Evangeline Lilly On Being Marvel's First Female Hero With Equal Billing

Evangeline Lilly knew she was taking on more than just a role when she agreed to play The Wasp in Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp. Her character is the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after all, to get equal billing with a man. 

She recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss how she chose to portray a character that she knew would have an impact on girls and women, and their perception of themselves. 

“I wanted her to have a signature style that little girls, like I was when I was a feminine, girly little girl, would be able to fall in love with," the actress says.

Lilly says she went a step further on-set, and fought to empower herself and her character Hope van Dyne, who easily could have come off as “school marm-ish.”

Lilly explains: “I think there is an unconscious message for little girls and women that when you challenge men in the midst of doing something juvenile or fun, then you're a heavy, a killjoy, a ball and chain. And all my life I grew up thinking, ‘I swear I won't be that way, I'll be cool, I'll be fun, I'm going to be the chick that can hang with the guys.’ And I really challenged myself on this film to shut out all of those critical voices, and the male pressures to conform and to really stand up and be a female voice in this world.”

She continues: “I think you often see female characters — especially in the superhero world — being super-serious characters, and the boys get to have all the fun. And I really felt heard, and I feel like when you see the movie, you're going to see that. And I think it's really fresh and really fun to see a woman who knows how to take a joke and roll with things, but also can get the job done.”