When we think of Avengers: Endgame, all we can really think about is the fact that the MCU as we know it is ending. That’s not to say that we aren’t totally excited for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we’re also really in love with the core Avengers and what they bring to the table.
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner are the Avengers most likely to hang up their hats at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Of course, there could be some surprises thrown at us in terms of who lives and dies or who stays and goes, but we also know that for some heroes, this could be the end of the line.
Recently, those Avengers sat down with EW for the most epic roundtable the MCU has seen. While we weren’t made privy to anything about the film, we did get a look at this incredible journey through their eyes.
One part of the MCU journey, and a big one at that, is a level of secrecy these actors and actresses must have. There are some notorious spoilers in the bunch – here’s looking at you Mark Ruffalo, Sebastian Stan, and Tom Holland. One of those big spoilers took place when Mark Ruffalo accidentally live-streamed the first 10 minutes of Thor: Ragnarok.
Johansson said this press tour was going to give her PTSD and Ruffalo was quick to remind her that he’s been there, too.
EW: What’s the biggest thing you’ve spilled about a movie, Mark?
Johansson: [To Ruffalo] What about when you streamed the first 10 minutes of Thor: Ragnarok?
Downey: That’s gotta be it.
Ruffalo: That was the one that got me the call from up high.
The move actually brought in press for Thor: Ragnarok and no real harm was done. It’s something they all laugh about, now.
Their conversation took a more serious turn when the actors discussed character traits. Specifically, which traits of their characters have become parts of their own personality.
Hemsworth: There was a much clearer [sense of] who the character was the first time I played it, and then…it slowly just became me screwing around and having fun. There’s more of me in the character now than ever. It’s the most honest place you can operate from as an actor. Knowing everybody, I feel like the personal relationships start to echo through. What you see, the authenticity of Iron Man and Captain America when we’re on screen, there is a real friendship with Chris and Robert. Then it starts to just come through whether we like it or not.
Evans: It’s impossible not to take a little piece on. Anytime you play a role, when you’re in a certain headspace all day, you can’t help but take some of that home with you. Sometimes you play roles where it’s really exhausting, and it can be a cave of darkness, something you can’t wait to shed.
Other times, you can’t wait to get back to it. And that’s the fun thing about the role. Usually, when you’re done, you close the book and move on. This one, you just put it on hiatus because you know you’re coming back. The same way that these are all friends, the character becomes a friend too. You’re visiting an old friend.
Johansson: These characters have grappled with their past, and they’ve grappled with their destiny, and I think we’ve seen them over these past 10 years come into their own as fully realized people. That’s probably reflective of a lot of the dreams we’ve all had.
I mean, just having 10 years of time and growing, and having ups and downs, and sharing our lives with one another, has been a real pillar of strength in all kinds of crazy times. I think that’s what the audience also reacts to: The characters have grown in a way that feels reflective of their own experience.
I met this girl yesterday who was a Black Widow superfan. She was awesome. She was like, “I saw the first movie with you. I first saw Black Widow when I was 6.” Now she was 15 and she was like, “I grew up with you!” I was thinking, Gosh, she was this little girl and now she’s a beautiful young woman and she feels like the journey of these characters coming into their own is very much a part of her own experience.
Downey spoke about sort of kicking off the entire thing, and he gave thanks to Kevin Feige for putting them all in this place.
Downey: Consciously or otherwise, Kevin, you put us in a position where we lived our lives looking each other in the eyes, playing these big-stakes moments, and being in trouble together, and saving each other, and worrying about each other. The smallness of our lives has been the constant in this massive endeavor, and it’s impossible not to be humbled by it. Hell, if I’ve been, then it’s completely impossible.
They also spoke about how becoming these characters gave them a platform with an audience, and not just when the cameras were rolling. Their fans see them as heroes in many aspects of life.
Ruffalo said it was a little scary, but it’s a show of the power of storytelling.
Ruffalo: A little scared. You become more careful. You have a bigger responsibility. You also see the power of storytelling. One thing I think about these movies that’s really exciting is they’re forward-leaning in the narrative of good versus evil. We’re able to transcend some of the divisive narratives that are happening now. These stories do touch a lot of different kinds of people with different kinds of beliefs.
The Avengers went on to discuss everything from Black Widow’s character arc to Stan Lee and what they hope fans who watch Marvel films in 30 years will take from them. The entire interview is almost half an hour in length, and worth the watch.
You can see it, in full, here.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th.