Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson declared 2019 is about “intersectional feminism.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Larson responded to a question about Carol Danvers’ relationship with Maria Rambeau played by Lashana Lynch and her daughter and what theme she wanted to explore through their friendship.
“I think because it’s 2019, and what 2019 is about, really, is intersectional feminism. There’s just no question that we would have to show what it means to be all different kinds of women, that we don’t just have one type. It became a great opportunity, even with things like the love story. [We wanted] to make that big love— that lost love, that love that’s found again—be with [Carol’s] best friend. To show that, that’s incredibly powerful and gripping, and you could go to the ends of the Earth and fight till the end for your best friend. It’s perfect to me and so meaningful. To me, that’s a part of what the meditation of this movie is: It’s female strength, but what is female strength? What are the different ways that can look?”
Samuel L. Jackson, who was also present for the interview, would chime in:
“It’s kinda crazy, too, that being Captain Marvel doesn’t necessarily define you. When you do make the discovery of who Carol Danvers was and what was going on, she had a life [before getting her powers], and she’s pretty badass already. So that whole thing about, you know, “You are what we made you.” It’s like, “That’s some bulls—.” Like, “I was a badass way before we got there.””
Larson would close out the question:
“But that’s a huge part of why I felt comfortable doing this, because originally I was like, “I’m not interested in an idealized version of perfection.” I’m not interested in portraying perfect, strong women that never make the wrong choice because I consider myself a risk-taker, and I make a lot of mistakes because of that. That’s how it works. Big swings sometimes mean a big failure.”
Lashana Lynch on Maria Rambeau
As for Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau, Lynch spoke with Nerdist about the character’s relationships and what she sees as the character’s “superhero quality.”
“Her being a fighter pilot along with a single mother is her superhero quality. That is absolutely her superpower. Being a single mother, especially a Black single mother, having been raised by one and my grandmother, I know that there’s just a certain type of strength that comes ancestrally.”
Lynch would add, “She’s strong, she’s bold, she’s a Black single mother. She doesn’t argue about it.” She continued, “She has raised an amazing child and now this child is probably going to turn out to be a superhero because she’s been raised by one.”
Lynch would also discuss representation on film stating “we just don’t have any black superheroes:”
“Black Panther raised everyone’s awareness to the fact that we just don’t have any black superheroes and our younger generations aren’t seeing enough of themselves. We’re not being represented, and Marvel took that responsibility and I think for the change in consciousness that is happening in the Black community right now and over the last couple of years. In creating Maria, it made me realize that the younger generation are going to have what I didn’t have as a kid, which is seeing themselves on screen. So this will be a classic film for the new generations to come, which is crazy. And also the new normal, which I can’t wait to be.”
As for intersectional feminism, it is applying intersectionality to feminism. If you are unfamiliar with the term, intersectional feminism, The Telegraph’s Ava Vidal notes the term was coined by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Here’s the textbook definition:
“The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”
Vidal elaborates on that definition writing, “certain groups of women have mult-layered facets in life that they have to deal with. There is no one-size-fits-all type of feminism.” She then gives an example using herself, “I am a black woman and as a result I face both racism and sexism as I navigate around everyday life.”
Larson and Captain Marvel
Larson’s comments about Captain Marvel having a theme about intersectional feminism should not come as a surprise to anyone. Larson has been very candid promoting Captain Marvel about how she sees the film. She’s stated that the movie was her form activism. She also revealed that Marvel approached her to make Captain Marvel a “big feminist movie.” Larson also called for less white men on the Captain Marvel press tour and has attacked white men for reviewing movies that she deems are not made for them.
Larson would attempt to explain her comments regarding reducing the number of white men on her Captain Marvel press tour by indicating that she wanted to “bring more seats up to the table.”
The Captain Marvel actress would even state “that was the patriarchy that was ringing on my parade” while promoting Captain Marvel for InStyle.
Since Larson really hit the press tour for Captain Marvel, the movie’s opening weekend box office projections have plummeted. A long-range projection in January had the film earning between $140 and $180 million on opening weekend. However, just a few short weeks later Deadline indicated opening weekend projections had dropped to $100 million with the possibility of it opening even lower at $80 million.
What do you make of Larson’s recent comments about Captain Marvel exploring the theme of intersectional feminism? Will this affect whether you see the film in theaters?