Who are some of your favorite movie villains?

LIU One that happens to be in a superhero movie is the Joker, somebody who has mental illness or is different and becomes ostracized, then assumes a position of power. Cinema doesn’t always portray them as people that are just born evil — that’s not as interesting as somebody who has become something to survive. That fight or flight becomes their way to journey through the world. Unfortunately, often it’s just with destruction or pain against others.

MIRREN I would say, Ian McKellen playing Richard III is one of the greatest supervillains of all time. “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York.” He declares his evil intentions in that very first monologue: “I hate you all and I’m going to [expletive] you up. You just watch me.”

It feels that doing Shakespeare would be great prep for a supervillain’s grandstanding rhetorics. A lot of that style goes way back.

MIRREN I was just thinking the other day that those great ancient verbal poems people learned by heart are superhero stories: They are about guys who have super strength and can go in and kill a whole army. There’s big descriptions of the way their swords cut through everybody. They’re totally superhero stories. I was wondering why superhero movies seem to be eternally successful and I thought, “Well, of course, for thousands of years these are the stories that human beings have been telling to entertain each other and excite each other and frighten each other.”

Do Hespera and Kalypso have action figures?

LIU We have these Funko Pops with our exact outfits.

MIRREN We do? Oh, good, I want one.

LIU Rachel sent a picture of the three of us and said, “It’s like we’re hanging out,” and I was like, “Yeah, during Covid because we’re all in boxes.” Somebody brought it up to me to sign, so now I know it’s real, the project has now been franchised.

Lucy, has your son seen the film?

LIU He’s 7, and I told him, “I think there’s too many scary things in the movie.” He said, “I’ll just wait until I’m 10.” He’s obsessed with Helen, and when he was 5 he said he was going to marry her. She’s magical for all ages.

Elisabeth Vincentelli

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