Overnight stardom is a very difficult thing to come by in Hollywood, and most actors spend years struggling in low profile movies and TV shows to slowly work their way up the ladder before landing a breakout role that provides an avenue for a much greater wave of opportunities.
That being said, the comic book genre has turned plenty of relative unknowns into big names in short order, mostly due to a well-known brand and popular character initially being more important in the grand scheme of things than the person under the costume, as the likes of Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth will surely attest to.
Brie Larson might be an Academy Award-winning actress and the star of a billion-dollar box office hit at the age of just 30, but she hasn’t been shy in admitting that she unsuccessfully auditioned for a number of major franchises before Room brought her mainstream attention and Captain Marvel turned her into a household name.
Along with the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Terminator Genisys and The Hunger Games, Larson has also revealed that she auditioned for unspecified parts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man 2 and Thor, years before she ended up joining the superhero series as one of its marquee names.
“I remember getting a call and they said, ‘Marvel is interested in you playing Captain Marvel’, and I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t do that, I have too much anxiety, that’s too much for me, I don’t think I can handle that, so tell them no’. And my team was like, ‘OK, for sure’. I think a couple months later, they called and were like, ‘They called again, are you sure?’. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m too much of an introvert, that’s way too big of a thing for me’. It was beyond my comprehension. And then they called a third time and were like, ‘Are you sure?’. So, the point is, every time I was like, ‘Tell them no’, and thought my team was telling them no, they were not. Cause I think they were like, ‘She would be great at this’. I had a meeting with them, they had a pitch, and they had a mock-up of the costume, and I was very moved by what they were trying to achieve, what they were talking about, and it felt very progressive, I was very surprised by the way that they were talking about feminism, they were like, ‘All female writers, female director, we’re gonna have as many female voices in this as possible’.”
The Free Fire star admits that she twice turned down Marvel’s offer to read for Carol Danvers before the studio’s vision for Captain Marvel eventually convinced her to change her mind, and now she’s set to become one of the MCU’s most important figures for the foreseeable future.
Brie Larson would have only been 20 when Iron Man 2 was released and 21 by the time Thor arrived in theaters, so she might have been in the running for the unnamed role played by Kate Mara in the former and Darcy in the latter. Either way, her early failures eventually worked out pretty well in the end.