The road to becoming Captain Marvel wasn’t an easy one for actress Brie Larson. Not least of which is the controversy and backlash she faced upon landing the role. Much like her character, however, Larson wasn’t about to let the negativity get to her. Despite the criticism and the name-calling thrown her direction, she delivered a stellar performance and won over many devoted fans of the Marvel franchise.
With the second Captain Marvel movie heading to theaters in 2022, let’s get to know the actress behind the costume and learn why she’s the best choice for one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers: Before Hollywood
Brie Larson was born on October 1, 1989 in Sacramento, California. Her parents were both homeopathic chiropractors. She also has one younger sister, Milaine.
Larson had quite the unique childhood. Aside from speaking French as her first language, she was also largely homeschooled. The actress believes that this gave her the opportunity to develop and explore her imagination more. She even made a 300-page storyboard of The Lion King!
While her family has always been tight-knit, Larson shares that she has a closer bond with mother. Additionally, Larson claims she was incredibly shy and had social anxiety when she was young. Instead of spending time with other kids her age, she would instead write and direct “movies” at home and often cast her cousins in different roles. By age six, she began developing a more serious interest in acting and even went to audition for a program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Brie Larson was the youngest student they admitted.
It’s not all roses for their family, however. Larson’s parents divorced when she was seven years old and since then, she has had quite the dysfunctional relationship with her father. With her mom and sister, the family of three moved to Los Angeles where she was able to pursue acting further. Of course, starting anew means financial instability and so Larson’s family ended up living in small apartment located in Burbank. Speaking to The Guardian, Larson shares, “We had a crappy one-room apartment where the bed came out of the wall and we each had three articles of clothing.”
Despite their living situation, the actress fondly looks back at the time and gives much credit to her mother for doing the best she could for her daughters.
The Story Behind The Name Brie Larson
Briannie Sidonie Desaulniers is quite a tricky name to both pronounce and remember, so the actress decided on one that has a bit more ring to it. There are two different versions to this story. The first one claims the name was inspired by Larson’s Swedish great-grandmother, whose family name is Larson.
The second story behind the name was one Larson shared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. According to this version, she got the name from an American Girl doll she was gifted with. The doll was called Kirsten Larson.
Brie Larson landed her first acting job at the age of seven. The actress made her debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where she starred in a parody of a Barbie commercial. Of this experience, she recalls being very excited and thought that she had finally made it in Hollywood upon seeing her name on the green room door. Little did she know, there was still quite a long way ahead of her.
Fortunately, she was eventually cast in the WB sitcom Raising Dad. This was Larson’s first major role, though it only lasted for one season. Next, she landed a role in ABC’s Hope & Faith, but she and a few other of the original cast members were replaced after shooting an unaired pilot. Despite these initial losses, the actress would later star in Right on Track alongside Beverley Mitchell. It was this Disney Channel movie that would pave the way for more roles that Larson would land in the future.
Brie Larson’s Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo, who starred in 13 Going on 30, was surprised to learn that the actress was in the same film. Try and spot Brie Larson 13 Going on 30!
Brie Finally Gets Her Breakthrough
Laron’s role as Kate Gregson on the Showtime dramedy United States of Tara helped her gain public recognition. Moreover, the actress’ performance as the daughter of a woman struggling with dissociative identity disorder also drew good reviews from the media. Despite the fact that the show lasted only three seasons, it ultimately paved the way to more Brie Larson movies in the future.
This includes the Brie Larson Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film, where she portrayed Envy. Many credit her appearance in the film as a major turning point in her career, especially since the movie went on to become a cult favorite.
With every casting, Larson continued to display her versatility as an actress. She broke out of teen films to expand her range. 2012 even saw Brie Larson 21 Jump Street, alongside Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
From dramedies and straight up comedy films, Larson followed up these projects with Don Jon and The Spectacular Now. Moving to darker roles, she was cast in The Gambler together with Mark Wahlberg. The film follows her character, a literature student, who gets entangled in an affair with her gambling addicted professor. Larson got mixed reviews for her performance in said film.
After shooting The Spectacular Now with Shailene Woodley, the two became close friends despite being constantly pitted against each other.
Landing Lead Roles And The Accolades That Followed
Fast-forward to 2015 with Larson starring as the lead role in the drama-thriller Room. The film is an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name. Considering the heavy themes present in the film, it isn’t too surprising that the Brie Larson Room role was both emotionally and physically taxing.
Nonetheless, she remained fully committed to the role, going so far as to change her appearance to match that of her character. She lost a lot of weight through diet modification. To appear gaunt, she also stayed away from sunlight.
Her efforts weren’t for naught, however. Aside from receiving much praise for her performance, she also won a number of accolades for the role. This includes the Brie Larson Oscar Award for Best Actress, along with a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for the same category.
Prior to the MCU, Brie Larson was also part of another franchise: the MonsterVerse. She starred in the film Kong: Skull Island alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston. Though this was her first big-budget project, the movie became a worldwide success.
Brie Larson: The Director
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Great news! #UnicornStore comes out tomorrow, April 5th on all @netflixfilm platforms! This film was made with heart and joy and literally no one got in an argument. We tapped into Kit’s aggressive optimism and our own inner child. We loved making this, and as it’s the first feature I’ve directed, it’s my personal unicorn. What’s your biggest dream? What’s your unicorn?
During the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the Brie Larson Unicorn Store movie was finally available to the public. She not only starred in it, but the film also marked her directorial debut as well. The film follows the story of an art student who had a fascination for unicorns and the mysterious salesman she meets. In 2019, Unicorn Store saw a wider audience thanks to Netflix. Interestingly, the film also stars her Kong and Captain Marvel co-star, Samuel L. Jackson.
Larson initially auditioned for Unicorn Store five years before they started shooting, but lost the role to Rebel Wilson. Unfortunately, the production for the film never got off the ground. Eventually, the role found its way into Brie’s lap once more and the timing couldn’t have been better. As per IndieWire, the actress explains, “I always felt like I was supposed to tell that story.” That she did.
Becoming Captain Marvel
2019 was a big year for Brie Larson. Her casting as the MCU’s own Captain Marvel was certainly big news, one that immediately drew curiosity from fans of the comics and the franchise worldwide. The film marked the first female-led film from the studio, with its story focusing on Carol Danvers.
Captain Marvel was initially set to make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, this idea ultimately did not push through. The studio didn’t want to introduce the character too early and without having explored her backstory prior. The Brie Larson Endgame idea proved to be the better move instead.
Brie Larson’s casting was eventually confirmed at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. Despite the excitement surrounding the film, the actress was actually hesitant about accepting the role. Nonetheless, she was drawn to character because of her progressiveness and how Captain Marvel could become an important role model for young girls around the globe.
Brie Larson: Controversy And How To Overcome It
Earlier, we pointed to the controversy surrounding Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel casting. She wasn’t the most welcome—particularly by the studio’s male fans. For months, the film and its star were the target of internet trolls. Some even went as far as photoshopping a smile onto the actress’ promotional photos. Then there were also those who saw her as too stiff. Others questioned Brie Larson’s height and frame, debating over whether she looked powerful or strong enough to portray the superhero.
Needless to say, people were already piling on the negativity long before the movie was in theatres. Larson’s openness when it comes to her opinions was used against her. Many would call her “sexist” simply because she always spoke on the lack of diversity in Hollywood, as well as among film critics. It seemed that Marvel’s first female-led movie was bound for failure.
But, that wasn’t to be the case.
Even amidst all the negativity and blatant smear campaign against the movie, Captain Marvel made $455 million worldwide during its opening weekend. Domestically, it raked in $153 million as well as positive critical reviews. Many credit Brie Larson and the grace she showed despite the constant pressure that came prior to the film’s release. The best bit? The actress continued to champion how empowering her character is, the movie’s importance, and the fact that it is unapologetically feminist.
It’s clear that there’s plenty we can learn from the Captain Marvel actress when it comes to handling negativity: ignore it and move on.
Personal Life And Other Accomplishments
Some may know Larson as one of Hollywood’s most private stars. She would often decline answering personal questions during interviews. When it comes to the Brie Larson dating history, many are aware of the star’s romantic links to Alex Greenwald of the band Phantom Planet. The two were engaged from 2016 to 2019, before eventually breaking things off.
Many have described the actress as having a warm and familial energy, quickly endearing herself to those she has met. Larson is also conscious of various social issues and is a staunch advocate for gender equality, as well as sexual assault survivors. In a Jane Fonda interview, the actress reveals, “I’d put it all on the line and be an activist for the rest of my life because it doesn’t feel right for me to be quiet.”
In 2018, Brie Larson was among the 300 women from Hollywood who helped establish the Time’s Up initiative as a means of protecting women from discrimination and harassment. She was also among the first to have an inclusion rider when it comes to her press tour and movie-related contracts.
Brie Larson: Foray Into Music
When it comes to turning losses into gold, Larson certainly knows a thing or two. After losing out on a role in 2003’s Peter Pan, the actress penned and recorded the song “Invisible Girl”. At the time she thought nothing of it, but the song quickly began to gain traction. In an interview with Variety, she recalls, “I had no aspirations for that, but within seconds, I had a record deal.” Tommy Mottola signed the actress and soon after, she was writing songs for an album.
The LP Finally Out of P.E. was released back in 2005. However, the actress actually finds it cringe-inducing. According to Brie, “Because it’s bad! I’d rather it didn’t exist. It’s not necessarily embarrassing, I just don’t relate to it.” She may not be too fond of the album, but the songs in it were quite successful. The single “She Said” peaked at thirty-one on the Billboard Hot Single Sales.
As a musician, Brie Larson even went on tour with teen idol Jesse McCartney. She opened for him during his Beautiful Soul tour and performed during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Brie Larson: YouTube And Beyond
So, what’s next for the actress? Well, check out the Brie Larson YouTube channel for more of her song covers and hilarious antics!
Despite countless setbacks even early in her career, Brie Larson is proof that with hard work and a little bit of luck, one’s circumstances can change. We’re glad to know that even in Hollywood where it’s often difficult to draw the line between what’s made-up and not, there are people like her who remain true to themselves—no matter the cost.