Brie for Marie Claire UK
Brie is gracing the cover of this March issue of Marie Claire UK and it is such another gorgeous photoshoot. Check out the cover, scans and some outtakes in our gallery!
When Brie Larson won an Oscar for the 2015 movie Room, I jumped for joy as if I knew her. I hadn’t even seen the film yet, but I’d just finished the moving novel by Emma Donoghue that it was based on (about a mother and her five-year-old son held captive in a room), and felt certain she had done the role of Ma justice.
I wouldn’t get to know her until 2017, when we started following each other on Twitter. I was feeling insecure about being vulnerable, so when I heard her talking about her own vulnerability, I decided to reach out to her. What would follow were messages about work, life, self-care and cross-stitching. These messages were sporadic in nature. After all, we are both busy people. She is an actor, producer and director; I write about pop culture, disability (I have cerebral palsy), blackness and womanhood. But the consistent, overriding impression I always got was that Brie Larson is a person who cares about the world and the people in it.
Aside from Room, the 29-year-old has starred in Trainwreck (2015), the critically-acclaimed indie film Short Term 12 (2013) and the blockbuster Kong: Skull Island (2017). Last year, she made her directorial debut in the indie comedy-drama Unicorn Store. It’s an impressive body of work in a relatively short space of time, but most people might not realise that far from being the ingénue, Larson – who was born in Sacramento, before moving to LA with her mother and sister – has been working since she was a child. Best known stateside for the sitcom Raising Dad(2001) and Disney Channel movie Right On Track (2003), she also had a stint as a pop star, signing a record deal at 13. These days, as a Time’s Up activist and advocate for sexual-assault survivors (she famously refused to clap when presenting Casey Affleck with an Oscar because of allegations against him), the actress utilises any power she has to be vocal about social and political issues. I can’t wait to see what she does with the power that comes with her latest role – Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel, the 21st (and first female-led) film in the multimillion dollar franchise.
Meeting Larson in person for the first time, it’s immediately clear why she was chosen for this role. Passionate, funny, genuine and kind, she’s eager to see the diverse and inclusive world she lives in reflected back on the big screen. She might not be a superhero in real life, but she’s ready to fight like one to make the world better…
I was thrilled you requested me to interview you. I thought, ‘This is game-changing’. It’s the biggest opportunity I’ve had. Nobody usually wants to take a chance on a disabled journalist. I’d love to know what your particular reasons were.
‘About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of colour, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.’
And people don’t realise how vast the disabled community is. It isn’t just white men in wheelchairs. Some of us don’t use mobility aids, others use them part-time; some disabilities are visible, others are physical but invisible. I find it so hard to see people in this industry who look like me, so if I have any sort of visibility or notoriety, I can lift somebody else up.
‘I want to go out of my way to connect the dots. It just took me using the power that I’ve been given now as Captain Marvel. [The role] comes with all these privileges and powers that make me feel uncomfortable because I don’t really need them.’
I guess you got a taste of that power with the success of Room. I heard you found promoting the film quite overwhelming.
‘I’ve never craved the spotlight that often comes along with success in this business. It’s a by-product of the profession and a sign of the times. But any uncomfortableness I feel is balanced by the knowledge that it gives me the ability to advocate for myself and others.’
You had messages of support from Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence, which must have helped.
‘I found a supportive sisterhood, not just in Emma and Jen, but in the many women I’ve had the opportunity to come across and learn from over the past few years. It’s a community of like-minded people, which has been a gift.’
Read more at Marie Claire UK