest characters in the entire universe of Marvel, I think largely because of the House of M series - because she’s the most powerful person in the entire universe, X Men and Avengers combined. I think she’s really nuts too and I mean I just find her to be really …
Aaron: There’s like a lot to play with.
Elizabeth: It’s a lot to play with because it’s a lot of psychological stuff to play with instead of just it being physical.
Aaron: I guess, you know, I was really excited about - obviously they have really cool super powers, but I really wanted to explore who the character was behind Quicksilver and Pietro was kind of our main goal, and Wanda as well, to kind of bring it back to the origins and it was based in Eastern Europe to we wanted to embrace that kind of accent and I really wanted to have this same kind of look from the comic books, and yeah just kind of together as well.
I mean Quicksilver, he needed Scarlet Witch because they balance each other. They’re twins and they’re very much ying and yang in the way their personalities are. He might be quick, you know, in speed so he’s kind of quick in temperament I think, you know, in a kind of way and hotheaded and impatient and all those things I wanted to kind of play around with and especially balancing against her kind of more thoughtful, slower, more emotional sort of nurturing side with him, so and always drawn really close together connected.
So it kind of gave us a sense of insecurity when they went with each other or kind of vulnerability. All they had was each other. So we kind of played around with everything that we could, you know, visually see, what we could read and that was kind of fun. And Marvel really opened to suggestions and ideas and wanted to, you know, do those characters justice so it felt very collaborative very early on.
Now...as much as I love the Marvel movies - seriously, I've seen them all! - I never read the comics as a kid, so I had never even heard of Scarlet Witch before new came out about the characters that would appear in Avengers Age of Ultron. I had to laugh when Lizzie said she didn't know who Scarlet Witch was...if SHE didn't know anything about her, I certainly had nothing to feel embarrassed about, did I?
I had actually heard of Quicksilver prior to the movie because my husband is a big comic book fan, and I'd heard him talk about Quicksilver before. It was really interesting to see where these guys came from - how they ended up where they were and to watch their stories unfold.
Pretty vague, right? That's because I don't want to give away any spoilers!
We asked Aaron: You did a lot of running and obviously some of it’s special effects but did you have to really do a lot of running?
Aaron: Yeah. That was pretty much what I did all day long. You know, it was like if in doubt, run. Yeah, all the special effects is sped up. We’d shoot the scene like if Lizzy was in the scene I’d run up to her. We’d shoot that. We did the dialogue and then we’d have to do a plate afterwards where she’d step out and I’d do the run up and then they would speed that up. It’s like a plate shot. But yeah, even though you wouldn’t really know because it goes so quick. But yeah, all the running where there’s a blur it was me behind it.
We asked Lizzie: Since basically all of your powers are special effects how was it for you to act out those parts where you’re just kind of staring?
Elizabeth: Well, you know what it’s actually really fun because a lot of people have stunt doubles and my stuff is like a dance, kind of, and I can’t have like a stunt double come in and do that. I was always doing everything whereas, you know, I even had to do like a triple flip back kick situation but I always got to be in control over my characters body movements which was cool and it was fun because there’s no blueprint to how Scarlet Witch moves ‘cause you just see these like awesome finger, hand gestures and these circular red things.
And so I worked with a movement coach and she and I watched Joss’s version of Scarlet Witch and that was really enjoyable to watch ‘cause he would do the motions and we would interpret it into our own thing but it was really fun. I mean it was really fun to work with the dancer on something like that and it adds a different element to the fighting, a different visual element to the fighting. And it also felt, a little funny because you’re like I’m not making contact with anything, like literally zero contact. So, you just kind of trust that you’re gonna put a robot where my eyes or something. Yeah. There’s a lot of trust that goes in when you have special effects that I wasn’t used to and then after seeing the movie I was like aha, now I’m comfortable.
We asked: You said that when you came onto the set with you guys working together before that made it easy but what was it like coming out to the set with the established?
Aaron: Yeah, that was kind of the initial thing of like oh god everybody knows, this is like their fourth or fifth movie playing these characters. They’re pretty comfortable in that kind of situation and with each other and just understand the whole kind of the mechanics of it ‘cause, you know, this movie is such a machine. It just keeps going and going and you know, you’re a small piece to the rubric’s cube and they said that you just have to trust with these guys but you’ve seen the quality of movies they’ve done before so, you know, you can have trust but it’s just you don’t quite understand. It feels slightly daunting but it sort of very quickly becomes like a very kind of family environment, you know, they’ve set up over the years, and very comfortable with one another so it feels, you’ll be meeting them all over, relaxed and chill and the way they are here is the way they were on set. It’s just a lot of fun and once you have a laugh with that then you know it’s kind of cool and you can kind of think about what you’re doing rather than kind of observing like wow, this is pretty fucking cool and overwhelming and surreal. It’s kind of crazy but yeah, it was good.
With Lizzy it’s just like our characters are kind of combined so I can kind of rely on her and vice versa I think so. In those sort of situations it’s just like we kind of feel slightly uncomfortable around the Avengers anyway, you know, so early on that we’re kind of outsiders anyway. So I think it also kind of played within it, you know, what I mean?
I was able to ask Elizabeth Olsen a question about the movie, which was given to me by one of my Twitter followers before the junket. He wanted to know if we will see Scarlet Witch in a "real costume." All of the Avengers have costumes, right? Iron Man has...well, he has IRON MAN. Thor has his devilish good looks and his cape and his hammer. Captain America has his blue suit and shield. So what about Scarlet Witch?
She said that she can't tell me if / when she will get a special costume, but it definitely won't be a leotard.
Aaron and Lizzie were just a delight to interview and they were both amazing as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers Age of Ultron.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON opens in theaters May 1st, 2015!
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