Brie Larson Shares How She Makes Herself Cry While Filming

We’re getting more information about how Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, deals with bringing on the tears in the midst of a movie performance.

In a podcast the actor shares with Jessie Ennis, called Learning Lots, the pair discuss “flow states” or the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, also known as “being in the zone.”

Larson explained that over the years, she’s had to employ new techniques to get the waterworks started.

“When I had to do a crying scene, I used to always think about bad things, sad things. And that would be part of how I would connect,” Larson said. “And recently, I learned, oh wait, I can actually just think about gratitude and that can bring me to tears and I don’t have to inflict more trauma on myself. And it felt really scary to take that leap to say, can I still perform at this high level without beating myself up and without abuse?”

The podcast also featured two-time Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez, who commiserated with the experience of being too hard on herself in her training.

Later on in the podcast, Larson explained how she likes having lots of people around during a performance. She poo-pooed some actors’ sensitivity to someone being in their eyeline and other forms of “preciousness.”

“I want everyone to just mill about as normal,” she said. “In particular, if I’m doing something emotional, I like having the people around because in this new way of doing it where I think of gratitude, I look at people. I look at the people on set and I’m like, wow thank you for being here, in my head.”

Larson will return as Captain Marvel for the next installment in the superhero franchise, with 2022’s The Marvels.