Elizabeth Olsen talks about Wanda’s shock [SPOILER] in “Doctor Strange 2” and the most difficult scene for her to act

SPOILER ALERT: This story covers the major plot points of Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” in theaters now. Don’t read until you’ve seen the movie.

Almost from the moment Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced that Elizabeth Olsen would be starring in the Disney+ series “WandaVision,” he also clarified that the events of that show would tie into the later appearance of Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in the feature film “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

What Feige did do not reveal – and what Disney carefully obscured in its marketing of the film until its theatrical release – is that Wanda doesn’t appear as Strange’s compatriot in “Multiverse of Madness”: she’s the villain.

At the end of “WandaVision”, Wanda fully accepts her identity as the Scarlet Witch, one of the most powerful wielders of magic in the universe. But she must also loosen her grip on the town of Westview to free its citizens from mind control. In doing so, she abandons her children Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), who can only exist in the magical spell of Wanda on Westview.

In “Multiverse of Madness”, we learn that the loss of her children – coupled with her prolonged study and exposure to the Darkhold, a corrupted book of dark magic – drove Wanda into an all-consuming obsession to find a way to return to her boys. This leads Wanda to a relentless pursuit of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenage girl with the power to travel across the multiverse. Wanda wants to take over America so she can be in a universe where her boys still exist, but it would kill America in the process. So Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wong (Benedict Wong), and the rest of the Wizards of Kamar-Taj choose to protect America and stop Wanda.

Big mistake. Huge. With Wanda in full command of her powers as the Scarlet Witch, she kills just about everyone on her way to America, including the Illuminati, a superhero team in an alternate Earth that includes Patrick Stewart in as Charles Xavier and Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter.

In the hands of master horror director Sam Raimi, it’s terrifying to behold. It was also controversial for some fans who struggled to match the late Wanda at the end of “WandaVision” with the Scarlet Witch from “Multiverse of Madness” ready to eviscerate the life of anyone who stands in her way.

Turns out, Olsen was one of those people — in the beginning. In an interview with Variety, she talks about her surprise at learning of Wanda’s turn to the dark side, how she came to terms with it, and what was the hardest scene for her to perform. (Hint: This involves Wanda’s boys.)

What was your reaction when you learned that Wanda was the villain of the film?

Uh, well, I knew I was going to be in “Doctor Strange,” but I thought I was going to be, like, in an ensemble thing. So at first, I think I was nervous and conflicted, because I hadn’t finished “WandaVision” yet, but we were almost done. And I was like, ‘Oh my god, how do I make this all work together?’ We got there; I arrived. And it’s become an incredible opportunity to have people conquered by this woman in “WandaVision” and feel for her, and then, you know, manipulate them in this film, where they can be by her side and feel them themselves in conflict. So I thought it was a great opportunity.

You’ve said in the past that you worked to make sure this movie honored what happened in “WandaVision.” What do you think was specifically needed for the film to have that connection?

There were just beats that I thought were almost too similar, as opposed to reflective. I just wanted everything to feel like some version of an advancement, even though the advancement is someone who feels a different reaction to pain and loss. We also didn’t see her react to what happened at Westview. While we’ve seen her go through trauma and loss, we haven’t seen her go through the loss of children. I think for any parent – I guess, because I’m not one – the loss of the child would always be much more difficult than the loss of any other significant person in your life. I just wanted to make sure it was a constant evolution forward and not repetitive. And so it was only slight adjustments. I couldn’t make any major changes because sets were being built and things like that. And the schedules were established, although changing. But, yeah, I was trying to figure out how not to be repetitive? How to create an evolution? How can we make this woman different but still part of the woman we know?

How did you feel killing all those characters? I mean, I’ll never get over the image of you breaking Patrick Stewart’s head.

I – I was – I was supposed to kill more too. I had trouble with that. I was like, they’re human beings and Wanda is okay with ending their lives? But I just had to buckle up and think all these people are in her way and she warned Doctor Strange not to get in her way. And he did. He didn’t listen. And so I just had to go from that perspective.

Was there a scene that you found particularly difficult to play?

I think the hardest thing was – I know we’re doing this interview after it’s released, but I’m still anxious to talk about it without spoilers. But there’s a point where I have to go after the people I love, and that was a tough scene. One of the people I love – the little people I love – was throwing things at me in the scene and accidentally punched me really hard in the face. And that was the best reaction. And I felt so bad that I used him as an actor and let him explain how I responded to these people I love. Because they were terrified afterwards. It was really something that I didn’t like at all, but I knew it would be good for the stage.

Considering the end of this film, do you plan to return to the MCU?

It’s weird that I expect to come back but no one told me I’m doing anything! But in my mind, I’m just assuming that they’ll get me again. I don’t know in what capacity, but I hope to be back. I hope there is also more fun to be had in something different. Where are we going? I feel like we’ve done so much with her. It’s been a really crazy few years with her.


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