“Ant-Man and the Wasp” marks a milestone for Marvel: Hope Van Dyne, or the Wasp’s true identity, is the first female superhero to get title billing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the first installment, we witnessed her training Scott Lang, pulling no punches as she whipped him into shape — it seems only natural that in this sequel, Hope bests Scott at every turn in the superhero game. Hope shines in the MCU, offering fans a kick-ass woman to look up to.
Evangeline Lilly who plays Hope was just as excited as the fandom to help pave equal footing for male and female characters in the universe. At the “Ant-Man and the Wasp” press conference, she unintentionally stole the spotlight — and earned multiple waves of applause from the audience — with her intelligent, bold answers. Read on for five times she absolutely slayed at the conference:
- Lilly was glad she wasn’t in “Captain America: Civil War”
The actress revealed that Wasp was originally going to be introduced in Captain America: Civil War, a movie already packed with 12 Marvel superheroes, including her partner-in-crime, Ant-Man. While she was stoked to be in the film and put on her superhero suit, Lilly revealed that she was secretly a bit disappointed that her character wouldn’t be getting an origins film of sorts.
But then, there was a call from Marvel.
“I got a call saying, we decided not to put you in ‘Civil War,’ and there was a moment where the feeling in the room was like, I’m sorry, don’t be offended, and I was like, are they going to say what I think they’re going to say? And they said what I thought they were going to say, which was, we really want to dedicate a film to introducing this female superhero. We don’t want her to be just a side note in this larger story,” recalled Lilly. “And that was so exciting for me. But I still didn’t know there was going to be double billing… that was presented to me as a surprise via email with a screencap of the title.”
2. Her admiration for Hope
The way Lilly talked about Hope made it clear she thought this character deserved title billing, citing the Wasp’s reactions in distress situations — still cool and collected, even in danger.
“I loved getting to be a blade runner,” said Lilly, referencing a scene where her character shrinks and runs sideways on a knife in mid-air. “Hope is completely in jeopardy but also completely in control. You can see her ‘oh shit’ moment, but then she’s completely in control the next second. It was just fun to get to see her take on the mantle… She’s been ready and willing to do this basically her whole life — her parents were both superheroes, and she was raring to get into that suit for an entire film, so to actually see her fighting in that moment was wonderful.”
3. Lilly can explain quantum physics
Not only is Hope a formidable fighter, but also an intelligent scientist and inventor. Not surprisingly, the actress herself shares smarts with her character. When the cast was asked a question about explaining quantum physics, Lilly stepped up to the plate.
“I actually can answer that question. I really love quantum physics and always did before this happened, and that’s one of the reasons I was excited about this brand. I really dig quantum physics,” said Lilly. “At one point we thought the atom was the be all end all, everything ended at the atom, that was the smallest nucleus in the world, but then we discovered that the atom is kinetic. And the atom can be in multiple places at the same time…. Once we discovered that matter is kinetic and matter is displacing all the time. If it can be displaced, it can be warped. Can you warp time? Can you warp reality? Can you warp… universes?”
And with that, Lilly put her finger on the questions that Marvel was asking, themes that drive films like this one and “Doctor Strange” and will impact the future of the MCU. Perhaps we’ll see Hope interacting with other women scientists and innovators including Jane Foster, Pepper Potts, and Shuri.
4) The superhero she wants to hang out most is…
Okoye! Head of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje and righthand woman to Black Panther. Hope and Okoye would definitely bond over their kick-ass moves and their wry sense of humor.
“I personally have an enormous crush on Okoye,” said Lilly. “I would love a chance to hang out with Danai [Gurira]… I am personally going to keep the rumor and gossip about an all-female Avengers film going, sorry Kevin.”
Lilly glanced over to the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, who assured us that it’s “all coming together.” But it was clear from Lilly’s grin that she was not sorry at all. Fingers crossed for the day we see the Marvel girls run the world.
5) Lilly teaches her son about the reality of “bad guys…”
The movie’s villains are not completely evil, another step in continuing the trend of Marvel’s grey morality antagonists. Lilly explained that she liked how everything wasn’t black and white, because it offers a teaching point to young audiences like her 9-year-old son.
“When he talks about good guys and bad guys I always feel a responsibility to clarify, ‘honey you know there’s really no such thing as a bad guy, right? There are only just good guys who have made so many bad choices that they’ve forgotten how to make good choices. A true hero’s job is to remind them of their goodness. Not to annihilate them, to kill them, but to help them redeem themselves.’ And I think that’s applicable to life,” said Lilly. “To have redeemable villains — you’re teaching children that if you encounter somebody who has a different opinion than you, that doesn’t mean they’re a villain. If they have a different objective than you, that doesn’t mean you should attack them. Maybe you want to try to understand them first.”
There’s no doubt that Lilly’s going to be every fan’s #womancrushwednesday for her compassion, intelligence, and fearlessness when she flies into theaters July 6.