Evangeline Lilly opens up: Our chat with the star of Marvel Studios' Ant-Man
[gallery ids="6200,6202,6199,6201"] There's a big Hollywood blockbuster hitting our screens next month, packed full with all the superhero goodness you've come to love from Marvel Studios. It's called Ant-Man and it stars actress Evangeline Lilly among others! In the story, master thief Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd, gains the ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. He must use these powers to embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind the spectacular Ant-Man suit - as well as casually try to save the world. Evangeline Lilly plays Dr. Hank Pym's daughter, Hope Van Dyne, in the new superhero story. We have a quick chat with Evangeline below, check it out: Were you familiar with the Marvel comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe when you were approached to play Hope van Dyne? No. I was not familiar with Marvel comics or Ant-Man when I was first approached about the part, so I had to do some homework. I watched some Marvel films because I was completely ignorant of the incredible things that they were doing. I discovered that they are very talented with story and character and they know how to put on a spectacle. Then, when I was doing screen tests, they started showing me pre vis material of Ant-Man and the ants in action. Once I saw it with my own eyes, I suddenly realized how cool this movie was going to be and that it’s going to be something that has not been seen at all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s going to have its own life and its own fan base. Do you think the story is relatable? The themes that run through the film of father/daughter issues are really prevalent in the story telling. I just don’t know if there’s anyone in the world who could say that they are completely above father/daughter issues. There’s always stuff to be mined there because the relationship between a parent and a child is so complex, so I think that there’s a lot of wonderful, relatable material with those storylines. When you first heard the title “Ant-Man” did you ever think there would be such rich, dramatic layers? No, but then I got into it and I started to talk to the writers about my character. I was interested in what they were going to do with my character and how they were going to make her modern and relatable and significant and prevalent and powerful as well as vulnerable and all the things that a character needs to be. That made it more interesting and that made me feel very excited to do the part and believe that it could be something that would keep me challenged. What can audiences expect from these action sequences? The idea is that when Ant-Man shrinks his strength compresses and it actually exponentially grows so he has the strength of something like 200 men. He becomes extremely strong at this size. Because Hope understands the science behind it all and because she was raised by Ant-Man and the Wasp and is very familiar with how it all works, she has to teach Scott to be careful because if he punches too light, it’s a love tap and if he punches too hard, it’s a bullet going through a person’s face. He has unlimited strength in that way. The most fun is when he’s in an action sequence and he shrinks and then grows, and then he shrinks again and so on. You can barely keep your eye on him and therefore he creates chaos and confusion in his favor and can gain the advantage over his enemy. Ant-Man takes out an entire group of armed guards, probably like 100 men on his own, so the spectacle scenes are amazing. Is that something that has never been on screen before? That’s the most exciting part about the spectacle. I am next to positive that nobody has ever seen all that ant action on screen before. There are these scenes where we mobilize armies of ants of different shapes and sizes and abilities and for me, I know that’s going to be my favorite part of the film. That’s going to be the part that sets Ant- Man apart from the other Marvel comic-book stories because it’s not just a guy in a suit who’s incredible. It’s a guy in a suit and legions of ants. Do you think about little girls and setting an example when you make these movies? I think about it all the time. It’s a huge motivating factor for the choices I make as an actress and the things I do publicly as an actress. I do feel very strongly that the reason why you need female characters in movies like this is because you have females going to watch the film, whether they are children, teenagers, adults or seniors. They need to be represented and the best compliment I ever get about any of the roles I’ve done is to have a parent come to me and say, “My little girl just idolized that character.” I know in my heart that I gave her a character to idolize and that I didn’t somehow let her down or misrepresent women. Having a child of my own now has made me excited to create entertainment for the whole family and to put something out there that is good entertainment for children and either teaches them something, has moral lessons or gives them heroes that are worth looking up to. Is there a lot of humor in the movie? Yes, there is. The thing that Marvel has over a lot of other big, spectacle films out there is that they never take themselves too seriously. Marvel never loses sight of the fact that it’s a Super Hero movie and they keep you laughing and they keep you entertained and they keep reminding you this is all just a bunch of fun. Ant-Man will be in cinemas nationwide from Thursday 16th July.