Emily VanCamp teases the mystery of Sharon Carter on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Warning: Spoilers from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 1, episode 3 are discussed in this article.
There's more to Sharon Carter than meets the eye. A lot more.
Emily VanCamp returned to her Captain America movie role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's third episode, which revealed the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has been living under the radar in Madripoor after she was forced to go on the run from the U.S. government in Civil War for illegally aiding Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).
She's since made a life for herself in this neon-soaked city filled with all manner of criminals, which formed her new outlook. As VanCamp tells EW, she's no longer the "young and idealistic" agent who "committed her whole life to the cause and the government." She now believes "the whole superhero thing is a joke." But that may not be all she believes.
After first saving Sam, Bucky, and Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) from getting their heads blown off and then later assisting in their search for Dr. Nagel, who's been secretly replicating the super-soldier serum, Sharon gets picked up in a car — a fairly nice-looking one at that. She tells her bodyguard, "We've got a big problem," seemingly referring to Zemo shooting and killing Dr. Nagel. Is Sharon secretly working for the elusive Power Broker, the mysterious antagonist fueling the Flag-Smashers' mission? Is she the Power Broker?
"We could interpret that in so many different ways," VanCamp says. "There's still three episodes left so hopefully those questions will be answered. There's still lots of characters to come in and out. The problem could be many things."
VanCamp spoke with EW after the premiere of episode 3 to talk about Sharon's new life in Madripoor, crafting her character's unique combat style with the stunt choreographers, and Brühl's unique dance moves.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This feels like a very different version of Sharon Carter. Did this feel like it was a completely different character for you in some ways?
EMILY VANCAMP: In some ways, yeah it is, but I think that was necessary. To bring her back as the same person she was in the films wouldn't make any sense. When they told me what they had in mind for Sharon, I was delighted that it was something very different and we were actually going to address where she's been, what she's been up to, how she's been surviving, and just answer some of those questions. We don't answer all of them but some of them, for sure.
Was there anything specific that helped orient you around who Sharon is now?
She says it best in episode 3 that the superhero thing is a joke. That would never be something that Sharon would say when she was young and idealistic and this agent [who] committed her whole life to the cause and the government. She's from this bloodline of agents, so for her to say that is very indicative of where she's at mentally. She's still out there kicking butt and doing her thing. It's just her whole perspective and priorities have shifted because they've had to. She's been on the run and trying to survive in this lawless land for this crazy amount of time. It's understandable the resentment, anger, and frustration that she has when you meet up with her in Madripoor.
Did the changes to Sharon's character affect your approach to her?
Absolutely. I think it changed everything from the way she walks to the way she fights to the way she communicates. She's all grown up and has a chip on her shoulder. She takes all that quite seriously, everything that happened to her. at this point in time, it's about getting that pardon that she's been wanting this whole time. It was great to talk to [director] Kari [Skogland] a lot of about that and just try to implement that in everything that we did.
It really seems like the government did her dirty.
They did her dirty. It's true. I wouldn't have said it, but since you did. Yeah, the government left her behind. She's such a loyal agent. Even though she's thriving in this environment, it's still not where she would want to be, and not how you treat a loyal agent. She's become anti-establishment in that sense and stopped believing in all of the things she put her faith in.
When I think of Sharon Carter, I can't help but think of Peggy and all the morals and ethics she instilled in Sharon. Where Sharon is at this point, has she left a lot of that behind?
I think it doesn't just go away, but I think she's cynical and jaded enough that a lot of that has been very repressed within her. I think she's left a lot of that behind. She's probably had to make some very difficult decisions and do some things she didn't want to do. You see her in that ship yard! There's no holding back. Unfortunately, the sad thing in Sharon's story is that idealistic young girl in many ways is gone.
At the end of episode 3, Sharon gets in a car. She's telling her bodyguard, "We've got a bigger problem." What are we to make of this?
I don't want to say what, but obviously there are so many things. We could interpret that in so many different ways. There's still three episodes left so hopefully those questions will be answered. There's still lots of characters to come in and out. The problem could be many things.
Here's something you can hopefully talk about: Your big fight sequence. You mentioned earlier that this was your first time getting to develop Sharon's unique combat style with choreographers. Now that we know a lot more about Sharon, are there specific elements from her backstory that was most informative in the way that she fights?
It was a very big discussion. What does Sharon's fight style look like in this world of Madripoor? Because we had to be sure to remind everyone that she has this technical background. She was a trained agent. In the comic books, that's her specialty. We struggled a little bit for a while with what weapons she's using. That shipyard scene was very unique. Does she come armed? What is that? We ultimately landed on she's using whatever she can find. That made it a little bit more brutal and gritty and interesting looking. It definitely made for some interesting fight sequences to learn. The training was very rigorous. She doesn't have any superpowers, so it really is down to the choreography. The stunt team is ridiculously amazing and helpful, and they spent all the time in the world with me. Every bit of free time I had I was there with them, and they were so gracious with their time. We just wanted to make it look as real and raw as possible, and the only way to do that was put the time in.
Well, I think you succeeded.
Definitely did not come out totally unscathed. So, it was worth it. That makes me happy to hear. There were a lot of cuts and bruises and scrapes, but that's part of the fun.
I just spoke with Daniel earlier and he mentioned there's a longer version out there of him just fist-pumping in the club. What do you remember from that day on set?
That day was insane. I think we had, for that whole dance sequence in that club, it was a very, very insanely quick, fast-paced day. But, oddly, they got a lot of great shots from my recollection of the boys dancing individually. Whoever has that footage should hold onto it closely. I remember there was a lot of dancing here. It was so funny and the boys are so hilarious. And Daniel's the best. I just love him.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres new episodes every Friday on Disney+.
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