ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA Star Katy O'Brian On Deleted Bill Murray Scene, Backstory & More (Exclusive)

Following the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we caught up with actress Katy O'Brian to talk about her MCU debut as Jentorra, deleted scenes with Bill Murray, and a whole lot more!

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While Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania didn't bring back several mainstays of the wider Ant-Man family, the film did introduce a number of new allies, namely Jentorra and her Freedom Fighters. 

Katy O'Brian (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Black Lightning) played this powerful new character, who has been engaged in this ongoing struggle against Kang (Jonathan Majors) for far longer than most and has paid an incomparable price while trying to liberate her people from his rule. While she's on the run when we meet her, it's the arrival of Scott (Paul Rudd) and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) that brings her right back into the thick of the action. 

Speaking with O'Brian following the film's release, she shared her experience on working on the biggest project of her career and how she and director Peyton Reed crafted an elaborate backstory for the leader of the rebellion. Plus, she also touches on a potentially big deleted scene that would've seen her cross paths with Krylar (Bill Murray) and teases possible beef with Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). 

Read on for our full interview with Katy O'Brian and please remember to SUBSCRIBE to my channel for exclusive content!

ROHAN: Considering that you had done Black Lightning and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and already gotten a small taste of superhero projects before stepping into this massive MCU project. Did your prior experience help prepare you for some of what to expect on Quantumania?

KATY: Yeah, I mean, this obviously had the difference between TV and movie. We had a lot more time to prepare for the character, had a lot more time to delve into the script and the role wasn't just like, you know, here's four pages, learn it by tonight, you know? So, I think TV being as fast paced as it is, and as kind of chaotic as it can be, it doesn't always set you up for being able to walk into a film where you've had plenty of time to look into everything and prepare. We also did a lot of blue screen work before, which really helps with the imagination. I got to try some fight choreo, but all in all, yeah, it helped me prepare, I will say I was much more excited to be a good guy instead of a lame, side character, bad guy.

ROHAN: Jentorra does have a comics counterpart, did you draw on those stories to inform your backstory or did you work with Peyton to create a new backstory for the film?   

KATY: It was really different, obviously, than the comic book version. Like Jentorra kind of was the reason that her society collapsed in a way, in the comic books. So, I'm personally glad that they distanced that part of the thing from this character, but there was so little overlap that - There's only seven comic books, I think, that have Jentorra in them - that we really did seem to have a lot more freedom to kind of create a fully new character for this.

ROHAN: Since Jentorra is the leader of the rebellion, was there anything specific you tried to channel or watch to get into her headspace?   

KATY: Yeah, I mean, a lot of it would be drawn from movies, essentially. You've got Braveheart, which it kind of has a similar feeling to. I felt like I kind of joked with Jeff Loveness on this, but I was like, ‘Did you just watch 300 and write my character?’ Because it was a lot of like those single line, ‘Get to the tower!,’ and just kind of like silly one liners and things that felt reminiscent of a lot of those just straight up warrior movies. So, you kind of draw from that, but then, you also think about just putting yourself in that position too. How would I behave if basically the weight of a literal realm was on my shoulders? And the whole thought was just to fight and keep fighting? I mean, there's no room for the leader of the rebellion to give up.

ROHAN: You have a few scenes with Kathryn Newton, who is playing Cassie, in the film. Did you work with her individually on creating some of that dynamic since Jentorra is someone that's been in this fight a long time versus Cassie who is just beginning her fight against Kang? 

KATY: I kind of saw Jentorra as someone who was already part of a warrior society, so maybe she was used to fighting already, but in kind of a way different level. So, seeing Kathryn, to me, her character Cassie was just someone who didn't understand the reality of the situation. You know, it's all fun and games until you really understand that every single decision that you make impacts everybody. There’s a possibility that maybe before all this happened that there was that naivete to Jentorra, but yeah, I don't know that she was re-inspired by Cassie’s energy, I guess, as much as like, ‘Hey, this is the real world and you need to kind of catch up to where we are.’

ROHAN: You're on a cast with Paul Rudd, David Dastmalchian, William Jackson Harper, and so many funny people. How difficult was it to play the straight woman when everyone around you gets to be fairly silly in the early scenes?  

KATY: Yeah, I was so jealous, because I really loved it. It's very hard for me to take things seriously, I love to crack jokes and everything, and, I mean, they're so funny off-set, even the guy that played Xolum, James Cutler, he's so funny, and he's just screaming random stuff, when you're trying to be serious, and just all of a sudden, this yell comes out of nowhere, and you're trying to just keep a straight face. It was definitely a challenge to play the straight character to these guys, but it was also kind of like, okay, this is my role. I bring what is actually happening and the severity of what's actually happening to level out, I guess, this part of the movie, because on the other side, you got Kang and Janet are being very, very serious too on that side of things. The comedy had to come elsewhere there. So, me, I'm surrounded by comedy, and I have to bring the reality of what's going on.

ROHAN: Was there anything major cut that you remember shooting? 

KATY: We had this whole scene where we're all cheering at the end kind of thing. There was also a really short interaction that I had with Bill Murray, where we released him from holding, because it kind of looks like he died in the movie now, pretty early on. So, that part I kind of liked because it shows, okay, this is what someone who's still fighting, interacting with someone who kind of essentially gave in. It was a really short moment, and then yeah, I would have loved to have had some interaction with Janet, but that wasn't even in there. I think that she and Jentorra had a huge past together. I think Jentorra felt a little betrayed by her, and there was no real reconciliation with them at the end.

ROHAN: Since Jentorra and most of her freedom fighters make it out alive, have you heard anything about coming back for more Quantum Realm adventures down the line? Where do you think Jentorra's story goes next?  

KATY: Oh, I'd love to come back. It'd be so much fun. And I really am curious as to how she's handling a society of ultra-intelligent ants that basically flooded her world. So, I think it'd be really cool to explore that either in future Quantum Realm stuff or if somehow I got sucked out into the surface world or something, any of that would be fun. I'd be happy to see what they come up with, but, they have more of the understanding of the wildness of the world that they're building. So, I think it'd be really, really cool to see if they came up with something else.

Super-Hero partners Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible.

Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a. and Stephen Broussard, p.g.a., “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” also stars Jonathan Majors as Kang, David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O'Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar. The sci-fi adventure opens in theaters on Feb. 17, 2023.

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