Randall Park talks returning to the MCU for WandaVision and perfecting his close-up magic
Most of WandaVision centers on Elizabeth Olsen's telekinetic sorceress and Paul Bettany's maroon synthezoid, but the fourth episode of the series reintroduced a few familiar faces from the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, the Disney+ show has largely focused on the strange goings-on within the sitcom-inspired town of Westview, but the latest episode took viewers outside Westview city limits, where people like S.W.O.R.D. agent Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and astrophysicist Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings, reprising her role from the Thor movies) are investigating.
They're joined by a familiar ally who's no stranger to the weird world of Marvel superheroes: Randall Park returned as FBI agent Jimmy Woo, who was tasked with overseeing Scott Lang's house arrest in 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp. (And, as he demonstrates to Monica, he's apparently spent the last few years taking a page from Scott's book and learning how to perform card tricks.)
EW spoke with Park about his return to the MCU and his newfound magic skills.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when Marvel told you they wanted to bring Jimmy back for WandaVision?
RANDALL PARK: Well, when they first said, "We want to bring Jimmy back," I was like, "I'm in. No questions asked. I don't care what it is." I'm gonna do it because I just love Marvel, and I had so much fun on Ant-Man and the Wasp. Then when they broke down the show, I was even more excited. I did not expect anything like this, so I was very thrilled to be a part of it. But [I was] also wondering a little bit how they would pull it off because it is such a big swing, you know? But they did it. It's just so incredible to watch.
How did they initially pitch this idea to you? Did they get into the whole sitcom concept?
Jac Schaeffer, the head writer, she broke down the whole show. On the wall of this conference room we were sitting in were these images of these sitcoms that I had grown up watching. I was just like, "How does this fit into it?" At first, I was just totally confused, and once she broke it down, I was like, I can't wait to actually see this.
So, I assume you had to start practicing your close-up magic.
Yes, I have. I've become a master at that one card trick. Just the one trick, but I am a master. If I had a card, I'd do it for you, but I don't. [Laughs]
What character development for Jimmy! What a journey!
I know, isn't it? You know he's been working hard.
Jimmy makes such a fun pair with Darcy Lewis, played by Kat Dennings. Tell me a little bit about working with her to investigate this mystery.
She's the best. It was just so fun to be paired up with her and Teyonah, just as a group to try to figure out what's going on in this town. But just as people, they're so kind and fun to work with, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Jac Schaeffer pointed out that one of the fun things about the show is that you and Kat Dennings obviously have a background in sitcoms.
It was so cool. And in particular because not only have I been in sitcoms, but I am a fan of these classic sitcoms. So to have grown up watching reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and all of these shows, it was just so cool to see it come alive on screen but in this really cool way. I literally sat in front of the TV for a good part of my childhood, watching these shows.
When you think back to joining Ant-Man and the Wasp, did you think at the time that was a one-time deal, or did you have any sense that you could potentially return to the Marvel universe down the line?
I genuinely thought it was a one-off. I was so amazed that I was in a Marvel movie and that I got to be funny in a Marvel movie. It was just such a fun time working with that whole gang. I was just for sure like, "This couldn't happen again," and I kind of left it at that. I didn't think I was going to come back. But when I got the call, like I said, it was like, "Yes. No question, I will be there."
After this episode, I saw a few people saying that now they want a spin-off show like The X-Files, where it's just Jimmy Woo, FBI agent, driving around the country and investigating Marvel phenomena. Is that something you would be open to?
I heard that! Of course! That would be so cool. Really, if they called me up for anything, I would do it just because I love the Marvel universe and also the people are so great. They're so talented and smart and really nice people. So any chance to work in the Marvel universe again, I'd take it in a heartbeat. But if it ended here, I'd be very thankful — especially being a part of this show.
Especially a show like this, which is so unlike anything Marvel's done before and so different from Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Exactly. It is very much a risk. You're really counting on the audience to be patient. Just the fact that it comes out every week, it really is different from all the bingeing we're used to. But I love it because it really gives the sense of this communal experience, where everyone's watching it around the same time, and they're talking about it around the same time. I'm not on social media, but my friends will shoot me links to some of the discussions and theories that people are coming up with, and it's so fascinating because the Marvel fans are just so engaged and so smart. They know the history of this stuff, so they're just coming up with these theories that are really fun to read.