Film

From Godzilla to The Avengers

It’s a good thing Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen have a good rapport together. After finishing filming Godzilla, the British actor and his American co-star went straight into shooting the new Avengers film – the hush-hush follow-up to the third biggest movie of all time. 

It’s not often that a pair of actors go from one blockbuster remake to an even bigger blockbuster sequel together. “I mean it was such a funny coincidence,” said Olsen, talking about the movie at a hotel in New York ahead of the film’s release. “We had just finished Godzilla and then we were the two people approached for Avengers. It was kind of random. But we were like, ‘That sounds awesome. Lets do it again.’ ”

The two, who have a great chemistry together both onscreen and off, had to go from playing husband and wife to superhero siblings. But Olsen says, being together for Godzilla helped lay the groundwork: “We felt like brother and sister making [Godzilla]. You end up becoming really comfortable and you get to know each other, and it’s a playful work relationship. You feel like brother and sister so when you get to work with each other again you’ve already established that familiarity and then you don’t have to do those beginning steps again.”

“We felt like brother and sister making [Godzilla]. You end up becoming really comfortable and you get to know each other, and it’s a playful work relationship. You feel like brother and sister so when you get to work with each other again you’ve already established that familiarity and then you don’t have to do those beginning steps again.”

As anticipation around Avengers: The Age of Ultron, which only releases in May next year, grows, both Olsen and Taylor-Johnson can expect their profiles to increase. Pics of the two playing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, also known as Wanda and Pietro Maximof, on set in Italy have been circulating, and it’s driving more interest in them. Olsen has set herself a part from her famous sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley by starring in indie movies, while Taylor-Johnson knows what it’s like to play a comic book character, having been the lead in the Kick-Ass films. 

But Avengers is a whole new level for the actors, and Taylor-Johnson, who is married to British director Sam Taylor-Wood, says having someone like Olsen by his side has made it easier. “She is fantastic in Godzilla and it made it more important that the next film we do really had to come away from the look we had in this.” Olsen says working on Avengers really cemented their friendship. “I got to know his family, and we spent a lot of time together, so to play a really tight brother and sister, it worked well. I like that we have this other film in our repertoire.”

In Godzilla, a re-make of the 1954 cult classic, Olsen plays the wife of Taylor-Johnson’s Navy lieutenant who gets roped in to help stop end-of-the-world chaos and destruction. 

“We respected the 1954 original,” says Olsen. “The preparation for this, largely, was just making sure the family wasn’t too stereotyped, but broad enough to reach a wide audience. Aaron and I wanted to create a relationship you, as the audience, could get behind. With Avengers, I’m the first human interpretation of the Scarlet Witch so you want to be able to honour what’s already there and bring your own dimension to it.” With Taylor-Johnson by her side, that dimension has double the power. 

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