She-Hulk smashed her way onto Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night for the premiere of Disney+’s latest Marvel series, where star Tatiana Maslany was joined by the Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo.
Maslany plays Jennifer Walters in the series, an attorney and cousin of Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner who continues the family tradition of green giants — along with some friendly competition as she learns to use her new powers.
Of who is truly the superior Hulk, Ruffalo teased, “It’s kind of a toss up a little bit — maybe him a little bit more.” Maslany was quick to chime in, “And maybe her a little more — sometimes it’s more her, mostly” noting that She-Hulk is indeed the focus of this project.
“There’s a bias, there’s a slight bias. ‘Remember whose show this is,’ she says [that] in the show,” Maslany continued, as her character frequently breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges she is on TV. “I added that line because people were too interested in Mark and I was, ‘No we need to steer it back.’”
Joking with Ruffalo to “give me one year” of being the central Hulk after he’s played the character for a decade, Ruffalo agreed, “Alright you can have a year. No, she’s in now, there’s not going to be another Avengers without her.” That seemed a surprise to Maslany, who inquired, “What?” as Ruffalo confirmed, “That’s what I’m hearing.”
For her first superhero outing, though, Maslany told The Hollywood Reporter that when she first saw herself in CGI She-Hulk form for the first time, “I couldn’t believe it. I saw an early rendering of She-Hulk about a month into us filming and I couldn’t believe that I could see her breathing and thinking. I just believed it and was so grateful that the artists were so incredibly nuanced in their work. I felt like everything I did was there, which was exciting.”
Jameela Jamil appears opposite Maslany as super powered influencer Titania, “playing the absolute worst of what Instagram has created,” joked the star. She says she took inspiration from every real influencer one could imagine and leaned into the stereotypes: “I’m extremely toxic in this show and it was really weird to play the antithesis of everything I stand for in my life and in my work.”
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law enters new Marvel territory not only for its introduction of new characters, but also for its use of breaking the fourth wall and focus on dating and sex positivity.
“I understand why that hasn’t really been covered in the movies because in the movies they’re always busy saving the universe so they’re not going to stop and check their Tinder to see if they got any notifications,” said head writer and executive producer Jessica Gao. “The great thing about our show is the universe isn’t at risk, it’s just a regular work day, so I think it was very important to us to really show this is every aspect of the life of a superhero.”
Added director and EP Kat Coiro, “Usually when you’re in the film format you’ve got this ticking clock, plot-driven energy, and here we have some mundane moments — some of those moments include dating, which can be the most mundane experience of all.”
And as the Hulk famously changes form when he’s angry, the She-Hulk team wanted to address the difference in rage and fear in women versus men, and how that effects the female superhero’s transformation.
“Socially and culturally we have conditioned girls to have a very different relationship to their feelings,” explained Gao. “They have to temper their emotions a lot more, and there’s a double standard in what we allow in terms of anger from women and from men. That was very important for us to be truthful about in the show.”
Continued Coiro, “There’s something of wish fulfillment in She-Hulk where any woman who has ever walked down a dark alley at night, any woman who has ever been polite to some jerk at a bar because she’s afraid that if she isn’t her life is in danger, they’ll see something in She-Hulk I don’t think they’ve ever seen before, which is the ability to kick ass.”
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law premieres on Disney+ on Thursday.