Tatiana Maslany Discusses How She-Hulk Plays With Femininity

SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW, from left: Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Jen' Walters, Ginger Gonzaga, Drew Matthews, (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Aug. 18, 2022). photo: Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+/Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

The “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” story is, at its core, a few girl’s expertise, and titular character Jennifer Walters’s femininity impressed the brand new Disney+ collection’s writers and stars to question how her life in inexperienced may differ from the normal male Hulk’s.

Tatiana Maslany stars as Walters in “She-Hulk,” which premiered on Aug. 18. Walters’s life as a hard-working lawyer is thrown for a loop when she unintentionally receives a blood transfusion from her cousin, who occurs to be Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), also referred to as the Incredible Hulk.

For Maslany, her character’s shape-shifting nature — because of powers acquired from that blood — introduced a novel alternative to discover how ladies are perceived in numerous areas and to play with audiences’ biases and preconceived notions about femininity. “Her anger, her largeness, her taking up space in a room — all of that is fertile ground for us to play,” she informed POPSUGAR through the Television Critics’ Association panel on Aug. 3. “And play with it comedically, to flip the standard on its head so that you can laugh at it but you’re also aware that it’s the truth of every woman walking into a space.”

For Maslany, the twin nature of her function felt wealthy with symbolism. “The duality of her two bodies, I find so compelling,” she mentioned. “What is it to walk into a room as a 6 foot 7 woman, and what is it to walk into a room as a 5 foot 2 woman? It’s so rife, and because our culture is so fixated on women’s bodies, whether it’s aesthetically or politically or in terms of rights or in terms of autonomy, what we do in this show is touch on all of these concepts — again, through [head writer] Jessica [Gao]’s hilarious brain. So it’s really deep, but at the same time, it’s goofy.”

Gao additionally mentioned that she used Maslany’s particular expertise as a girl to form the script, significantly as a result of it is so clearly contrasted towards a really well-known man’s expertise. “There was a lot of thought and consideration that went into — what is a woman’s experience going through all of this?” she informed POPSUGAR. “The fact that the Hulk already existed, and was so established in audience’s minds, required special care and consideration.” Gao continued, “There is an existing character who is related to her who has gone through this exact journey, but at the same time, they’re very different. You can’t expect two people to go through a similar situation but react the exact same way. That’s kind of the crux of their relationship in the series — kind of seeing that there are some things that they can relate to each other [about], but ultimately, they’re two different people.”

She agreed that Walters’s gender assured she would have a unique expertise than her cousin and that she could be perceived in a different way by folks within the movie and by the viewers — simply as ladies’s anger and ladies’s our bodies, amongst different variables, are usually interpreted in a different way, and sometimes with way more scrutiny, than males’s. “There is a double standard to how the world perceives her. Because she is a woman, because she is a female Hulk, the way everybody treats her is also very different than the way the world has treated him,” Gao mentioned.

But on the finish of the day, “She-Hulk” is not precisely a self-serious feminist manifesto. It’s whimsical and full of humor, motion, and chaos, and per director Kat Coiro, the present’s lightheartedness goes completely with its deeper messages — and even enhances a few of them, permitting them to shine by means of with out feeling pressured. She echoed Maslany’s emphasis on the present’s use of humor as a automobile for deeper messaging. “I think her lightheartedness is part of what makes it deep,” she mentioned through the panel. “You are transported, you are entertained, you’re watching a half-hour comedy, and then you have some things to think about.”

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