I'm a huge “Black Mirror” fan. When I saw Hannah John-Kamen was part of the interview list for our Ant-Man and the Wasp junket, the “Black Mirror” nerd in my squealed just a little. This British newcomer has had some pretty big roles on 2018, and she was excited to talk to us about her role as Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Read on for our exclusive Hannah John-Kamen interview.
On joining the MCU
Hannah shared with us how excited she was to join the Marvel Universe. Exciting and amazing, but also daunting.
“It’s overwhelming,” Hannah said. “It’s a huge responsibility to take this amazing character off the comic book page and be the first person to introduce it into an incredible movie with incredible cast members, which, you know, they’re heroes in life. They are legends. So, yeah, it was amazing. Very exciting.”
On joining the project
Hannah was filming in Toronto when she flew to Atlanta to audition for the role of Ghost. She was excited but unsure. She said she loved the first Ant-Man and what Peyton Reed had done with it, but comic book movies weren't something she'd worked on before. After the day of workshopping the character, she'd had so much fun, she felt like she'd won even if she didn't get cast as Ghost. “I had the best day ever. I don’t regret one minute of it,” Hannah said. But then she got the call saying she was cast and she danced away to Miley Cyrus.
On the character
In the comic books, Ghost's character is a male and originally a villain of Iron Man. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, they have repurposed the character but doing that also gives them the opportunity to create a whole new character and backstory. “We really have the freedom to create this character and find out who she is. So, that was fun,” Hannah said.”
Hannah said that becoming Ghost isn't as difficult as it may seem. What helps her channel the rage she uses to be Ghost? “It’s the scene. It’s the words. It’s my scene partner. It’s the whole situation. It’s the stakes. The stakes are so high. And I think that’s what Peyton has done an amazing job of,” Hannah explained. “He guides you so well. And with this film, you’ve got that balance between romance—there’s a love story—fatherhood, parenthood, action, high-octane drama. You know, he taps your funny bone. It’s hilarious. But then also it’s heartbreaking. And you literally are, as an audience member, you’re kind of jumping between the two. And it’s amazing. So, to channel that kind of absolute serious objective that my character has in the movie was a continuity from beginning to end.”
On characters being redeemable
Hannah believes that all characters are redeemable and not everything in black and white.
“I think Marvel does that genius job with the villainous characters to really not make it black and white. They make it gray. They make it kind of like you kinda feel sorry for them. You’re kind of on their side. You kind of confuse yourself as an audience member and go, ‘Hold on a minute. Why am I rooting for this person'?” Hannah said.
She said I approached the character of Ghost as if she’s the good guy. And, through her eyes, she’s the good guy. And through the protagonist side, yes, okay, she’s the bad guy. But through her mind? No.
“She’s got a job—got her objective. The stakes are really high. But in the Marvel Universe, anything’s possible.
On acting to CGI and doing her stunts
Hannah says you have to have an imagination to act on a film that has a lot of CGI fill in.
“It was an amazing process to basically do that, the fights and the green screen and everything. But I actually had that freedom to just play the scene…I do my own stunts. It’s like, all right, just do it and they’ll do the rest later on. So, it didn’t restrict me as an actor,” Hannah said.
“I’ve been doing my own stunts in my career for a really long time. And I think it’s really important to do as much as you physically possibly can, because the character is what you bring to it; it’s not just emotional. It’s also physically, especially in this Marvel Universe,” Hannah said. “We all have different powers. We all have different styles of fighting. So it’s important for you to bring yourself and what you want, what the character is with the movements and the fighting. And even if there is any comedy in the fighting or if there’s a moment you wanna add. So, yeah, that was really, really fun. I love kicking ass.”
In the van scene with Evangeline Lilly, they are both really kicking some booty. It's fierce.
“Whenever I do a fight scene I always get this real adrenaline rush, ‘Like all right. Okay. Don’t come near me.' ‘Do you want any water?” I’m like, ‘Noooooo. Do it again.' So, yeah, I kind of get like a real high off kicking ass. But every kind fight scene, it takes time. It takes a long time because you’ve gotta be safe as well. You gotta really be safe. You gotta figure it out.”
“Also with restricted spaces as well, especially like a van, you’ve gotta make sure that you know what you’re doing. And they do it in pieces, as well. It’s not like you’re gonna jump over there and run over there, and we’re gonna do it all one. It’s like you kinda do it in sections, as well, to really nail that move and for that move to sell as well for camera.”
What young girls can take away from Ant-Man and the Wasp
“With me and Evangeline, I want young girls to go, ‘Yeah, we can, we can be badass.' And I want them to have our action figurines, and actually play with them and go, ‘Do you know what? I can be strong just like they are'.” Evangeline and Hannah say “Girl power” all the time.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theatres now.
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Los Angeles on an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.
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