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Nick Romano
April 25, 2017 AT 10:26 AM EDT

Becoming a superhero isn’t a decision one makes lightly. As stars like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. discussed at length, Marvel roles usually signify a longterm commitment cemented by multi-film contracts. So for Brie Larson, our resident Captain Marvel, it was a decision that took some soul searching.

“It took me a really long time. I had to sit with myself, think about my life and what I want out of it,” Larson told Vanity Fair in an interview for her cover story in the magazine’s May issue. The decision came with an added weight when the powers behind Marvel Studios said she couldn’t discuss the casting with anyone.

“Ultimately, I couldn’t deny the fact that this movie is everything I care about, everything that’s progressive and important and meaningful, and a symbol I wished I would’ve had growing up,” she continued. “I really, really feel like it’s worth it if it can bring understanding and confidence to young women — I’ll do it.”

Larson will portray Carol Danvers, an officer in the Air Force whose DNA is spliced together with that of the alien Kree race, granting her superhuman strength, flight, durability, and the power to fire energy blasts from her hands. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Mississippi Grindsnagged the coveted directing gig on Captain Marvel, which marks the first time a woman will headline her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“They’ve been very open to hearing my thoughts and my take on it, which has been great,” Larson said of the process with Marvel. “I think that’s why they cast me: I have a lot of similarities to this character and they want me to bring that into the movie.”

Captain Marvel is scheduled for theaters on March 8, 2019.

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