We were first introduced to Emily VanCamp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Agent Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). We saw her again in Captain America: Civil War (2016) where she stuck her neck out for Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), and then never again. Until now in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
In Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier—a miniseries on Disney+ starring Anthony Mackie (as the Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (as Bucky Barnes) that takes place after Avengers: Endgame (2019)—the Sharon Carter we see is no longer the bright-eyed, can-do agent we know. Now living in exile in the crime-infested island nation of Madripoor, VanCamp’s character is a lot darker, angrier and rougher around the edges—as one would, after being outcast for trying to do the right thing.
We caught up with the Canadian actress over Zoom to find out how she navigated playing this new side of Sharon, her thoughts on being back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), how she prepared for it and more.
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Tell us about Agent Sharon Carter 2.0.
There’s a lot of things that’s different about Sharon—she’s rougher around the edges and a little angry—which was what excited me about coming back to play her, especially since we first saw her as this wide-eyed agent in the initial film. So it makes sense to me that she became someone totally different now that we’re reintroducing her back in the MCU. If you look at it from her perspective, she has been wrong, wasn’t pardoned and has been on the run this whole time. Because of that, we see her finally taking matters into her own hands, which I think will be exciting for fans of the films to watch. She’s a character that I’ve always loved playing, and it’s very cool to explore this different version of her.
What went through your mind when you first read the script?
I remember speaking to everyone about it initially, before anything was even written, about this new concept of Sharon—it was very intriguing to me. I personally love this new version of her, and because I love playing the character, I sort of wondered where she went, and what she had to do this whole time. That’s something the MCU never specifically elaborated on, but we get the feeling that it hasn’t been easy. She sacrificed so much for the Avengers but for what? I think that’s the general sentiment when we meet her again, and I was very pleased about this new edge that she had because it was earned, in a way. She has the right to feel how she feels in this series. And I think anything different wouldn’t have made a lot of sense.
How did you prepare for the role?
I think that the biggest conversation [we had behind the scenes] was: ‘Where has she been and how do we approach the fact that we haven’t seen her in so long?’. And that’s where this whole new version of Sharon was born. These conversations happened with everybody, specifically with Kari Skogland (the director) because we wanted to have all those elements of Sharon’s character while adding the swagger and this sort of rough-and-tough kind of persona. It was a balancing act because we didn’t want to completely abandon who Sharon was. Kari and I discussed everything down to the character—her walk, fight style, and just trying to add to who Sharon was then.
Also, I was filming both The Resident and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier at the same time, so every moment I had off I would fit in as many fight training sessions as I possibly could. Marvel gave me all the tools and set me up with the best teams in the world to train with. Jess Durham—my stunt double—and I worked at length together to come up with these [fight] choreographies and figure what Sharon’s fighting style looks like, compared to when she was an agent with technical training. We ended up with a scrappy street style that Sharon would have probably developed while in Madripoor.
It was a lot of fun, a lot of training and a lot of bruises to cover up. But once we figured out the fight style and learned the sequences, it was really fun. It was extremely challenging, especially since I was working on two projects at the same time, but I knew that going into it and I loved it.
What was it like working with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan on set?
It’s always such a pleasure to work with those guys. They’re so funny—as you can see on the show—and they bring all of that dynamic to the screen as well. It’s a lot of night shoots where we’re running around and fighting around shipyards and things like that. So it’s nice to have that levity and fun.
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Did you audition for any other Marvel characters?
No, I only auditioned for one and didn’t actually know it was for Sharon Carter at the time. They [the show’s creators] were very secretive about who we were all meeting for. But I had an idea [that it was her] after a little bit of research. I also remember mentioning it to the Russo brothers and they kind of winked and nodded.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available on Disney+ Singapore.