Tomorrow, Werewolf By Night arrives to usher in a darker, more monstrous, more macabre era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we're introduced to a number of colorful characters, including the titular Werewolf (Gael Garcia Bernal), the badass Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly), and powerful Man-Thing, who will all play a key role in helping set the stage for the next decade of Marvel stories.
The Marvel Studios Special Presentation is set to debut in just a few hours and ahead of its premiere, we caught up with leading lady Laura Donnelly (The Nevers; Outlander) to talk about her big bloody debut as Elsa Bloodstone and getting inside her character's twisted headspace. She also talks about working opposite the incredible Gael García Bernal and having an opportunity to
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ROHAN: This story is as much Werewolf's as it is Elsa Bloodstone's - she's returned home, somewhat reluctantly it seems, and is there to claim her birthright - when you were first reading for the character and getting in her headspace, what was it that first drew you to this character?
LAURA: I think the thing that really attracted me to her was the fact that she is on this, she kind of feels like she's in a turning point of her life, she's had this upbringing that we get to see a bit about, but that there is more to, and hopefully, at some stage, can be explored. There's complexity there. There's some trauma, she's had a very unusual upbringing with her father, and then she has gone off on her own for a long time, and now she's at this point where she's trying to find out who she is right now, and where she fits in, in this world, and with her father gone, so I loved that, because I think that that's something that I can really relate to at the point that I'm at in my life, you know, just kind of maturing and coming into your own.
And then, the fact that she was gonna get this connection with Jack's character, with Gael’s character, that there will be an opportunity to explore that when I'm not sure that Elsa has had many of those kinds of connections in her life and just beginning to see that just begin and blossom was really fascinating to me.
ROHAN: As violent and vicious as Werewolf By Night is, it also manages to subvert expectations and you also have a lot of tender, vulnerable moments with Gael's character Jack and with Man-Thing as well - then, there's also all those scenes when you have to be extremely terrified about what's going on while also being a complete badass in your own right. What sort of emotions and feelings, as a performing, are you channeling to convey those drastic shifts in character?
LAURA: I'm just always exploring the inner world and kind of trying to find their reality and whatever she is experiencing in that moment. So, obviously, when you're with an actor who's as brilliant as Gael, it's very easy to, if you're open to it, have that human connection, and, I loved that we had that opportunity in our characters to have that human connection. So, that was very easy to do.
In terms of the big fear stuff, and all of that, I guess it is, again, it's that thing that when you're trying to use only imagination, as an actor, you've got to do that, and then you've got to imagine the circumstances, but then you've got to root it in something that you know, and something that you have experienced, and we've all experienced great moments of fear or can certainly imagine what that would be like. So, while I have never watched somebody transform into a werewolf, it's just the same way as you will tap into any feeling in any character. You just have to find what the truth is for that for you.
On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster. Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.