Avengers: Age of Ultron – Full Press Conference

Now that Avengers: Age of Ultron has had its US premiere we can present the full press conference, spoilers and all.  If you have not yet seen the movie, you may want to pass by this article and return after you check it out.  The press junket for Age of Ultron was attended by Scarlett Johansson, Joss Whedon, Elizabeth Olsen, James Spader, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Aaron Taylor Johnson, & Kevin Feige (listed in seating order).

AvengersPressConf_9095Robert Downey Jr.: Kevin’s wearing that fleece cause he’s been in the editing room and its cold in there.

Question: Maria Hill is one of my favorite characters in the MCU because she’s one of these threads that ties everything together. Both in the Avengers, the other MCU movies, the television series. Brings it all together. Maria went through a lot of changes in Captain America: Winter Soldier . Talk a little about where we find Maria now and the type of, the kind of Maria you wanted the audience to see in Age of Ultron?

AvengersPressConf_0379Cobie Smulders: Yah, uh. Maria now is under the employment of Tony Stark. And she’s working with him to privatize security. And it’s very fun to being a thread to able to tie the tv show and the movies together. That’s been a lot of fun. But yeah, she’s got a bigger job now. She’s working with Tony and she doesn’t have SHIELD at her disposal anymore so it’s a much more difficult job.

Question: Bettany, so what’s it like now to be more than just a voice?

AvengersPressConf_0378Paul Bettany: Well the main difference is that I have to show up. You know, the great thing is being able to work with all these creative and talented people. However, I also now have to show up at junkets. So everything’s a double edged sword

Question: I have a question for Joss. If you could talk about bringing Vision and Ultron to life. It almost seemed like they each embodied Stark’s nature. Both the good and the bad. Ultron being the bad and Vision the best of both natures. Could you talk little about that?

Joss Whedon: YES….That wasn’t a question, but a statement. No, you’re right they do embody a little bit of him, but they’re also their own people. But I do see them as two sides of the same coin. I like the sort of accord between the two of them. I think there’s something beautiful about the fact that they see the same thing and react to it differently and emotionally.

Question: Joss can you talk about the biggest challenges, that you faced, putting together the story and shooting the film. What were the things that surprised you on your journey?

AvengersPressConf_9103Joss Whedon: There’s like 47 of these people. I really didn’t think that through. And I regret very much doing this at all. It’s just making sure that everybody’s got their moment, that everybody’s got their through line. That its connected to the movie. I have all these people. I love all these people. They’re extraordinary, but making sure that they’re all not just being served but within the same narrative spectrum. That they’re in the same movie. That’s all connected to the main theme.

At some point in the editing process I could not have told you who they were, who I was, what movie I was making I got so lost in it, but I think it all came together. It’s just about making these guys look good which takes a LONG time.

Question: For Kevin, you started with this grand plan almost a decade ago, so what’s it meant to you seeing it all coming to fruition? Working with filmmakers like Joss and the casts you’ve had throughout all your movies? What’s that been like for you and seeing the world connect to the MCU in such a powerful way?

Kevin Feige: Well it’s been great. It started with the notion of making these movies ourselves and becoming Marvel Studios and then it continued with Robert in Iron Man 1 with the notion of having of Sam Jackson come in at the end and say “you’re part of a big universe you just don’t know it yet.” Thinking that most people wouldn’t know what that meant, but occasionally someone would come up and say what did that mean? It means that maybe we’ll introduce all the different characters and put them together and wouldn’t that be great? But the minute that happened, the world sorta got it much more quickly than I anticipated.

AvengersPressConf_0385Its daunting now, because before the expectations before, they didn’t exist. And now it’s crushingly overwhelming expectations, particularly on this movie. But it’s incredible. Look down the line and the table keeps getting bigger and bigger. Its the greatest ensemble assembled in cinematic history.   And it’s amazing to be a part of it.

Question: For Joss.  So how do you go about even beginning to start to create the sequel to one of the greatest, largest most successful movies of all time?

Joss Whedon: With the smallest thing I can think of. The thing that drew me back to the movie was, what little moments between these characters have I not gotten a chance to do yet? What conversations have they not had yet ? What haven’t I shown?   It’s never the big picture stuff and “then we can have an army of robots” though that’s cool too.   It’s always where do they live? How can I get inside their hearts? What’s funny about them? Those are the moments that I write just reams and reams and reams of paper just thinking about the tiniest part. That’s really the heart of the thing.

Question: For Elizabeth and Aaron – You guys have worked together before and the chemistry between the twins is so important for those scenes to have the emotional impact. Was the fact that you guys had worked together previously an advantage? Or was that an additional challenge to making their relationship work so well in the film?

Elizabeth Olsen: I think it’s only a benefit.  We didn’t really work on that many scenes in Godzilla together, but its kind of intimidating joining this group. So like, I gotta do it with Aaron by my side

Aaron Taylor-Johnson:   Yeah, it was comforting to know stepping on set with such a large ensemble and cast that you had someone to feel comfortable with…absolutely.

AvengersPressConf_0384Question: We get to see another side of Tony in this film. You also take care of Hulk, or Bruce Banner like a son.  Did you have that kind of thing in mind when you were playing this role this time?

Robert Downey Jr: I must be mellowing with age, but I want to say this very clearly: the next time I’m not asked the first question I am f**king walking out of this place. I read Joss’ script and I said I think this is great. Now… Didn’t I say that? I said I think this is great. Kevin said “you never say that! You can’t mean that.”  I said yeah I think it’s great. Let’s go shoot it. I thought it was a Swiss watch to begin with and Joss really created some great moments for Tony to be in.  So rather than dig in my heels and try to re-write every scene to make them even better, if possible, I just showed up and it turned out great.

AvengersPressConf_0380Question: For James Spader, Really enjoyed your performance in the film. Can you talk about, as an actor, doing motion capture and how you were able to bring life to this killer robot?

James Spader: I really have no idea what was happening. It all happened very quickly. Really it was just trying to hold on and stay on the train that was moving very, very quickly. But I will say this, I arrived in London and within the first half hour, they put on a suit, they put on all this gear. I’d gone through a range of motion and within 15 minutes I was watching me walk around a big room, moving and doing this and that, and everything else. And watching Ultron, or at least a formative stage of Ultron, on a monitor in front of me.  And it just started right there and the next day I was on the set shooting a scene with Scarlett. And really that pace was what it was through the entire project. And, luckily, I’d had some conversations with Joss, and one fantastic meal with a whole bunch of wine, to figure out who this guy was. That was it. That really was it. It was just trying to hold on.

Question: For Robert Downey Jr, James Spader & Chris Hemsworth – Growing up who was your favorite superhero, and why?

Chris Hemsworth: Superman is probably the only, I mean when I was growing up, the film that sticks out for me…there wasn’t really.. and Ironman hadn’t been created yet or Captain America or Hulk or Black widow or Vision… everyone at this table

AvengersPressConf_0375Chris Evans: So HAD Captain America been created?…clearly

Chris Hemsworth: That and Captain Australia.

Chris Evans: So sorta neck and neck.

James Spader: Growing up I didn’t have any comic books at all, but my friend, Will, had a trunk full of them. And so comic books were like candy for me. I would go over his house for a sleepover and I would just be devouring everything I could get my hands on… I don’t even know if this question is to me… It doesn’t’ matter cause no one else jumped on the mic, so… Anyway, I just devoured everything and anything.. and..

AvengersPressConf_9117Robert Downey Jr: Is this press conference going very quickly for you, right now?

James Spader: …Yes?

Robert Downey Jr: They did ask you…

James Spader: I just devoured whatever I could get my hands on because the sleepover was gonna be over and I’d have to go back to my house and it was gonna be, you know, Kipling.

Question: Jeremy – There were a lot of Hawkeye fans that felt a little short changed in the first Avengers because one of their favorite heroes was not focused on as much as they would have liked, but we see a much greater emphasis on Barton in this particular film. Talk about what you were hoping to see Barton evolve into in this film. And your first reactions when you read the script and saw the role he was gonna play in this film?

AvengersPressConf_0386Jeremy Renner: Have we seen the movie? I feel like I can’t talk about anything. I feel like I’m gonna get shot if I talk. I speak in this movie which is awesome. I get to be a part of the team which is awesome and dive into some really killer aspects of… Sitting down with Joss and Kevin back in the day about why I like and why I wanna play Hawkeye cause I didn’t understand… I could never do what these gentlemen do. I don’t have that creative of a mind. I understood Hawkeye in the sense, he’s a human with a high skill set, so I could tap into that. I feel like I got to explore a little more of that, even outside the skill set. I thought that was a really endearing and thoughtful secret that he had. I’m excited to see where that goes.

Question: For Joss and Kevin – How much impact does this movie have on phase 2 leadup? {list of movies) So like did you say, we can do this in Cap 2 but you can’t do this? Or how it will affect the Avengers

Kevin Feige: A lot of those were already in the works. I mean Ironman 3, Cap 2, and Thor 2 were already in the works as Avengers was coming out. I would say it was more how those movies were affected by the first Avengers film. But I will say, I remember as we were putting phase 2 movies together, Joss very much liked the idea that…and we honed in on that for him, Hulk and Hawkeye were two characters that hadn’t gotten much exposure between the movies, cause he said he already had plans for the two of those characters in this one

Joss Whedon: The only thing I can think of is pulling Thanos out of Gaurdians of the Galaxy.

Kevin Feige: That true. There was gonna be more Thanos, yah.

Joss Whedon: We need to thread him in more gently, but that was pretty much it.

Question: Scarlett – We’ve seen Black Widow, not only evolve depth wise, but we see her role get larger and larger as the cinematic universe progresses. To the point that we see her play a significant role in Age of Ultron. Talk little bit about where you see Black Widow even going from here, once we get to the end of this film.

Scarlett Johansson: Oh my goodness. I think that at the end…. You know at the beginning of Avengers 2… I’m not gonna get shot am I?

James Spader: You want me to take this one?

Scarlett Johansson: This press conference going very slowly for you? At the beginning of Avengers 2, there’s some sense, finally of there being kind of normal, in a way. It’s a well oiled machine. You know we’re tag teaming each other. It’s finally, like the introductions are over. We’re at work,, like we’re digging our fields. And at the end of Avengers 2, I think Widow is…she let her guard down. She was hopeful for something. She had this moment of false hope where she kind felt like…she put in the work and there should be some kind of personal payoff. She was ready to accept it. She realizes that her calling is a greater one.. that’s not necessarily something that she’s thrilled about. That’s kind of what is most heroic about her, is that she’s accepting the call of duty and even at her own personal loss. I think its an interesting place to kind of leave her there, because there’s many different directions to go. Is she going to be able to withstand this huge weight bearing down on her or is she gonna crack under it? And sort of crumble, not being able to take this huge hit, this huge personal hit that she does. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Yeah, right? Yeah, there you go. I’m done.

AvengersPressConf_9119Question: Scarlett – Can you talk about the physical preparations that went into the role and were you a proficient motorcycle rider already?

Scarlett Johansson: I don’t think you’re allowed to ride a motorcycle when you’re so pregnant, but I did. I did all the motorcycle riding. I embarrassingly rode some sort of mechanical bull type of motorcycle which goes nowhere and doesn’t look cool at all. But we had some very professional and amazing motocross work being done that makes Black Widow look like a total badass. I will say that I’m very fortunate there is a team around me that is super supportive in helping all of Widow’s fight moves and badass motorcycle riding happen. I could not do that without that part of it. Starting a move and then finishing a move and all that work being seamless takes a lot of choreography and team spirit. Every film is exciting cause I get new tools and new fun cool stuff to do. Luckily, Joss writes me some badass moves that make me look epic and its awesome. I just said epic, awesome and badass all in one sentence. I’m done now.

AvengersPressConf_0377Question: For Mark – One of the great things about Banner is that we see so much of Dr. Banner in Hulk and yet you find a way to make Banner seem like such a distinct character from the Hulk at the same time. Talk a little about Banner’s evolution in this film and the Dr. Banner you wanted audiences of Age of Ultron to see.

Mark Ruffalo: I was helped out by the fact that I’m green and huge. That helped me with the distinction between the two characters. I can’t take full credit for that, except for the accent that I was using maybe. I’m done

Chris Evans: Nailed it!

AvengersPressConf_0376Question: for Joss – Why is the armor designed to contain the Hulk called Veronica?

Joss Whedon: I just decided to call it Veronica because he used to be in a love with a woman named Betty and Veronica is the opposite of that.

Mark Ruffalo: I was always wondering that, but I thought I’d be breaking some Marvel taboo by asking. We have a Marvel app on our iphones and if you say something wrong it literally shocks you.

Question: Did you get a shock just now? You’re not supposed to say that.

Mark Ruffalo: My publicist has it. She got the shock.

If you would like to listen to press conference with your own ears, click the player below.

Post Author: Libya El-Amin

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