Ant-Man and the Wasp is the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finally found his comfort zone as Ant-Man in the first movie, and now he’s coming to grips with how to balance his superhero life with his “normal” life. Presented with a new mission to dig into his past, this time around he’s joined by Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) on his microscopic adventures.
Ant-Man and the Wasp introduces the film’s antagonist, Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, who appears in the movie’s trailer twice —once in full costume and once as a blurry phasing effect.
The 28-year-old British actress’s character, Ghost (also named Ava), is a gender-flipped version of the Marvel Comics character.
Global News sat down with John-Kamen to talk about her experience playing a new villain in the Marvel world.
Global News: How would you describe your character?
Hannah John-Kamen: She’s a very mysterious character and I approach the character as ‘she’s not the villain.’ I approached her as she’s actually the good guy and everyone else is bad. In the movie, with her journey there’s a very clear goal of what she wants. There’s an objective and she’s going to fight tooth and nail to get it. She is the threat to our heroes in the movie but she’s a very interesting character. I can’t wait for the audience to have their own take on her.
How did you feel taking on this character of Ghost? Because in the comics, it’s a male character. Did you feel empowered and really proud that in the film it’s a female character?
HJK: I did feel really proud. It’s a very daunting process because there is a lot of responsibility when you take any character in any situation in the Marvel universe because it’s just like, ’wow! They’re big characters and they’ve got a lot to say.’ But it was amazing and it was actually freeing because the character is originally written as a male but there’s not a lot to go on. The comic book Ghost doesn’t have an origin story and doesn’t have a lot. He appears in the Thunderbolts, but for me to take the character and give her life, it was freeing. I could really start from scratch and work with the writing teams as well. It was amazing to find out who Ghost really is, with her own background and her own story. I really feel honoured and privileged to be the first person to put Ghost into the universe.
Now it’s setting the tone for everything Ghost does.
Do you think Ghost will be in any spinoffs with the Thunderbolts or even make an appearance in a Deadpool movie?
Did you do all of your stunts by yourself or were there times where you used a stunt double?
HJK: I wish I could have done 100 per cent of the stunts because I did most of them but there’s just some that Marvel won’t let me do, legally. I think it’s pretty obvious to see as well, you see me with the mask and without the mask fighting. But I did do as much as I possibly, humanely could and I jumped in there and volunteered to do that. I did it with the suit on as well in rehearsals because I really feel like the physicality of the character is so important to have that continuity, emotionally and physically. Also, when you’re creating this character who has a power and such an incredible suit, when you put the suit on it really does something to you and does something to how you feel and move. I kind of don’t want to give that up to somebody else as much as stunt doubles are incredible. I 100 per cent commend them and we need them, but I wanted to just get in there and do that because it’s almost like handing over a scene to somebody else.
It’s more authentic without the use of stunt doubles. How was the atmosphere on set?
HJK: It was so much fun and it’s such a fun movie. Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd together set this incredible, welcoming tone on set and you feel really at ease to be like ‘okay, I’m here and we’re going to have a really fun day.’ The first day on set is very daunting and I was very starstruck. You’re there and you see all these incredible real-life heroes and these legends on the set. But all that nervous energy just quickly goes away because it’s so much fun.
Is Paul Rudd as hilarious in person as he is in the movie?
HJK: He really is. He is so funny and I was laughing at him because I said ‘You haven’t aged since Clueless.’
Or even from Friends when he played Phoebe’s boyfriend, Mike Hannigan.
HJK: Friends, exactly! He hasn’t aged at all, I was just like ‘what’s going on? What are you drinking? Is it from the fountain of youth?’ (Laughing). He was wonderful to work with; he’s a fantastic leading role. He really is just as wonderful on-screen as he is off-screen.
How does it feel to be part of the Marvel universe?
HJK: I’m still pinching myself. It feels pretty cool.
Did you get to keep Ghost’s suit?
HJK: I didn’t get to keep the suit. I want to put the suit back on. I would love to put it back on. (Laughing). I would love to see the suit again.
What was your favourite scenes to film?
HJK: I think always the fight scenes. The fight scenes were great and completely feels empowering after you’ve kicked some ass. The stunts were a real treat to film.
How was the audition process for Ghost?
If you could describe Ant-Man and the Wasp in one word what would you use?
Ant-Man and the Wasp is released to theatres on July 6.