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‘WandaVision’: Teyonah Parris on ‘Incredibly Sad’ ending

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In episodes two and three, Monica posed as Wandas’ neighbor Geraldine until Wanda realized she was an impostor. Despite the mystery in the universe surrounding Geraldines’ true identity, Parris is happy that Marvel revealed she was playing Rambeau at Comic-Con 2019, instead of waiting for confirmation from episode four.

Kevin Feige took the stage at Comic-Con and was like Monica! So I don’t know if they’ve ever thought of anything different, Parris explains. It was one of the most amazing and fun things to experience, especially now that were all in pandemic and quarantined.

In a recent conversation with THR, Parris teases WandaVisionEpic and incredibly sad ending, what she learned from Akira Akbars confronts 11-year-old Rambeau Captain Marvel and the chaos of the hospital’s tragic scene four filming episode.

So how long did your original audition process last and did you manage to keep everything a secret?

I was able to keep it all a secret because I forgot about it. (Laughs.) A few weeks have gone by, and as an artist you do these auditions and then you have to drop it. I must forget that. The hearing itself was not very long. I put myself on tape and sent a tape. And then I got notes and did it all over again because I didn’t understand the sitcom aspect. I was like, I don’t quite understand that. Yall said it was for Marvel? I am not sure. So they were just like, have fun with that. So I did it again, sent it and forgot it. And a few weeks later they were like, you got the part, and I was like, Yay! Who is the character? I didn’t know the character yet, but found out it was Monica Rambeau, who was played by Akira Akbar in Captain Marvel. We saw her as a young girl, and now I’ll be the adult version. So it was fun.

Speaking of Akira, did you keep any particular details or ways of her performance in Captain Marvel?

I wouldn’t say there were any specific mannerisms, as much as just trying to capture her essence of who she was. Who you are as a young child isn’t necessarily who you will be when you grow up, but I do believe there are some aspects of the personality that could be hanging around. She was such a curious, ambitious, fun and very intelligent little girl. So I tried to use his essence to move forward.

To your knowledge, has there ever been any question of only announcing that you play a character named Geraldine, which would have saved the revelation of Monica Rambeau for episode four?

(Laughs.) I never heard that. Kevin Feige took the stage at Comic-Con and was like Monica! So I don’t know if they’ve ever thought of anything different.

Episode three created all of the mystery surrounding Geraldines’ identity, and given how generally Marvelous is secrecy, I was just a little surprised that they didn’t try to pull off a quick one.

Listen! Don’t take away my Comic-Con 2019 experience. (Laughs.It was one of the most amazing and fun things to experience, especially now that were all in pandemic and quarantined. So let me have this. (Laughs.) You love, they should have saved him! Nooo! Nooo! (Laughs.)

You definitely have a point there. Episode four is always a surprise to viewers who don’t follow Marvels with every casting move. Anyway, ever since Monica came back via the blip, she had quite the whirlwind. Within three weeks, she learned of Marias ‘death, was sucked and then thrown from Wandas’ hex. Thus, she had very little time to mourn Maria or reconcile her own 5-year disappearance. Do you think she should tackle these traumas as soon as possible?

I think she speaks to them the best way she knows how, which is through work. She’s really a person who enjoys her job. While missing persons cases don’t usually happen in her wheelhouse, it has turned into much more than that; it is rather a matter of a missing city. And once Monica sees Wanda and realizes that she is grieving, she acknowledges their side experiences and that they are both grieving loved ones. So I think Monica is handling this in the best possible way. I’m not saying it’s the most effective and therapeutic way, but I feel like she’s trying to come to terms with her own grief by helping Wanda with hers.

In episode four, we saw how Wanda ousted Monica from the hexagon. Did you do any yarn work for this stunt?

Yes I did it. It was my first time. It was very embarrassing and stimulating because you have Lizzie [Elizabeth Olsen] on the pitch, giving this amazing performance, and I’m like (Parris screams softly in pain.) It was horrible. (Laughs.) I wasn’t used to the tightness and the many straps all over me, trying to be in the moment, emotionally. It was difficult but fun. Everyone laughed, I laughed, and we just tried to get through. Matt Shakman must have given me extra takes for those because ooh.

Monica seems to have a problem with Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and most people assume it’s because Carol wasn’t there when Maria got sick. The rest of WandaVision provide clarification on this, or is this thread saved for later?

What I can say is that we still have a few more episodes to go, and we also know that Monica will be in. Captain Marvel II. So we have quite a bit of real estate left to explore this relationship. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Captain Marvel IIis also a Candyman reunion between you and director Nia DaCosta. When you found out you were gonna play Monica again in Captain Marvel II, Was Nia already attached as a director?

No comment. I don’t know if I am giving something by saying something. So I’m not going to say anything about it, but I’m really excited to join Nia and that we get back together. And join Brie and Iman [Vellani]. It’ll just be a wonderful experience, especially with Nia being the first black woman to direct a Marvel Studios movie. It’s going to be exciting times.

Has there been a celebratory call between the two of you at some point?

I call Nia all the time, so, yes, absolutely. I’m like, Hey, girl! I’m just excited. Okay, bye. This is the call. (Laughs.)

One of Marvels’ best VFX shots happens when Monica comes back from the blip. How did they handle this photo that day?

I do not remember. I might have had points, but I don’t remember. I am sorry.

Did the chaotic hospital scene require a ton of rehearsals as there were very specific story rhythms throughout?

Yes, the fact that you had the people who are physically present, the chaos of that, and then the imaginary people that we were to see. They were also there, and I think they must have intervened or something like that. It was very technical. The camera was a Steadicam, so the cameraman was holding it and following you. So there was a dance to make sure I was successful in hitting the goals because the visual effects needed that space so that I could add an entire human later. So it was definitely a complex dance, and also, the emotional state I had to be in was another layer of it. So it was a very special setup and scene.

Since you can’t say anything specific about the remaining three episodes, can you spare a few adjectives that best describe your reaction while reading them?

Epic and incredibly sad. I mean, the whole show is incredibly sad for me, but I put these words together.

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WandaVision is currently streaming on Disney +.



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