CAPTAIN MARVEL Exclusive: THE LAST OF US II Jesse Actor On Acting Opposite A Rock Instead Of Brie Larson

We recently chatted with Last of Us II voice and mo-cap actor Stephen Chang about his bit part in Marvel's Captain Marvel, and we learned about the rock that filled in for Larson during his scene. Read on!

Captain Marvel kicked off yet another successful franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just over a year and a half ago. Led by Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island, Avengers: Endgame), the film saw Carol Danvers finally make her way to the big screen.

Though the casting of Larson, as well as the film itself, were met with mixed reception from the fan community, the movie cleared a billion dollars at the box office, ensuring a sequel's release. While fans hope the second film will feature Rogue's introduction to the MCU, there is still very little known about the plot.

We recently chatted with actor Stephen Chang, who is best known for portraying Jesse in Last of Us Part II, in support of the Artificial: Remote Intelligence finale that streamed on Thursday. While speaking with Chang, we brought up his small role in Captain Marvel to see if we could find out anything interesting about the movie from his perspective, and we actually learned some behind the scene tidbits.

It turns out that during the scene in which Stephen played Danvers' commander in the United States Air Force and told her that they would never let her fly, Larson actually went to lunch and Chang had to act opposite a rock in her place! We also learned a lot about Chang's history, such as his college basketball career alongside Jeremy Lin, and how law school differs from acting. 

To listen to our exclusive interview with Stephen Chang, click the podcast player below. Otherwise, scroll down for this portion of the transcript.

1m 18s Literary Joe: Weren't you a basketball player in college?

2m 9s Stephen Chang: I played high school ball, college a little bit. And then I played in some NBA summer camp. My claim to fame is I was actually on the same team with Jeremy Lin, and we were the only two Asian guys in the whole league.

Kids would come up to me after the game. They had asked for an autograph, and I'd sign their ball. And they said, "thanks, Jeremy." And I was like, Oh s**t, I'm not Jeremy. Then Jeremy blew up; they had Lin-sanity. There are probably 50 kids with autographed basketballs they think are from Jeremy Lin. But it ain't Jeremy Lin. (Laughs)

2m 11s Literary Joe: Are you guys the same height?

2m 27s Stephen Chang: Jeremy is taller than I am. Jeremy's like 6'3. I'm tall for Asians, but short for basketball.

2m 33s Literary Joe: What about your law school experience?

3m 15s Stephen Chang: I got in at Santa Clara, and I honestly went for the orientation, and then I was like, I don't know what the hell it was crazy, it was crazy competitive just in the orientation. And it was like, I don't know if I want to do this. It's a lot of money.

3m 17s Literary Joe: How about acting? Do you feel acting is as competitive?

3m 44s Stephen Chang: Yeah, but here's the thing. I read a lot of John Grisham books, and I was like, Ooh, this sounds pretty cool, but I don't think real law is John Grisham. Acting has been competitive, but it's more rewarding. At least for me, it's more fun and social.


10m 20s Literary Joe: I remember when we did your last article, someone commented and said that you sound "like a brother." (Laughs) Do you change your voice for roles? 

10m 32s Stephen Chang: My wife says, I'm not supposed to say this, but I think I was an old black woman from the South in a past lifetime, and she's trapped in my body still. I get asked that in many auditions because I guess you see an Asian guy, and my voice doesn't match how I look, which has been challenging for casting.

Because they're like, "Ooh, why do you sound like that?" When my wife and I met, I was selling ladies' shoes at Nordstrom. When she met me, we exchanged numbers, and then I called her later, and she's like, "Who's this brother on the phone? This wasn't the same lady-shoe salesman that I met in the store."

So to answer your question, I don't know. I wish I could say like, I'm one of these actors that can change my voice. I'm honestly just trying to remember my lines. How it comes out is just my inner black woman trapped in my body.


10m 45s Literary Joe: I have to get your perspective on your role in Captain Marvel.

11m 15s Stephen Chang: If you blink, you'll miss it. But I was in there. Bernie says, "At least we saw your full head on the giant screen." It was a little part, but it was cool because it was acting with Brie Larson, who had just won the Academy award. I was like, wow, I'm acting with Brie Larson.

11m 17s Literary Joe: Did you guys actually act together?

12m 5s Stephen Chang: I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about stuff like this. My story that I tell is that they did her camera first where I say something, so it's looking down on her, and she's angry, and when they were going to flip the camera on me, they said, Brie, you can go to the bathroom or get some snacks.

I was like, wait, wait, wait, it's my turn! So she laughed. And they said, "You see that rock on the ground right there? Say your line to that rock." And I was like, "Oh, okay." So the acting you're seeing, that's my rock acting right there. Hopefully, you felt it.

*This interview has been edited for clarity. The audio is co-hosted by sister site writer Comic Brooks and cosplay actress Darth Lexii.*

The AI has escaped! Where is she? Who took her? What will she do now that she’s free...?

Artificial Season 3 recently came to a close, and you can catch up on the interactive sci-fi series here.

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