Teyonah Parris interview: ‘WandaVision’
“I was beyond excited,” exclaims Teyonah Parris on the super powered evolution of her character in “WandaVision.” Monica Rambeau may not be a title character in the Disney+ limited series, but the story provides the fan favorite agent with a thrilling hero’s journey all her own. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Parris first discovered the trajectory of her character when taking a meeting at the Marvel offices. “They had pre-vis of Monica, but with my face,” recalls Parris of the storyboards that dotted the room. “I was so overwhelmed I broke into tears… I had to go take a lap around the office.”
“WandaVision” is ambitious in scope and demands plenty of its actors. Parris had to dive into the stylized sitcom world created by Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), but also had to sort through Monica’s trauma in the real world after being absent for her mother’s death (she was one of the many people “blipped” during “Avengers: Infinity War” when Thanos infamously snapped his fingers). Parris points out that shared grief is “the thing that allows Monica to lock in and become an ally” to a spiraling Wanda.
The many demands of the story often found the actress acting opposite green screens and without tangible set pieces. “My personal process for acting had to shift a bit,” Parris admits. She notes that she is used to performing in more naturalistic settings where “nothing is going to be a surprise in post.” With superheroes and androids running amok in “WandaVision,” she had to ask more questions about her surroundings to make certain she was bringing the right emotion and response to each situation. “I have to imagine differently and more specifically,” she explains.”
Though the “WandaVision” story is complete, like most things Marvel, Monica Rambeau will live on in future projects. Parris will return as the character in “The Marvels,” a sequel to “Captain Marvel” that will see Monica on screen alongside Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan. Parris is trying to take her journey with the Marvel Cinematic Universe one project at a time, but is excited for what’s to come. “I’m being very intentional and mindful of the opportunity that I have with this character. Her being a black woman in this universe,” says the performer, “to be able to be the representation that I longed for as a young girl.”