Across five MCU movies, Elizabeth Olsen has played the sorceress Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, but it arguably wasn’t until the Disney+ series WandaVision that she saw the character in her entire zenith.
A master of chaos magic and a native of the fictional war-torn Eastern European country of Sokovia, Wanda saw the villainous Ultron destroy the capital city and her twin brother Pietro along with it before she teamed with the Avengers. WandaVision takes place in the events following the team’s fight with Bad Guy Thanos in the town of Westview. It’s a town Wanda has taken over quite literally to live an American family life with her android beau Vision.
Westview is a place that Wanda has literally created in her vision, inspired by the sitcoms she grew up watching as a child in Sokovia, i.e., The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Family Ties and more.
Contenders TV: Full Panel Coverage
What was fresh this time around for Olsen playing Wanda?
“She for the first time has this sense of agency and making her own decisions that she hasn’t really had. She was kind of moved around a bit based on circumstances. This was something, even if she was aware of it or not, she completely controlled on her own even to a fault and by the end of it has great accountability. That was the newest journey for her and the processing of her experiences,” Olsen said during the series’ panel at Deadline’s Contender Television awards-season event.
Teyonah Parris plays Monica Rambeau, a SWORD agent who is a quiet ally of Wanda’s monitoring her from outside the shell of Westview which she’s created. Monica’s boss at SWORD is looking to defeat Wanda. The last time we saw Monica, she was 11 years old in the 2019 feature Captain Marvel.
In informing her performance, Parris combed the Marvel comics, reading up on the legacy of Rambeau, and “looking at the young actress Akira Akbar and her performance (in Captain Marvel) and her relationship with Carol Danvers and Maria her mom.”
As Agnes, the noisy next-door neighbor-turned-villain Agatha, Kathryn Hahn had a deep sitcom trove to pull from, especially in regards to the former. But there was one person in particular who shined through in her portrayal.
“My maternal grandmother,” said Hahn, who was nominated for a supporting actress comedy series Emmy for Transparent in 2017. “I heard her sing-song voice, definite [during] the ’50s and ’60s [eras]; everything ended on a question. She was in there.”
Check out the conversation in the video above.
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