I was invited to Los Angeles to participate in the Avengers: Age of Ultron press event, where I was able to see the movie and interview the people involved in making it. Travel and accommodations were covered by Disney and Marvel, but all thoughts and experiences are my own.
Note: Movie still shots and group photos are courtesy of Marvel. Interview shots are by Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters May 1!
Meet Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Pietro and Wanda Maximoff), twin brother and sister duo played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen: two of the new characters to join the Avengers cast.
Producer Kevin Feige said about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, “They have a very interesting introduction to The Avengers, which is why we wanted to use them in this film. They are not fans of The Avengers at all. They’re from this Eastern European country known as Sokovia that used to be a S.H.I.E.L.D post, but Hydra has been operating out of and it’s not the nicest organization.”
Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver have a sort of yin and yang thing going on. They can’t do without each other, especially since they were orphaned several years prior to the events of this movie and they have learned to rely on each other. Their powers (his: super fast speed and hers: telekinesis) as well as their personalities (his: protective and fatherly and hers: nurturing and motherly) balance each other out. After sitting down with Aaron and Elizabeth, I could see the actor’s easy and natural way with each other. They were perfectly cast in their roles!
Speaking of being cast in the new Avengers: Age of Ultron film, we asked Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen about the casting and preparation process as they got ready to make the movie.
What was the audition process like
OLSEN: “We actually didn’t have an audition process. We both met with Joss separately. You (Aaron) met with him before I did, I think, and we were about to Godzilla when we both met. 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.”
JOHNSON: “Stepping onto the set (of Avengers) seemed kind of daunting, you know, it was such a big ensemble. (But) to step on with Lizzy who we already had that kind of work relationship which made it feel a lot more comfortable.”
What attracted you most to the roles?
OLSEN: “Well, I’m a fan of Marvel already. I didn’t know who (Scarlet Witch) was before hand 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, 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 just find her to be really …”
JOHNSON: “There’s like a lot to play with.”
OLSEN: “It’s a lot to play with because it’s a lot of psychological stuff to play with instead of just it being physical.”
JOHNSON: “I was really excited about (it). Obviously they have really cool super powers but I really wanted to explore who the character was behind Quicksilver.
Quicksilver needed Scarlet Witch because they balance each other. They’re twins and they’re very much yin and yang in the way their personalities are. He might be quick in speed so he’s kind of quick in temperament, I think, and hotheaded and impatient and all those things. I wanted to play around with (that) and especially balance against her more thoughtful, slower, more emotional sort of nurturing side with him.
So we kind of played around with everything that we could visually see, what we could read and that was kind of fun. And Marvel was really open to suggestions and ideas and wanted to do those characters justice, so it felt very collaborative very early on.”
Did you have to do a lot of running as Quicksilver?
JOHNSON: “Yeah. That was pretty much what I did all day long. …If in doubt, run. 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. 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.”
What was the most emotionally challenging scene to shoot?
OLSEN: “The one that was the hardest one for me was when Scarlet Witch can see what’s gonna happen if Ultron has control over the Vision. A lot of times my character just had to respond to something that is not existent ‘cause it just like popped into her head and no one else felt it but I did. So I have to have some humongous reaction that is coming from nothing and so that always just kind of feels stupid until you really just go for it.”
What was it like joining the established Avengers cast?
Aaron said that initially the idea of joining the Avengers cast was very daunting, where these actors had already portrayed their characters in multiple movies and were both comfortable in their roles and with each other. But he said, “you’re a small piece to the rubric’s cube and they said that you just have to trust with these guys. You’ve seen the quality of movies they’ve done before so you can have trust….”
Luckily, he said, “it very quickly becomes like a very kind of family environment (that) they’ve set up over the years. They’re very comfortable with one another so it feels 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 cool and you can think about what you’re doing rather than observing like ‘wow, this is pretty cool and overwhelming and surreal.'”
What was it like going from playing a vigilante in Kickass to an Avenger with actual superpowers?
JOHNSON: “It’s a lot more fun having powers for sure. They’re both really different characters with different dynamics but it’s a lot of fun having powers and doing these fight sequences. Like just visually anyway it’s the most exciting for me to see all of your favorite superheroes all fighting together as a team and they all have their different skillsets and they also collide into set with each other. It’s amazing to watch but also it’s amazing to do.
The final fight sequence was this epic like two or three week long shoot where they found a site that they were gonna bulldoze anyway with these towers and they pretty much did exactly that for them: blew up buildings and smashed up cars and the stunts that are involved are hard core… it’s just the most incredible thing to be around and you just live off of that high. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
Having already seen the movie, I have to agree with Aaron. Avengers: Age of Ultron IS a lot of fun, and the fight sequences are pretty amazing. But more on THAT later this week, when the movie is out!
Be sure to check out the rest of my Avengers posts and stay tuned as I add more exclusive coverage in the coming weeks!
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Review
- Producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige Chats About Avengers: Age of Ultron
- When Joss Whedon says cross your arms, you cross your arms (and other Avengers-speak!)
- That Time I Was Sandwiched Between Thor and Captain America (Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans Interview)
- Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Join The Avengers: Exclusive Interview With Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Coloring Pages #Printables
- Avengers Easter Eggs
Follow Avengers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/avengers, visit the official website: https://marvel.com/avengers and like The Avengers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avengers….and then be sure to catch it in theaters this coming weekend (opens May 1!).
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