I'm very excited bringing the following Q&A with Hayley Lovitt to you all. She plays Janet van Dyne aka the Wasp in Marvel's Ant-Man. It was a very brief scene, but introduced one of my favorite Marvel characters. I saw Hayley's credit at the end, and was having "how cool would it be to do a Q&A with her" running through my head. Of course these thoughts are long shots, especially for popular films like Ant-Man, but Hayley made it a reality. It really is a pleasure getting insight on part of Ant-Man's production. Who better than the actress that plays Wasp? After all, she's in my favorite scene. Enjoy! :)
Let me start by saying congratulations on Ant-Man being #1 in the box office for it's opening weekend.
Thanks! I am super thrilled about this film (obviously). It's a huge deal for a lot of reasons, both in my career as well as within the Marvel Comic Universe. It's the first time we are seeing Ant-Man on the big screen, and I hope (as many others do too) that we get to see more of him in the future!
How did the role for Janet van Dyne / The Wasp come around to you? Was it a non-speaking role from the start?
It was not a non-speaking role when I was cast. So actually, interestingly enough, when I auditioned for this, I had no idea what I was auditioning for - only that it was Marvel. I didn't know what film it was or really anything about the character other than it seemed from the sides that it was the wife of a scientist. The scene they gave me to audition with was deep and meaningful - the best kind of audition for sure - and it mirrored the dialogue I had when we shot my scene, though it wasn't the exact same of course. Man! Marvel and their secrets! I didn't actually find out who I was playing until I was signing my paperwork in my trailer. I was like "Hm, I play Janet...." Then a producer came to talk to me about who I was playing.
When I shot my scene with Michael Douglas, we had a few lines of dialogue. Once we were done shooting, I gather (from interviews I've seen with Peyton Reed), that they decided they wanted The Wasp to be a bit more anonymous so they could have options to have her back on more films at any varying stage of her aging life.
I went to the theater thinking Janet would only get mentioned by name, but not seen in action. The flashback missile scene with Wasp and Ant-Man was definitely the highlight of the film for me. It really was a surprise. Could you talk about the experience on set? What was it like working with Michael Douglas?
Thank you!! It was the highlight for me as well (haha). Michael Douglas is such a debonaire gentleman. He was kind and focused on the work. For all the dialogue we shot (which you didn't get to see in the film), it was great shooting with him - letting him set the tone for the scene and then jumping in there with him. It was shot against a green screen, and we actually shot separately - first him, while I watched how the process was done, then I jumped in there. It was an amazing process. We sat with 5 cameras surrounding our faces, and a group of incredibly talented techs working behind a computer right there at Video Village.
How was Peyton Reed as director? It was an unusual situation with him coming aboard, but he delivered an awesome film.
Peyton was amazing. Marvel had been trying to get him on board for some time now to direct one of these films, and they were stoked to have him on board. Peyton is originally from North Carolina, as am I, and we bonded on that upon my arrival. He is such a down-to-earth, truly awesome dude. Directing seemed completely natural for him (as you can probably tell from watching the film). He really connected with me and the other actors, and it shows up on the screen. I can't stress enough how happy I was to be working under his direction. Sincerely.
Suiting up as Wasp is no small task, as she is one of Marvel's first female superheroes. Her suit looking identical to Ant-Man is a nice nod to the original style in Tales to Astonish comics. What was going through your mind suiting up for the first time?
I can't say too much about this, as Disney wants me to stick to comments about my experience and not the other department's work. But I will say that in my experience, I didn't get to wear the costume. Oooh man I would have loved to! But for The Wasp, that was CGI.
The quantum realm seems like a place that will be visited in future films. There is the possibility for Janet's return if Scott Lang could come back from it. I won't ask if you're signed on for additional films, but what would you like to see happen to Janet if there really is hope for her?
I would, of course, love to see Janet come back in more films. If I could write the script, she would come back out of the quantum realm looking the exact same so that I could be sure to play her (it's plausible!). We'll keep our fingers crossed for that.
Aside from the flashback scene and the picture in Hank Pym's house, are there any scenes with you that didn't make the final cut?
Nope, it was just the one scene (bummer the dialogue got cut) and a photo shoot with MD and the cutest little baby.
Marvel really kept the Wasp appearance under the radar. Was it challenging for you to keep it a secret until now?
YES!!! Luckily, we just shot the film last fall, so I didn't have to keep my mouth shut for too long.
What is your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film besides Ant-Man?
Besides Ant-Man, I would have to say Iron-Man. I'm a big fan of Robert Downey Jr.
So there you have it! My first official Q&A. Pretty awesome! See Ant-Man on the big screen today. The flashback scene featuring Hayley as Wasp is worth the price of admission alone. A big thanks to Hayley for taking the time to answer my questions. :)