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Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly Talk The Marvel Universe, Strong Female Characters & Antony: Exclusive Ant-Man Interviews #AntManEvent #Marvel #AntMan

 

Ant-Man will open in theaters nationwide on July 17th!  A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview the cast of the film while in LA for the #AntManEvent.  Let me first back up a little bit here.
Before traveling out to LA for the press junket, I make it a habit to give shout outs on social media asking if anyone has questions to ask the cast of the film.  I have done this on past events but I was taken aback by how my social media channels simple BLEW UP with questions for this event.  “Ain’t no event like a Marvel event!”  Now while some of the cast has not made it to the Twitter Universe (come on Paul, your fans miss you on Twitter!), some members are very active and have a huge following there; i.e. Evangeline Lilly.  They call themselves the #SuperELves (get it, EL? Evangeline Lilly) and they are die hard Evangeline fans.  Before leaving on the trip I got to know them a bit and they seem like a great bunch!  While I knew I couldn’t ask every question that was presented to me, there were 25 of us bloggers that had to share Paul & Evangeline’s time, I did my part with keeping their fans up-to-date on the goings on during the interview.  And here it is, the moment you all have been waiting for, the Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly interview:

Photo credit Jana Seitzer / MerlotMommy.com
I could see in an instant why the #SuperElves are so enamored by Evangeline.  She walked into the room simply glowing and looking completely stunning.  My eyes were fixed upon her, until the lively and ever funny Paul Rudd comes racing in behind her to greet us, “Hi Mommies!”  Of course being the gentleman he is, he first offers Evangeline a seat before taking his own at the head of the table, which included all 25 of us Mom and Dad Bloggers.
 
Evangeline Lilly: I feel like we should have a turkey dinner spread out.

 

Paul: Or the biggest game of poker in the history of poker.
You are very well known for your comedy.  How is this high action role different from your traditional roles?

 

Paul: I always felt like, especially with Marvel movies, but just talking about this one, that it was going to be funny. They are good with levity. I mean, all their films have funny moments but they’re not necessarily straight up comedies. And, with this one, I knew that the action was going to be really good. I knew the visuals were going to be crazy good.

 

I also knew that there was this relationship that Scott Lang had with his daughter and that there was the relationship that Michael Douglas has with his daughter and that this whole thing with parents and children – that was going to be really the thrust of the film. And that’s relate-able and empathetic and something that you can hang the whole thing on. And that’s pretty dramatic.  So, that’s really what I kind of focused on, figuring humor would be there in the end.

 

Evangeline: And that said, he did not stop improving and cracking jokes; there wasn’t one scene, no matter how serious, where he didn’t make me break character. And I kept asking him ‘What am I supposed to do when you do that? Do I riff with you? Do I shut up and let you do your thing?’ Like, I am so out of my element ’cause he is so comfortable in that comedic space and he, being the sweetest man alive as we all know.  I’m only preaching to the choir. Do you see their faces?

 

Photo credit Jana Seitzer / MerlotMommy.com

 

Woops, was it that noticeable, Evangeline?  Well, it is true.  Paul was not only dreamy with his hazel eyes and good looks but he was also a genuinely nice guy.  So, of course we wanted to know how fun it was to punch that handsome face of his!
 
Evangeline: Everyone asks me that. You know I didn’t really punch him, right? I didn’t actually punch him.

 

Paul: Movie magic.

 

Evangeline: I loved the take that they kept in the film because of course you never know what they’re going to use and what’s going to end up on the cutting room floor. One of his improvs was when he said ‘Were you aiming for the head?’ I was so glad that it ended up in there because I love that line.
You now have this extra responsibility of super heroes in the Marvel Universe, do you feel the weight of that?
Paul: You know, there’s certain things that, if we stopped and really think about it, could be overwhelming and we don’t have any control over a lot of stuff. I just figure I’m going to focus on doing the part as best I can and let the other things just kind of happen the way they’re going to happen and hopefully I’ll be able to adapt.

 

I do realize, and have continually been surprised, by just how many people are interested. I guess not really surprised. I know how passionate the fan base is for Marvel films and, and for these characters. But, it’s been a whole new experience for me and thrilling and maybe just a little bit, uh, overwhelming – a little bit.
Evangeline, you worked with Paul and Adam in the writing process in order to develop your character.  Do you feel like that it came out how you wanted it, as far as the ‘girl power’ part of it?
Evangeline: You know, it’s funny because actually the girl power part was not really my contribution. That was Marvel and the boys. I mean what guy doesn’t like a girl who can kick ass? They like to see that on screen, right? What I think is important is that a woman, first of all, be a woman and not a girl, and that she also have all the dimensions that a male character who can kick ass would also have. And, I think a lot of the times what happens mistakenly in men’s very, very meaningful attempts to make strong women is they make them strong in the way that they relate to, which is wrong.

 

And I think that female strength has many more dimensions than that, and I think that a lot of our strength comes from our vulnerability, our compassion, our maternal instincts; I don’t think that those things should ever be labeled as weaknesses. I think that’s one of the things that I always look to put in, and infuse these characters with – the sort of moments where you suddenly realize underneath that very hard facade, underneath what she’s trying to project to the world because she feels she has to survive or she has to do what she needs to do is you know, a little girl within all of us – and even within Paul – there’s just a little girl…
 
Paul: It’s true, very true.

 

Evangeline: …that needs love and wants to give love in order to receive love and I think that’s what we’re all doing. That’s the human predicament, is ‘How do we give unconditional love’, and just not losing sight of that.

 

 

 Which is your favorite ant?

Paul: You know, I have a very personal relationship with ‘Antony’, which was something that we kind of put in the film and I think even giving him the name Antony kind came around later and I thought like ‘Oh, could it be Anton?’ It was even almost said early on when we were working on the script before we started shooting, like maybe do we give him a number?

 

‘Oh, Let’s call him Antony’ and then it stuck and that idea that you can have a personal attachment to ants; that you can see this film, especially kids, and really like say ‘Oh my God, ants are amazing!’ and that one in particular, you develop a real fondness for Antony, my favorite.

 

Evangeline: The Antony moment, which I can’t– I’m not going to say more.  We’re not going to give it away to the crowd, but the Antony moment was the moment in the movie where I was like ‘I love that man.

 

 What’s your most memorable moment?
Evangeline: That’s the hardest question. I had a moment when I was doing a scene – a very intense, emotional scene with Michael Douglas – where, for the first time since I had attached myself to the project, the penny dropped and I knew who was on and I was like ‘Great, good cast, everything’s good, things are coming together.’

 

But I was thinking with an analytical mind of ‘Do I want to do this project or don’t I?’ And it wasn’t until I was working with him and witnessing the sort of magic that is the legend of Michael Douglas and what he brings to a film set and how he performs and what he does to the energy in the room when he performs that made me suddenly sit up and take notice and go, ‘Oh my God. I’d better bring it. I’m working with Michael Douglas and he’s a living legend’ and that was an honor.

 

Paul: Yeah I never shook that feeling every single scene working with him, wow, this is– this is acting royalty. But I remember the first time walking onto the set in the {Ant-Man] suit. And, the first time I ever put it on at a fitting was thrilling; I felt like I was 10 years old. Every single time after that, it was ‘Whoa, I can’t believe this is so cool.’ And then we shot the scene where I discovered the suit for the first time. I’d stand in the bathtub and I– that was the first time putting it on when we were shooting it as well.

 

And to go from the tent, because there was a tent that I went into and had a small pit crew helping me get into it, walk on set and the camera department and everyone stopped and saw Ant-Man for the first time was totally exciting. And I’ll always remember that.
Photo credit Jana Seitzer / MerlotMommy.com
What do you think is the main theme of the movie, as far as the parent/child relationship?
Evangeline: I cant take that.  I think redemption really is a big theme in the film and I think redemption between father/daughter and the father/daughter relationship is the powerful theme that really anchors the film emotionally.

 

Paul: I like this idea that we’re dealing with all of this craziness with a suit that shrinks you down and controlling ants and all this kind of stuff, and yet this constant thing with parents and children, whether it’s with Michael, or my daughter and me, or Corey and Michael. That this is the stuff; this is what makes the movie more than just a visual spectacle.

 

It’s the thing that I think everyone will relate to, you know? We’ve all had bumpy times or whatever in whatever our relationship is, with our parent or our child and that’s the stuff that I think people will relate to.

 

 

After the interview, we all headed toward the back of the room for a group photo.  As we walked together, I struck up a conversation with Evangeline.  I mean, I didn’t want that weird awkward silence or anything.  I mentioned her Twitter following and the #SuperELves; her face immediately lit up and she asked how I knew them.  I told her I had gotten to know them over Twitter and they send their love.  She went on to talk about them, their “realness” and how she “just loves them.”
 
And then, as we huddled up for the group photo (being tall and slightly awkward in group photos), I immediately went to the back.  I expected Evangeline and Paul to move closer to the front, since they were the stars of the movie and all.  You can imagine my surprise when Evangeline put her arm around me, pulled me next to her and smiled for the photo!
 
While both Paul and Evangeline are genuinely nice, down to earth, talent individuals; Evangeline struck out most in my mind.  I can see why she has the huge following and is an inspiration for all women.  You will want to see them both as they exude this awesomeness across the screen.

 

ANT-MAN opens in theaters everywhere on July 17th!
Disney provided me with an all expense paid trip to L.A. to attend the #AntManEvent in exchange for my coverage.  No other compensation is given and all opinions in my posts are 100% my own.  Disclosure Policy.

 

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