There’s a new girl in town and she is a badass! MCU’s Ghost may have been a man in the comics but Director Peyton Reed made no mistake when he decided to make the character female. In this Ant-Man and The Wasp Hannah John-Kamen Interview, the actress shares why she does her own stunts, what a professional Paul Rudd is to work with, and chest bumping with Evangeline Lily! Talk about girl power!
This elusive foe poses the biggest threat to Hank and Hope as they try to unravel the truth from their past, but when Scott joins in he, too, becomes a target. Her reasons are personal, and Hank’s newest piece of technology is at the heart of it all.
Ant-Man and The Wasp Hannah John-Kamen Interview
How does it feel to join like the Marvel family?
Oh, my goodness. It was amazing. I was so excited to join the Marvel Universe, but it was also daunting. It’s overwhelming. It’s a massive responsibility to, you know, take this amazing character off the comic book page and be the first person to introduce it into an incredible movie with incredible cast members, which, you know, they’re heroes in life. They are legends. So, yeah, it was amazing. Very exciting. (Giggles)
How’d you get involved with the project?
So, my agents called me and said, okay, this is a really cool character. It’s gonna be in the new Ant-Man and the Wasp movie. I’m a huge fan of the first one. I thought that Peyton Reed did such an incredible job. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. So, I was like, okay, yeah (Giggles). Okay, I’ll try. I’ll try. And then I did an audition on tape, ’cause I was filming in Toronto at the time. And then I got a call saying they’d love to bring you in for a camera test. And I was like, “Okay, that’s gonna be so exciting. I’m gonna fly to Atlanta and do this.”
And then I got there, and I thought, “Okay, Hannah, just keep cool. It’s gonna be really fun.” Then I got in there, and I met Peyton in person. And I had so much fun. I just had so much workshopping this character with Peyton for the day. And I could’ve let loose and really had fun with her. And I kinda came away, and I said, listen, if I don’t get this, that’s okay, because I had the best day ever. I don’t regret one minute of it. And, then I get a call saying, yeah, you got it (Giggles). And then I think I screamed and danced to Miley Cyrus. (Laughing)
In the comic books, Ghost is a male character. Did that come up at all during the auditions?
Well, actually it didn’t come up. It came up that you’re auditioning for this character, and I was like okay. So, when I kinda Googled, okay, Marvel Universe Ghost I saw that it’s originally a man. And I remember my agents then telling me, oh, yeah, it’s a man, and they’re going a whole different way. So to have a male character and be the first person to lift it off the page and give her life and make her a strong, badass woman is so important and progressive and onwards and upwards with that. We’ve got Wasp in the title. Yes, that was really fun. And also like with the character in the comic books, Ghost didn’t have a whole lot of backstory either. So, that was really great, because we really have the freedom to create this character and find out who she is. So, that was fun.
With all the fun that you had doing this character, what helps you channel your rage to be able to play her on screen?
It’s the words, you know. The scene. It’s the words. It’s my scene partner. The whole situation. It’s the stakes. The stakes are so high. And I think that’s what Peyton has done an amazing job of. He guides you so well. And with this film you’ve got that balance between romance, there’s a love story, fatherhood, parenthood, action, high-octane drama. He taps your funny bone. It’s hilarious. But then also it’s heartbreaking.
(Giggles) And you literally are, as an audience member, you’re kind of jumping between the two. It’s amazing. So to channel that absolute objective that my character has in the movie was continuity from beginning to end.
You have this moment with Laurence Fishburne where you guys kind of have this reconciliation. It looks like Ghost is turning this leaf and maybe heading more of a light place where she’s not quite as angry. She’s almost been healed a little bit. And is there something that we can look for her in the future, like maybe a different role in Avengers movie? (Laughing)
I think everyone’s redeemable. I really do. I think Marvel does that genius job with the villainous characters to really not make it black and white. They make it gray. They make it like you kinda feel sorry for them and kind of on their side. You kind of confuse yourself as an audience member and go, “Hold on a minute. Why am I rooting for this (Giggles) person?” I said I approached the character as if she’s the good guy. And, through my eyes, she’s the good guy. And through the protagonist side, yes, okay, like she’s the bad guy. But in my mind, no.
She’s got a job, and she’s got her objective. The stakes are really high. But in the Marvel Universe, anything’s possible (Giggles).
The special effects are once again fantastic with times you really don’t know until there’s a wide shot that the characters are small or normal size. Your character had a sphere. What’s it like just using the special effects in your imagination as you’re acting?
The imagination…yeah, you gotta have one (Giggles). It’s, an amazing process to basically do that. The fights and the green screen and everything. But I actually had that freedom to just play the scene, and I had the freedom to say, “Okay, now it’s the fight scene.” I do my own stunts. It’s like, all right, just do it and then they’ll do the rest later on. So, it didn’t restrict me as an actor to be like, okay, now I need to move like this and then move there and then move there for the camera. So, I was like, oh, wow, that’s impressive, and thank you.
You do your own stunts?
Well, I’ve been doing my own stunts in my career for a really long time. And I think it’s really important to do as much as you physically possibly can because the character is what you bring to it, it’s not just emotional. It’s also physically, especially in this Marvel Universe. We all have different powers. We all have styles of fighting. So it’s important for you to bring yourself and what the character is with the movements and the fighting.
And if there is any comedy in the fighting or if there’s a moment you wanna add. So, yeah, that was really, really fun. I love kicking ass. (Laughing)
The scene that you had with Evangeline Lilly in the van, how long did to prepare for that?
Whenever I do a fight scene, I always get this real adrenaline rush, like all right. (Laughing) Okay. Don’t come near me. It’s like do you want any water? I’m like nahhh. Do it again. (Laughing) I kind of get like a real high of kicking ass. But every fight scene takes time. It takes a long time because you’ve gotta be safe as well. You gotta, you know, really be safe. You gotta figure it out.
Also with restricted spaces as well, especially like a van, you’ve gotta make sure that you know what you’re doing. They do it in pieces as well. It’s not like you’re gonna jump over there and run over there, and we’re gonna do it all one. It’s like you kinda do it in sections as well to really nail that move and for that move to sell as well for the camera.
As a new strong female MCU character, what do you want the younger girls to come away from when they see you as Ghost?
I want them to come away and just basically go, yeah. Yeah! With Evangeline and me, I want young girls to go, yeah, we can, we can be badass. And I want them to have our action figurines and, and us and, and actually play with them and go — do you know what? I can be strong just as they are.
How cool was it to suit up in the Ghost suit?
I remember turning up on my first day. The suit does take up a bit of a process. It’s like 40 pieces. There’s like a table like this with all these pieces of gray bits just all being clipped together. Actually by the end of the movie we kind of had it down to I think under ten minutes, around seven minutes to get the costume on and off. Though it’s a three-man job. (Laughing) But putting that suit on and just the sheer size of the studio and going in and seeing the set and standing there and going holy high, I made it. Wow, okay, I’m here. Oh, my goodness. This is nuts. Oh, I’m, I’m pinching myself. Yeah, it’s definitely a moment that doesn’t sink in. But also you feel really badass. (Laughing).
Did you have any input with Ghost’s backstory at all?
Well, it was kind of definitely already set. Like this is who she is, but I think when you discover and, I suppose, massage the character in certain ways, then things adapt, and things change. So, the script did change and adapt, ’cause we’re all figuring it out and creating this character together. But definitely, it was set of who she was. But then definitely things did change along the way.
Given the fierceness of Ghost, how hard was it to stay in character working with Paul Rudd, who is obviously hilarious?
He is hilarious. Yeah, he was really fun, but also he’s very respectful. As actors, we respect each other’s scenes and the stakes in the scenes. We goof around when, when we goof around. But then we’re on, we’re on. So, it was really easy to work with Paul. It was so easy. I was nervous. I was star struck and, oh, my God, it’s, it’s, it’s Paul Rudd from Clueless (Laughing) who hasn’t aged, by the way. (Laughing) It’s crazy. I wanna know what he’s having.
You kind of have to put all of that out your mind and you just focus on the scene and the stakes and the objective of the scene. They’re such great scenes. They are written so well. It was, it was really an easy job to have that and to have amazing actors opposite you as well. And we respect each other but also have fun.
Did you get a chance to sit with Evangeline Lilly and go like, yeah, high five, we’re superheroes? We’re doing this.
Hell, yeah. We, we say girl power all the time. We’re like girl power. (Laughing) And then we like chest bump. So, that was awesome, yeah.
Ultimately, what do you hope the overall message for the audience to receive from Ant-Man and The Wasp?
I think the message is, for the film it has so much heart in it. That’s what I think separates it. I think that’s actually what’s needed after the devastation of Infinity War. I think you need to laugh. I think you really need to laugh a little bit. But, yeah, it’s definitely what Peyton Reed has done and can do is to do the action and hilarity of the movie but also, also have heart in it.
And also — you know, there is a beautiful love story in it. And the characters are redeemable, and there are two sides to the coin.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP in theaters now!