Kathryn Newton is the third actress to play Cassie Lang, the daughter of Scott Lang, the superhero everyone knows as antman. “But this is the first time that Cassie has had the opportunity to have an impact on history and the rest of the Marvel universe,” explained the actress during a virtual session after she filmed her, Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania, won the box office this past weekend. For the young interpreter, the impact of being in a project of Marvel Studios manifested itself in screen sharing with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeifferhaving captured industry attention in key roles in “Big Little Lies,” “Ben is Back,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” and “Freaky.”
During an exclusive aside with The new day, Newton discussed the lessons he learned from Paul Rudd and why bringing the quantum dimension of film to life has been his most memorable on-camera experience.
Is there some sort of initiation when you join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
KN-No, actually there isn’t. For me to join this universe required pretending like I knew what I was doing. And I tried to go unnoticed. It worked for a bit at first, until I opened my mouth to try and crack two or three jokes. And Paul Rudd looked at me and said, “I see you clearly. That is the energy you have to bring to the process. You have to do that every time.” He always supported me to try different things during this filming. And I suppose that’s why my nerves never got the best of me. The reality is that before filming I focused on training and preparing myself as much as I could. But when I got there for rehearsals and got a scene with the whole main cast, I definitely got nervous. I get to share space with Michelle Pfeiffer and scenes with Jonathan Majors, who clearly knows what he’s doing. At times like these, I thought that maybe they had made a mistake in giving me this role. But that took away from me once we started filming. I felt included and supported by all of them.
In the press conferences for the film, you commented that your character is influenced by being surrounded by superheroes in everything she does. Have you noticed if you now carry the influence of having worked with legends like Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer?
KN- I think every project I’ve done has given me what I need to get to the next opportunity in my acting career. To be able to learn the discipline that it requires and the energy that must be had to face the hours in a filming. Learn how important it is to be prepared before stepping on a set. I have taken a bit of all my professional experiences. to work with Reese Witherspon, Frances McDormand or Julia Roberts. From this experience I now had in a Marvel movie, the most I take away is how important it is to help your peers express their talent so they can shine. If they shine, you shine. It is a teamwork. Paul Rudd is the captain of that team and he makes sure everyone gets a chance to shine. That is something that does not always happen. But that’s part of his personality. That is something I will always carry with me.
The idealism your character has in this film creates an interesting conflict with the way his father has come to terms with being a superhero. Can you identify with both sides of that dynamic?
KN- She really idealizes what it is to be a hero. I don’t think she really understands the responsibilities that go with it. And that’s what fuels her father’s fear of her. He doesn’t want her to get hurt from her. And she doesn’t understand that because she is focused on wanting to help others and not thinking about what she needs. That’s a very nice thing, but when you mix it with the inexperience of someone very young and being impatient because you want instant gratification, that’s going to lead to a lot of problems. But that’s what I like most about Cassie Lang, her impatience and her big heart. It is a very interesting and fun combination to interpret.
Being a part of the Marvel universe usually requires a long-term commitment. Are you excited about playing this character in another stage of his life?
KN- I hope to have the opportunity. And it’s something that excites me a lot, but I know that no matter what I do, nothing is going to compare to the wonderful experience that I had on this film. I really can’t imagine it can get better than this.