I don’t know how I missed this article! But here it is
Olsen talked about her first Emmy nomination and about why the series exceeded her expectations compared with more typical Marvel fare.
NY Times: In a year with so much strangeness and uncertainty, “WandaVision” at first seemed to offer a nostalgic antidote with its tidy suburban setting and its vintage black-and-white aesthetic. That lasted all of two episodes before the writers blasted a colorful hole through the protective wall of static surrounding the fictional town of Westview, N.J. — and through its viewers’ (and its critics’) early expectations.
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Featuring Elizabeth Olsen, the series’s clever mix of classic sitcom conventions and superhero spectacle made it a hit with even those who aren’t deeply versed in Marvel trivia. It was also a hit with Emmys voters: On Tuesday, the series picked up 23 nominations, including a best actress nod to Olsen for her role as the superhero-in-hiding next door Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Avengers’ Scarlet Witch. (Olsen’s male counterpart, Paul Bettany, who plays her android husband, Vision, was also nominated, as was the show for best limited series.)
“WandaVision” is finished, but Olsen, who scored her first Emmy nomination for her role, has said her character must still face a reckoning for holding an entire town hostage in order to live out her suburban fantasy — most likely in the upcoming film “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” “I think she has a tremendous amount of guilt,” she said in a recent oral history of the series by Rolling Stone.
A few hours after her nomination was announced, Olsen talked about why she thinks the show was particularly resonant during the pandemic, about being overseas as the show became a pop-culture phenomenon and about whether the Scarlet Witch is Marvel’s most powerful Avenger. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Congrats on your first Emmy nomination. Where were you when you found out?
I was emptying my dishwasher.
Who was the first person you told?
I didn’t tell anyone yet! I got off a dialect coach lesson and started taking these calls.
What are you most excited about for the ceremony?
I didn’t have any plans to be nominated! I’ve never been to one of these shows, so it’s all just new to me.
We didn’t know there was going to be a pandemic when we started telling the story of a woman creating a bubble and wanting to keep her family within that bubble. And we’re all in our own bubble with Covid, dealing with this fear of the outside. At the same time, American sitcoms have been our comfort place through the decades, and the show spoke to these two different elements that were happening at the same time.
Sometimes you don’t know when something’s going to work, especially if it’s a high-concept show. But it was just comforting for people. And although the weekly aspect was kind of a scary choice, it ended up paying off because it was paying homage to how we used to watch television and the ritual of it.
The correct amount of prior knowledge to enjoy “WandaVision,” it seems, is either a comic superfan’s worth or almost nothing. Why do you think the show resonated with viewers who never would have dreamed they would be watching a superhero series?
I don’t know — maybe it’s because of the discovery; you want to watch the next thing that happens. Maybe it’s the humor or the nostalgia from episode to episode through the sitcoms and the styles. It’s kind of like a memory lane to television while dealing with this woman’s trauma. I’m not sure. I was remote on a job and wasn’t in the United States when all this was coming out, so I didn’t get to experience the effect this was having. So I’m still surprised by the reaction, in a really nice way.
Wanda can be viewed as either a hero or villain, and often as both. What was it like balancing Wanda’s caring, motherly aspect with her selfish desire to have the family she has been denied, no matter the cost to others?
I hope to approach every character like that. I really love playing not just anti-heroines but also humans whom you want to both question their intentions and root for them. Playing with that line is the most exciting part of my job and hopefully opens up people to seeing different perspectives when they have such strong opinions. We’re all multifaceted people and not just one dimensional. I love that even in the comic books, you don’t know if Wanda’s going to be a hero or a villain. That’s what I love most about her.
You’ve been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more than seven years now. In all that time, what is the biggest surprise they’ve thrown at you?
Getting to do “WandaVision.” It was a huge surprise to get to be so challenged by a Marvel sitcom. I mean, they are challenging, technically, for lots of reasons, but this was challenging from every perspective. Doing that show really woke up my body to all different parts of my training as an actor and made me feel like I could utilize so many tools that other projects don’t utilize. And I just loved it.
Please set the record straight: Is the Scarlet Witch the most powerful Avenger?
I think so. I have to believe that. I think the only person who can hurt her is herself.