Filed Interviews

Why Evangeline Lilly loved The Hobbit and wanted to be in Star Wars

Yesterday, SYFY WIRE published an interview with Evangeline, where she talked about her passion for writing, her books of The Squickerwonkers, her most important roles (Kate Austen, Tauriel and Hope Van Dyne), among other things. You can read it below … Maybe it seems a little long, but it’s very entertaining and interesting!

Syfy Wire – “I see myself as a writer who has a fantastic day job.”

Talk to Evangeline Lilly for more than three minutes, and one thing become remarkably clear. She’s positively overflowing with stories she wants to tell, and Hollywood isn’t necessarily where she wants to tell them. So when you sit down with her for nearly an hour, as we recently did, the insight is profound.

For six seasons, she navigated the mysteries of The Island as Kate Austen on the show that defined binge-worthy TV: the addictive and ultimately divisive Lost. Though she tried to retire from acting once Lost ended, Peter Jackson brought her back by personally reaching out and asking her to play Tauriel in his adaptation of The Hobbit. How do you follow up playing a woodland elf? Well, you play a superhero (Wasp) who becomes the first female character to headline a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Though her three biggest roles may seem, at first blush, to be incredibly different, they all share one very clear trait: Each draws her strength by embracing her flaws. And that’s the theme that pervades so many of Lilly’s own stories (including the character she tried to nab in Star Wars).

“Acting is my bread and butter. It’s what puts a roof over my family’s head and food on our table, and it’s something I rely on very heavily and is important to me,” she tells me. “But my passion — my truest passion — the thing that fulfills me and makes me feel whole as a human being is writing.”

As is evident from the roles she’s chosen to play, the stories that mean the most to her — the stories worth telling — are those that skew close to the brutal truths of life and don’t pull any punches. Stories that are true to life but still show a path toward redemption. And that’s true even — perhaps especially — if those stories are meant for children. Crack open the first book in her children’s series, The Squickerwonkers: The Prequel, and you’ll see what I mean.

Illustrated by WETA Workshop conceptual designer Johnny Fraser-Allen, the book is dark, clever, creative, and emotional. And there’s nary a “happily ever after” in sight. The book ends on an unquestionable downbeat of a cliffhanger that sets up the second book, The Demise of Selma the Spoiled(out this May from Quiet Cocoon and illustrated by Rodrigo Bastos Didier).

The first book sets up the series (which will eventually include an ambitious 20 books) and the players: a colorful cast of 10 vice-ridden marionettes who inhabit the upside-down and creepy SquickerWorld. The following nine books, collectively known as The Demise Series, will bring those misfit characters to their inevitable and terrible demises. Yes, they’ll all “die.”

Lilly first started writing the story when she was just 14, and it’s followed her around for almost 25 years.

“I don’t know many stories that have lived with someone as long as this has lived with me,” she says. “I was a reclusive young woman and a bit of a loner. I was somebody who came to literature very late, and when I did, I just fell in love with such a passion that I kind of became very focused on not just reading but writing as well. And seriously, that was my idea of a great Friday night at 14 – staying home and writing by myself.

“I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss, believe it or not. Where most people come to him at four, I was reading him at 14,” she continues. “And I think the adult side of me realized what he was doing. The subtlety of the messages he’d thread into these simple, silly poems really struck me as meaningful. And I realized that this adult took the time to put these sophisticated, important messages into my childhood stories.”

That approach was formative for Lilly, as was the famed author’s inventive use of language.

“I also dug his irreverent use of language. If he was making a rhyme, and he was lacking a sufficient rhyming word, he would just make one up. And it was silly and wonderful, so I wanted to make up my own words,” she reveals. “And I started making a list of silly, irreverent, wonderful words, and one of the words on that list just stuck in my head and on my tongue, and I really liked it. And that word was squickerwonker.”

Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events or Edward Gorey will quickly pick up on the mood Lilly is going for here. The Squickerwonkers books embrace and are honest about the flaws we all have. They shine a spotlight on human frailty and say, “It’s OK not to be perfect.” And that honesty is even more critical because the books are for children.

Young readers should be exposed to the world as it is. Presenting kids exclusively with teddy bears, rainbows, and happily-ever-afters does them a massive disservice. For many kids, these sweet stories simply don’t resonate with their reality. If we never tell our kids that it’s OK to fail or have flaws, then their unrealistic expectations — and anxieties — about the world and themselves balloon and quickly get out of control.

“Who are you in the face of that hardship?” Lilly says, explaining what her books tend to focus on. “Because that’s what will bring you happiness. That’s how you understand who you are, even in the mire. Even in the murk. Even in the horror. That’s our internal compass.”

In the absence of such stories, the anxieties that develop can have serious ripple effects that follow us throughout our lives. For Lilly, they manifested as clinical depression and an attachment to the idea of the tortured artist.

“My first speaking role was on Lost, and I was very unhappy. I didn’t get joy from my job.” And even though her job was, admittedly, many people’s dream job, her unhappiness with it inspired a lot of soul-searching. Which ultimately led her to the realization that the only thing she’d consistently done her entire life because she enjoyed it was writing.

“Nowadays, in 2019, there’s a lot of emphasis put on [the idea that] you must have your passion be your livelihood,” she says. “And I think there’s such an innate danger in teaching young people that somehow they have failed at life if they have to have some kind of a grind. If the job they do — the one that pays the bills and gives them food and a house — if that job is not their passion, then somehow they’ve failed. They’re not doing life very well. And I just think that’s not true.

“There’s a righteousness [among artists] that your art has to be this pure thing that you’ve sacrificed yourself to. I was clinically depressed through most of my life, until my late 20s. I dealt with depression through artistic expression,” Lilly reveals. “And I remember when I first got diagnosed, I was told I should go on antidepressants. I remember having this moment of panic right before I put the pill in my mouth because I thought, ‘I’m never going to be able to create again!’ [Because I thought] my creativity came from my angst and my sadness and my struggle. I was terrified because my whole life was art. I thought it would all end if I didn’t have the angst anymore.

“But in the end, it was all total bullshit. Oh my God, stability and happiness allow me to be productive with my creativity?” Lilly exclaims. “Suddenly, I’m creating way more and putting it out into the world instead of hammering away in a dark little hole and never going anywhere. That wasn’t productive creativity. It was insular and self-perpetuating, but now there’s this beautiful health that allows creativity to happen from a place of stability and happiness.”

Like Kate Austen, Tauriel, and Hope Van Dyne, there is no character in Lilly’s books who is above reproach. They are, all of them, flawed — some more deeply than others. And that’s the reality she wants to show young readers.

Evangeline Lilly has been fortunate enough in her career to inhabit characters who had the ability to grow and develop. She had over 100 episodes on Lost and multiple films as both Tauriel and Hope Van Dyne of Ant-Man series fame. That’s not an opportunity every actor gets. And even though we haven’t yet seen the end of Hope’s story, the character whose arc she’s most satisfied with is both revealing and not at all surprising. It’s the one that — ironically, given the world she inhabits — is truest to life.

“I was really excited about the potential for Kate’s character and who she was and what it meant for how much room for growth there was – because she started out deeply, deeply flawed. I don’t feel I ever got the satisfaction I was looking for in terms of a full character arc,” Lilly says. “I didn’t come to the end of that show and clearly see how she’d grown and what she’d learned. I felt like some of that got lost in the intensity of the mythology of the show. That became the priority and the focus, and the character arcs became secondary. So I never really felt like I got that satisfaction with her, even though I’m very proud to have played her and will always be proud.”

Her role in the Marvel Universe gives her a bit more… hope.

“Hope is mid-journey. I don’t see her journey as being over by any stretch,” she says. “But from being practically an orphan — a girl who lost her mother at eight years old and left with a father who emotionally abandoned her — to being a woman who has an intimate and meaningful relationship with her father and who has been reunited with her mother, that’s a pretty epic arc. That’s pretty great.”

It’ll take a really solid landing, however, to outshine her arc in The Hobbit.

“Tauriel, though, was cool because she was left with a bad ending. Things did not end well for Tauriel. Her last scene, really, was tragic. She was in tears and pain and sorrow,” she says. “And what I like about that is it allows for two things. One, it allows for the viewer’s imagination to then say, ‘Where does she go from here? What happens now?’ And two, it’s truer to life. I don’t know if I’ve ever had anything resolve itself with such a pretty bow as we see in stories. I like that we can do that in stories, but it is refreshing sometimes to see things not wrap up and be left more like life.”

The nice thing about Tolkien’s elves is that they don’t age very quickly, so Tauriel could conceivably pop up in almost any era of Middle-earth’s history. So might we see her in the Amazon show that’s currently in development?

“If that happens,” Lilly admits, “I assume it’ll be played by someone other than me. Because I’ve not heard anything about it.”

Secrets. There’s always so much secrecy.

“It’s all I’ve ever known. My career has been filled with a lot of secrecy. With porters who hand deliver scripts to me after flying across the country because they’re not allowed to put it in the mail or email it to me,” she marvels. “I’m doing a film this spring, and I’m so excited to finally be doing a film where I’ve gotten a complete script in advance. To have a script memorized before I start work is going to be an incredible luxury. I can actually do my job the way I’m supposed to!”

But that doesn’t mean it’s gotten any easier to keep everything under wraps. She’s certainly had her own Tom Holland moments.

“Oh, I totally did. I got so lucky because it somehow magically got buried and no one ever heard about it. I was sweating bricks for about a week. Then I started breathing easier when I realized that nobody was going to see it. It’s hard not to slip up! It’s no coincidence that it’s always Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo because those two are such genuine, sweet, open, vulnerable human beings. Their nature is not cagey or to hide, lie, and defend. They’re just lovers whose arms are wide open to the world.”

Lest you think she’d have no interest in the galaxy far, far away because of the SECRETS, think again.

“Several years ago, when I found out that J.J. Abrams was remaking, or rebooting, the Star Wars franchise, it was the only time in my career that I’ve ever put a call out,” she admits. “I wanted to be Leia. If I got to be a woodland elf and Kate from Lost and Leia, that would cover it. And then I got to be the Wasp! That’s all the big franchises.”

“I was so in love with Leia when I was a little girl. Those were my two fantasies – to be a woodland elf and to be Leia tied to Jabba the Hutt in her sexy bikini. But then they called me back and said, ‘Well, there’s a little-known actress called Carrie Fisher who will be playing Princess Leia.’ Well, FINE, I guess that’s OK.”

So is there anything she can share about the Marvel universe, asks everyone in the country?

“They keep these things so under wraps that no one’s said anything to me about anything that will happen after [Avengers: Endgame]. But you know… anything can happen.”

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Filed Movies News

Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly Team for Opioid Thriller “Dreamland”

Great news! Evangeline, Gary Oldman and Armie Hammer will star in the new thriller of writer and director Nicholas Jarecki, “Dreamland”. Read below an article published by THR!

The Hollywood Reporter – The European Film Market just got a little more star-studded thanks to Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer and Evangeline Lilly, who are set to team up for Dreamland, an “opioid thriller” from Nicholas Jarecki and the follow-up to his 2012 debut Arbitrage.

German actress Veronica Ferres will also star in the project, written by Jarecki and billed as the first theatrical film to tackle the international opioid crisis. Principal photography is underway in Montreal and Detroit, with Lisa Wilson due to introduce buyers to the project in Berlin through her Solution Entertainment Group. William Morris Endeavor represents U.S. rights with LGNA Legal.

In Dreamland, three stories about the world of opioids collide: a drug trafficker arranges a multi-cartel fentanyl smuggling operation between Canada and the U.S., an architect recovering from an OxyContin addiction tracks down the truth behind her son’s involvement with narcotics, and a university professor battles unexpected revelations about his research employer, a drug company with deep government influence bringing a new “non-addictive” painkiller to market— all in a thinking person’s gangster tale of high and low.

“The devastating impact of the opioid crisis reaches all corners of society,” said Jarecki, who saw Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere, become both a critical and commercial hit, setting a record as the highest-grossing independent day and date release of all time. “Gary, Armie and Evangeline are the perfect performers to bring the human face of this epidemic to audiences everywhere.”

Producers are Jarecki and Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club), who financed together through Jarecki’s Green Room Films and its continuing relationship with MUFG Union Bank. Michael Suppes and Tony Hsieh executive produce along with Douglas Urbanski. Mohammed Al Turki, Lisa Wilson, William Rosenfeld, Sam Slater, and David Bernon also executive produce. Co-executive producers are Kean Cronin, Robert Kapp, and Samuel Reich.

Dreamland is a production of Green Room Films in association with Tuesday Films, Matisse Pictures, Construction Film and Burn Later Productions, and is a Canadian-Belgian co-production of Les Productions LOD and Bideford Productions.

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Filed Ant-Man and The Wasp Articles News

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” ride gets opening date at Hong Kong Disneyland

Ant-Man and The Wasp are teaming up for a new Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure, this time in a brand-new ride at Disneyland Hong Kong.

Below you can see a video of the stars of MCU, Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd, making an introduction about the new ride, which has them both reprise their roles as the titular size-swapping superheroes.

The ride sees HYDRA and Doctor Armin Zola launch simultaneous attacks against Stark Industries and S.H.I.E.L.D. with Iron Man tasking Ant-Man and the Wasp to shrink down and destroy Zola’s nanobots before they can steal confidential information from S.H.I.E.L.D. Riders join the heroic duo to use laser-tag style cannons mounted on the ride to blast the nanobots and save the day.

Since the ride’s announcement, there have been rumors that it may join Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim but this not been confirmed.

The new attraction Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! will open to the public on March 31, 2019.

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Filed Ant-Man and The Wasp Movies

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” Screen Captures

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” was released on DVD and Blu-Ray back in October and we finally have screen captures of the movie, and its extra features, added in our gallery.

Enjoy the caps!

         

» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Movie Captures
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > Back In The Ant Suit: Scott Lang
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > A Suit Of Her Own: The Wasp
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > Quantum Perspective: The VFX And Production Design
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > Gag Reel
» Movies > Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) > Bonus Features > On Set Visit

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Filed Ant-Man and The Wasp Interviews News

Women of Action: Meet the Stunt Performers Who Help Scarlett Johansson, Evangeline Lilly and More Stars Kick Ass

Evangeline and her stunt doubles of “Ant-Man and The Wasp”, Ingrid Kleinig and Renae Moneymaker are three of the people featured in the new article by The Hollywood Reporter to shine the light on the people who make the main actors look good in the big and small screen.

The Hollywood Reporter – When Evangeline Lilly was starring in Lost, she liked to do her own stunts. But two kids and a decade and change later, the 39-year-old actress had to reevaluate her priorities. “I had to let go of that young, egotistical pride that I’ll do it all, that nobody is doing it for me,” she says. “It was hard for me, I won’t lie. But I’m not 25 anymore.”

Making it a little easier for her on Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel’s first movie to include a female character in its title, were Ingrid Kleinig, 39, and Renae Moneymaker, 31, Lilly’s two stuntwomen. With multiple units shooting the film at the same time — one stuntwoman doing a car chase, another a fight sequence, while Lilly worked on an acting scene — the film literally could not have been made without them. “There were four of me in this film,” says the actress, including in her count the CGI-created version of her insect-inspired superhero character.

Kleinig is a trained dancer and acrobat — she performed in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics — who grew up in a car-obsessed family (her great-great-grandfather started the Australian Grand Prix and her dad was a professional driver for the army before she started racing cars in Australia). The two skills led to her landing gigs as Margot Robbie’s double in The Legend of Tarzan and Suicide Squad and Brie Larson’s double in Kong: Skull Island and Captain Marvel. “I used to be the black sheep of the family,” she says, “but now I’ve redeemed myself.”

Moneymaker started out as a gymnast but got introduced to stunt work by her sister, Heidi. “I was hooked,” she says. “I was like, ‘This is what I need to be doing.’ I fell in love with all of it, with the amount of people that are involved [in making a movie], the preparation and executing the stunts.” Along with Ant-Man and the Wasp, Moneymaker also has done stunt work for Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games and X-Men: Apocalypse.

Even though the three women were often working on different scenes, they formed a bond during preproduction training, practicing in front of a mirror by doing motions together in sync. And Lilly, whenever she could, kept a close eye on her doubles, giving her input on action scenes in “very long emails” to the producers and director (“I’ve seen the stunt videos you’ve mocked up, and I have a lot of notes”). Her biggest concern was that she wanted the action sequences to emphasize the femininity of The Wasp’s fighting style to show women don’t have to be “either the tomboy or the girly-girl. I consider myself the godmother of this character,” Lilly explains, “so I wanted to be on set anytime there was a stunt happening. I wanted to have eyes on it and have input.”

    

» Photoshoots > 2018 > THR (Austin Hargrave)
» Photoshoots > Behind The Scenes > 2018 – THR (Austin Hargrave)
» Photoshoots > Behind The Scenes > 2018 – THR Captures (Austin Hargrave)

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Filed Avengers: Endgame Movies

Avengers Trailer

Marvel Studios and Disney presented yesterday the first trailer of the fourth and last film of “Avengers” and also announced that the title of this awaited superhero tape will be “Avengers: Endgame”.
Unfortunately, Evangeline with her character from The Wasp can not be seen here. In the next trailer I hope we can see her!


This film, which will hit theaters on April 26, will be a continuation of “Avengers: Infinity War,” which premiered last April and grossed 2,047 million dollars worldwide to become the fourth highest-grossing film of the history.

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Filed Appearances

Ajyal Film Festival

This week, Evangeline attended the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha! She shared the news with us through this post on her instagram, where she wrote: “So lucky to be on the #redcarpet next to these two absolutely gorgeous people @alremaihia and @grendizer who run the @ajyalfilm festival where children come from all over the world to experience impeccable film making, and more importantly to witness and experience each other and each other’s cultures. I’m so honoured to be a part of this beautiful event and hope that in some small way my presence here could make the experience more exciting for some of the kids. I’m quickly learning that children’s film festivals are my favourite part of being an actor. Thank you @ajyalfilm for this opportunity. #forthekids #ajyal2018”.

The sixth Ajyal Film Festival, the annual cinema event hosted by Doha Film Institute (DFI) at Katara – the Cultural Village, continues to drive dialogue between international film talents and young filmmakers, with Ant-Man and the Wasp star Evangeline Lilly and Karim Ainouz, the director of Central Airport THF (Germany, France, Brazil/2018), among others, to interact with audiences and media.
A guest of honour at Ajyal Film Festival, Evangeline was down-to-earth and endearing to fans. Reflecting her own outlook towards life, she said: “I always try to demystify the idea of glamour and show the real person. We are all the same.”
Evangeline said that being friendly “helped me get jobs”. “Nobody likes a snob; directors and producer want someone they like to work with. Further, it helps me to create my characters because I meet and interact with so many people from different walks of life and cultures. There is nobody I wouldn’t say hello to. To be a good actor, you have to know people,” she said.
Evangeline revealed that she will appear in a new series soon without divulging more details. She said, “Television was an incredible commitment. But that said, there is a TV show on the horizon. The reason why I finally decided to go back to television is because I now have two children and the life of an actor is like the life of a gypsy, and very difficult on family. I was looking for some stability.”
Evangeline said the opportunity to interact with Ajyal jurors was incredible. “I love the opportunity to speak to kids and love answering their questions. But there is always a small part of me that is frustrated. Because more than answering their questions, I want to ask them questions, especially here because I know little of the Middle East. The most fascinating thing is how (the Ajyal Jurors) are into the film industry. I didn’t know there was a film industry in Qatar before I was invited to Qatar.”

    
» Appearances > 2018 > Nov 28 | Ajyal Film Festival Day 1
» Appearances > 2018 > Dec 01 | Ajyal Film Festival Day 2

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