Brie Larson‘s role as Captain Marvel did more than introduce her to the Marvel Universe.
The 29-year-old actress opened up to PEOPLE about how important the role was at the Los Angeles premiere of Captain Marvel on Monday.
“I don’t know if I’m just tired but I feel like I’m going to cry. It’s been a couple of years of working on this movie,” Larson said. “Carol [Danvers, her character] changed my life and the movie hasn’t even come out yet.”
As for how playing a former airforce pilot changed her, Larson said, “Just, in particular, getting strong, learning how to stand my ground, own myself, and value my voice. Those are things that I learned from her.”
She added, “I’ve been very open about the fact I’m an introvert, I have asthma and I was able to push myself further than I thought possible. I’m excited to share her with the world.”
To prepare for Captain Marvel’s extensive fight scenes, the actress trained with members of the airforce.
“It was a game changer for me because I’d read the comics, and Carol’s fierceness and her wit, and also — despite her being cocky — her humbleness too,” Larson said. “All, I thought, [were part of her] and then when I went to the airforce [and] I realized that’s the spirit of the airforce inside of her.”
In February, Larson said she got “really beefy” while working out for the role.
“This is like, a new thing. I was a, ‘Can you open this water for me?’ person,” Larson told Ellen DeGeneres. “And then a year ago I just got really beefy. I trained for 9 months and then was able to do crazy things. I could deadlift 225 pounds by the end of it.”
Larson said she trained with Jason Walsh, who is known for getting A-List actors in shape for high-profile movies. And their training was so intense that she accomplished an incredible feat a couple of months in.
“The ongoing joke with him, because Captain Marvel can move planets, so I was like, I just want to be able to push your car,” Larson explained. “If I could push your jeep, then I’ll feel like I was ready. So it happened. There was a day where I did it.”
DeGeneres then shared a video of the actress pushing a black jeep up a hill.
“It’s got a full tank of gas too, just for the record. And there’s a person in it,” Larson said.
Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8.