In EW’s Around the Table, the cast of the superhero sequel open up about fight scenes, hoverboards, and how to ride a dragon.
Zachary Levi in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'

Even living legends can occasionally freak out about trying new things.

Helen Mirren built her career playing Shakespearean heroines, steely detectives, and all sorts of regal queens. (She's also played her fair share of assassins, and she even got behind the wheel for the Fast & Furious series.) But with the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the 77-year-old dame tries her hand at a new genre, suiting up for her first-ever superhero movie.

Before Shazam! hits theaters March 17, EW gathered the cast for our Around the Table video series, where Mirren opened up about feeling "nervous" to join the genre. Mirren stars as Hespera, one of the film's villains and a member of the mythic Daughters of Atlas. (Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler play her equally powerful sisters.) The actress says that when she arrived on set, she didn't know what to expect from filming her first scene, a standoff between Hespera and Zachary Levi's titular hero.

"It's this sort of serious conversation across a table," Mirren explains. "That was my newbie first experience, so I was incredibly nervous doing that scene. I was so frightened!"

"You didn't seem nervous at all!" a surprised Levi replies. "I was s---ting my pants."

"Oh, was that what that smell was?" Liu jokes. "I was downwind."

Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Zachary Levi and Helen Mirren in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'
| Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Fury of the Gods picks up after the original 2019 Shazam!, which follows teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as he develops superpowers that allow him to transform into Levi. Levi, Angel, Liu, Zegler, Mirren, and Jack Dylan Grazer sat down with EW to talk about the sequel, breaking down the film's over-the-top fight scenes and how they goofed off on set. (In between takes, Levi would roll around set blasting music on his hoverboard, and at one point, he even taught Mirren to ride.)

The sequel also upped the ante for the action: Mirren jokes that a scene where she crushes Levi in concrete was completely real, with "no stunt people at all." Also, Liu opened up about channeling her inner Khaleesi: In one scene, her character Kalypso terrorizes the city of Philadelphia on a dragon, which required the actress to film elaborate sequences on the back of a motorized saddle.

"The secret to riding a dragon is to just go with it," the actress says with a laugh. "It's like when a horse canters. You just sit back and let it take you. The same thing goes with a dragon — except they can be a little bit more spiky."

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is in theaters Friday. Watch the full Around the Table above.

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Zachary Levi in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'
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