Actors Reveal Character Details from THE AVENGERS

     September 29, 2011

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Because it’s more fun to reveal everything piece-meal, EW.com has released yet another Avengers story after the very bad magazine cover they unveiled this morning, and the much better set photos and character images this afternoon. This time we get a lot of substance, as the principal actors from director Joss Whedon’s all-star superhero movie sat down to talk about their characters. They actually divulge some great little tidbits about where we find their characters at the beginning of the film, and we get a good sense of the dynamic of the group. Speaking about his first meeting with Whedon, Robert Downey Jr. said he told Whedon that Iron Man had to be in the opening scene:

“I said, ‘I need to be in the opening sequence. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but Tony needs to drive this thing.’ He was like, ‘Okay, let’s try that.’ We tried it and it didn’t work, because this is a different sort of thing, the story and the idea and the theme is the theme, and everybody is just an arm of the octopus. But what was I like? As usual, just fucking aggressive and hurtful; whatever. The usual.”

Hit the jump for much, much more from Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner.

So we can glean from Downey Jr.’s comments that there won’t necessarily be a central “star” of the film, though this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. However, Chris Hemsworth revealed in the interview with EW that Thor is approaching the central conflict a bit differently than the other team members, on account of the fact that the villain is, you know, his brother:

“I think [Thor’s] motivation is much more of a personal one, in the sense that it’s his brother that is stirring things up. Whereas everyone else, it’s some bad guy who they’ve gotta take down. It’s a different approach for me, or for Thor. He’s constantly having to battle the greater good and what he should do vs. … it’s his little brother there.”

That should certainly make for some intense exchanges between Thor and Loki. This is very good news, as some of the best scenes in Thor were those in which Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston went on the verbal attack.

Chris Evans revealed that the Captain America seen in The Avengers will be much more dark and cynical than the one seen in Captain America: The First Avenger:

“He was a soldier, obviously, everybody he went to battle with, all of his brothers in arms, they’re all dead. He’s just lonely. I think in the beginning it’s a fish out of water scene, and it’s tough. It’s a tough pill for him to swallow. Then comes trying to find a balance with the modern world.”

It’s nice to know that Cap’s frozen slumber won’t simply be glossed over in order to get the main story arc going. The one actor we haven’t seen portray his character onscreen yet is Mark Ruffalo, who’s taking on The Hulk. The actor revealed that his character is treated as an outcast by The Avengers because of his penchant for sudden (and lethal) rage outbursts. Don’t feel too bad for the gentle giant though, because Banner finds a confidant in, naturally, Tony Stark:

“No one wants to set him off except for Iron Man, except for Downey, who just wants to see him pop. It’s funny, there’s a really cool dynamic between Tony Stark and Banner. Banner actually enjoys it, and finds it really refreshing. They’re a lot alike in a strange way. They’re both these kind of scientists who are mavericks, kind of renegades. Banner, for all his mild-mannered mythology, he’s still the dude who was testing some pretty crazy shit on himself, so he has that rebel streak in him.”

Last but not least are the two humans in the group, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. Johansson stated that she had some hesitation while filming the big reveal shot of the team, because everyone has their signature weapons and Black Widow was standing there with two guns. When she turned to Whedon for reassurance, the director said, “She’s a total badass. She’s a killing machine.” Well alright then.

Black Widow and Hawkeye are natural buddies, given their human status. Renner said that his character’s emotional tie is to Johansson, saying ““The only sort of thing I cling to is the relationship of past experiences with Scarlett’s character, with them both being human. I can cling to that.” While only briefly seen in Thor, Renner’s Hawkeye is much more crucial to the group than some may suspect. Renner revealed that he’s the only one who has the power to subdue Hulk:

“He’s the only one who can really take down The Hulk with his tranq tip arrows. He knows his limitations. But when it comes down to it, there has to be a sense of confidence in any superhero.”

Hmm, so does that mean Ruffalo’s Hulk becomes an antagonist during the course of the film? Or is Hawkeye simply the one that has to bring Hulk down when he gets all pissy and loses his clothes? We’ll find out for certain when The Avengers opens in 3D on May 4th.

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