Why Brie Larson Spent “a Lot of Time” Debating Whether to Sign on for Captain Marvel
"There's a cost to my job."
As a young actress at the top of her game, accepting an offer to star as Marvel’s premiere superhero — the most powerful in the comic publisher’s universe — seems like a no-brainer. But this wasn’t the case for 29-year-old Brie Larson, who was tapped to play the titular role in Captain Marvel fresh off her 2016 Oscar win.
During a conversation with Vanity Fair’s Radhika Jones at the 10th annual Women in the World Summit in N.Y.C., Larson revealed that her decision to enter the Marvel universe wasn’t an easy one. “I spent a lot of time thinking about it before I decided to take the role, because I’m introverted, deathly introverted, and there’s a cost to my job,” she explained, “and to do a job like that is a very big cost, it means maybe losing things that were going to be important to me, like walking around Central Park. I’m one of those people that really mulls it over and then once I make my decision I’m all in.”
Larson makes a solid point — though Room wasn’t exactly a film school indie, it didn’t have a fraction of the reach that a starring role in a Marvel film carries. “Comic book adaptation famous” and “walk through Central Park unnoticed famous” are vastly different breeds.
Once she signed on, though, Larson made it her mission to procure the salary she deserved – both for her own benefit and that of fellow actresses to come.
“Money is something I’m actually very excited to talk about because it’s this thing that people think is super icky but that’s the trap — the trap is they make you feel icky about it so you don’t ask for what you deserve and you know what that number is inside,” she told Jones.
For Larson, that number was $5 million (for reference, Robert Downey Jr. was paid $500,000 for his first Iron Man film, and Chris Evans $1 million for his first Captain America movie).
“The reason I was able to get the payment I got from the movie — a lot of that had to do with the women who came before me,” she continued. “You use that comparison — well this person got this … that precedent has been set. We’ve been playing this kind of game of Uno — everyone’s sort of building it up and I’m just the next step in that, and we’ll just keep going. When women talk to me about this I say, you know, don’t even do it for you if that makes you feel weird right now — do it for the women that are going to come after you. Do it for the next one, do it for the future you.”