Faith D’Isa ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Marketing Officer
In Captain America: Civil War, there’s certainly a crowd of characters splitting the audience’s attention—from newcomers Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman as Spider-Man and Black Panther, respectively, to returners like Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and the titular hero, portrayed by Chris Evans. One of those returners, Sharon Carter, portrayed by Emily VanCamp, is a bit of both; we met her character in the form of Agent 13 in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, besides being a good moral compass, an insomniac aunt and a fierce fighter, we didn’t learn too much about her. Sharon Carter returns in Captain America: Civil War, and Emertainment Monthly got the chance to chat with her in a conference call interview to get the scoop on learning more about the former SHIELD agent.
With a history in television as a self-described “small-town girl from Fort Berry, Ontario” breaking into a big screen role, especially in a grand scale like the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, was a big change for Ms. VanCamp. But she affirmed that having a television history only benefitted her; “I always say that having a TV background is amazing, because you move so fast and you really have to be quick on your toes, which kind of prepares you for anything that’s thrown at you…and because I had that TV background, it makes it a lot easier to sort of learn quickly and get it done.”
She talked about the difference in playing the character between the second and third Captain America films, saying that in this one, because we’re aware of her being Sharon Carter, she can be much more “genuine” to the character and delve a bit more into the relationships she had. “Her openly being Sharon Carter, Cap knowing she’s Sharon Carter, it kind of allowed us to delve into their relationship a little bit more and really dig into where her loyalties are. It’s just really fun to play, now that it’s not hidden, who she is, it can kinda just go there with her.” Not to mention the loaded cast, some of whom she’d only met day of the interview.
Emertainment Monthly asked what VanCamp can tell us about Sharon’s motivations to take the side she does. Emily went on to discuss how we meet Sharon at the start of the film; having been hired by the CIA at the end of The Winter Soldier, “she’s working in Berlin, the Joint Terror Taskforce. And we meet her at Peggy’s funeral and that’s where Steve finds out sort of who she really is, because it was never mentioned in The Winter Soldier. And that’s sort of the beginning of when the whole Accords thing is happening. So she sort of finds herself a little bit between a rock and a hard place in terms of her loyalty to Cap. But, obviously, he’s rebelling against the Accords, and she’s just sort of trying to help him and continue to sort of keep her job. Because you know, obviously she’s feeding him information that she’s obviously not allowed to be feeding him. And you really get a sense of her loyalty to him, which I think is interesting, and something that I loved about their relationship in the comic books. So, that’s kind of where we find her.”
Steve goes on to discover in this film that Sharon is the niece of Peggy, his love interested and often mentioned Agent of SHIELD–which leads to a very specific sense of loyalty throughout the film that reads very well. Sharon was clearly raised with a certain sense of respect for Steve and, as Emily went on to say, “There’s just an inevitable, immediate trust between them. And we really explore that throughout this film, and we see that the stakes are high for her because, her job is at stake if she’s helping Cap. That’s the bottom-line….”
This all clearly builds from the comic book relationship, in which Steve and Sharon were, until fairly recently, in a relationship. Emily mentioned that she, like many working for Marvel Studios, received what she called “a bible” with everything comic that Sharon had ever been in–despite not having previously been a fan, she did a ton of research. “…it’s fun to kind of take elements of all of the different stories and really piece together a character that hopefully the fans enjoy.” VanCamp said. “And it’s a really interesting process, because you don’t always have that kind of information readily available when you’re researching for a part, so it makes it a really cool process.”
Sharon is one of three main female characters in the film, joining Avengers Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). With this film, Marvel’s been making a solid effort into marketing towards young women, specifically in the STEM fields. Ms. VanCamp and Ms. Olsen were introducing the competition for young women called the Captain America: Civil War Challenge–upon being complimented on the program, she spoke about how Marvel is working to move in the right direction to inspire young girls.
Off screen, the cast has been doing a lot of fun and creative press, primarily focused on the topic of “choosing sides” with the Civil War theme. It’s no surprise that Emily, with her love of Sharon and Captain America, says she’d also be Team Cap like her character. “It’s tough, though, because to have superheroes running around, without any sort of monitoring, it does seem wild and crazy. But I really see both sides.
It’s kind of hard to, even watching the movie, it’s hard to see the Avengers going at each other. But you really do see the right and wrong of both sides. It’s a tough one, but just because of my attachment to the character I’d probably go Team Cap.”
She was also asked about which three Avengers she’d take to a party if she could–to which she said Falcon, “He could take you on rides, which would be really fun. Like, fly you around and stuff”, Thor, so she could go to Asgard, and Scarlet Witch because she really likes Lizzie Olsen–not to mention Scarlet Witch’s powers being able to keep away annoying people.
The film is set up to be one of Marvel’s biggest successes, with much of the cast suggesting exactly what Emily went on to say, that “each movie gets better and better.” She also went on to praise the directors, Joe and Anthony Russo saying, “The Russo Brothers did an extraordinary job with it, so not to put down any of the other films, which are amazing, but I just feel like this is kind of the biggest one they have done yet. And that’s kind of what Marvel does. They never, never disappoint. So, hopefully everyone loves it as much as I did…So honestly it’s a huge bonus, and they’re great guys and really fun to work with, so it’s like a win-win all the way around.”
“I mean, this is my second time working with the brothers. I worked with brothers on Carriers as well — honestly, I think it’s an amazing way to work. I mean, they obviously are brothers so they have a tremendous rapport. But with a movie of this scale, it kind of is amazing to have two people that, one person can be focusing on one thing, one person can be focusing on the other.”
So what comes next for Emily VanCamp? “Well I’m always excited for all of their (Marvel’s) films, to be honest. Whether or not I’m a part of them, you just don’t know until they’re sort of written, I guess, so I mean I think it would be amazing to continue in the universe, but even if I don’t, I’ll certainly continue watching because as I said, the movies just keep getting better and better.”