Emily VanCamp kicks ass, both literally and figuratively. Her sweet, girl next door demeanor and doe eyes are in no way an indication of her physical capability to keep up with the boys. More specifically, Marvel superheroes. But, she’s no stranger to physical stunts. Her role Emily Thorne on ABC’s Revenge prepared her for her MCU role as Sharon Carter/Agent 13.
“It’s just a lot of working out, really,” Emily said about getting in shape for her role. “I had already sort of done some training for Revenge so it was an easier segue into the films. But, you wanna go into these movies feeling really strong and feeling fit and I wanna be able to keep up.”
Emily said that training for Captain America: Civil War started as her show Revenge was ending, but still she was surprised at how much more work she had to do physically.
“I was fit doing Revenge but I was like ‘Oh, this is another level’. It’s fun; I love that stuff,” she said about her stunts. “I was a dancer so all that physical activity’s great and sort of helps with the sequences; ultimately it’s choreography. I hope to get to do more of it.”
“I think in these movies you just don’t wanna screw it up,” Emily told ups. “Everyone’s bringing their A game. It’s very rare that you go into a movie almost already knowing it’s going to be great and successful because just historically, they’ve been so successful. I was in Winter Soldier but not very much so it was – it’s always a little intimidating.”
“There’s that nervous factor before you go into it, but everyone’s so kind and generous and the Russo Brothers have always made me feel so comfortable. You just wanna do the best job you can,” she said.
Emily made her debut as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Carter/Agent 13 in Captain America: Winter Soldier, but in the new Captain America film, her character is much more in the forefront of the story and especially as part of Steve Rogers’ romantic interest. So, what does she think about being part of such a major franchise?
“It’s really cool,” Emily said, smiling. “Being a part of this universe is really a special thing especially with the movies that they’re making and how good they are. Everyone’s great and super talented and these movies could have been very sort of, surface level but what I love about Marvel is how they delve into the characters. They sort of give us the freedom, as well, to create a version of the character that hopefully the fans will like.”
In the MCU, Emily’s character, Sharon Carter, is the niece of legendary S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder, Peggy Carter. Peggy Carter, as you’ll remember, was also Steve Rogers’ first love. The lineage of the character alone makes for big shoes to fill, so we asked Emily how she liked playing such an iconic role, so meaningful for Captain America.
“What I love about Sharon is her moral compass,” Emily said. “I think she has a really strong moral compass and I think that’s what her and Steve initially sort of identify with each other. Ultimately in the comic books, you know, that’s led to a very complicated relationship, but there’s gotta be something that brings them together. Their love of Peggy, I think – there’s an initial trust there that maybe he doesn’t have with anyone else and maybe she doesn’t have with anyone else,” Emily said.
“[In this film] she’s battling her work and her loyalty to her work. She gonna follow her head and her heart, and we ultimately see what she does, but I think people can relate to that struggle.” – Emily VanCamp on her role as Sharon Carter/Agent 13
Emily VanCamp seemed to speak very intelligently on the history of the MCU and of the comics books, so we wondered which superhero was her favorite when she was growing up? Maybe she’s been a long-time Captain America fan, or perhaps there was a strong association with the women of Marvel.
“I was obsessed with the Ninja Turtles, I’m not gonna lie,” Emily laughed. “I was one four years in a row for Halloween and I was trying to figure out ‘Do they count as superheroes?” I don’t know but those are like — I mean that was my thing,” she said.
“Not even April?” I asked.
“I wanted to be the Ninja Turtle,” Emily said, shaking her head. “I think I was Donatello one year and then like Michelangelo like three years ‘cause I love pizza, I don’t know.”
If you’re a Marvel collector as I am, you’ll appreciate that Marvel hasn’t overlooked the women in the MCU, and even Agent 13 has her own bobblehead and other figurines. Just before our interview, we placed a Funko Pop Vinyl figure of Agent 13 on the table in front of where she would sit, as we had been doing with our interviews all morning.
“I was just noticing this,” Emily said, picking up the Funko doll. “I never actually saw it out of the box. It’s hilarious. I think she’s pretty cool. I mean that’s awesome. I gotta get one for my mom or something. That’s really cool.”
We addressed with Emily the moment in the film that becomes a turning point of the relationship between Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers. We certainly don’t want to give any spoilers, but come May 6th, you’ll know. And, you’ll smile, as we did.
“I didn’t even think I was allowed to talk about it, but I’m realizing everyone’s seen it so I guess I can talk about it,” she said, testing the room for confirmation that we, indeed, knew what happened. “It’s kind of refreshing to see Captain in a more intimate situation and, like I said they, you know they have chemistry. It’s just sort of — it was there even in The Winter’s Soldier, so it’s kind of nice to see it finally happen.”
Since Emily is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is shown as a very strong and moral female, we asked her what it’s like for her to know that she’s a role model for girls of all ages (even this girl!).
“I always hate it when I hear actors or musicians, or people in the public eye, say that they have no obligation to be any sort of role model. It’s not like you have an obligation, but you have a choice and why would you choose not to empower young women? Use yourself as a vehicle when you have a voice to inspire that. I don’t see why you wouldn’t,” she said emphatically.
“But I guess in terms of being a role model,” she said, “I think – I know – it’s not a responsibility, but it’s something that I feel connected to. I have three sisters. I have wonderful women in my life and I just want – I wanna see girls have the best opportunities they possibly can and if I can inspire that in the tiniest way I don’t see why I wouldn’t.”