[The following story contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.]
Whatever reaction you had to the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season one finale, Tatiana Maslany is here for it.
Dissatisfied with her series’ ending, Maslany’s Jen Walters/She-Hulk decided to do something about it by breaking the fourth wall to the extreme. She climbed — yes, climbed — out of her own show by way of the Disney+ interface and entered into Marvel Studios: Assembled. The real-life setting of the docuseries led Jen to the Walt Disney Studios Lot where she confronted the She-Hulk writers’ room and an AI known as K.E.V.I.N., which served as a stand-in for Marvel Studios President and creative mastermind, Kevin Feige. It took a strong closing argument, but Jen managed to convince K.E.V.I.N. to rewrite season one’s conclusion into something more character-driven, as opposed to the more conventional Marvel ending with a CG showdown of some sort.
Maslany appreciates the big swing because she knew it would evoke a strong response in either direction.
“It felt like we were making something really juicy and something that would very much hit people,” Maslany tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And whether that’s a reaction like, ‘I don’t like this. This is betraying something,’ or, ‘I love this,’ it really is an exciting, complex moment.”
In the penultimate episode, “Ribbit and Rip it,” Jen Walters hit it off with Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil, marking his second appearance in the MCU since Feige revived the fan-favorite character from the canceled Netflix series, Daredevil, which now resides on Disney+. Maslany is also urging Cox to see to it that Jen and Matt reunite on his upcoming Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again.
“I keep texting him being like, ‘Am I required for set today?’ And he says, ‘We’ll let you know by lunch.’ But he just keeps putting it off. I’ve been waiting outside the set in my She-Hulk costume, so just put me in, coach,” Maslany says half-jokingly.
In a recent spoiler conversation with THR, Maslany also explains why she wasn’t surprised that Marvel Studios was so willing to make fun of itself in the She-Hulk season finale.
So do you consider Jen’s college dance video to be the origin story for episode four’s big moment with Megan Thee Stallion?
(Laughs.) Yes, thank you for seeing that link and for seeing how much work she had to put into doing that. She earned it.
She trained her whole life for it.
She did! That’s right.
We talked previously about a potential fourth wall duel with Deadpool, but Jen dropped the mic in this episode by smashing the fourth wall and landing on the Disney Lot. Could you believe what you were reading at first? Did you think you were being pranked?
Yeah, I was super blown away by it. I couldn’t believe we got to do it. It felt so true and so correct, but at the same time, it was causing people to be nervous. It was like, “What are we going to do? Is this destroying blah, blah, blah?” So it felt like we were making something really juicy and something that would very much hit people. And whether that’s a reaction like, “I don’t like this. This is betraying something,” or, “I love this,” it really is an exciting, complex moment.
Jen voices many of the critiques and questions that Marvel fans have had over the years. So were you surprised that Marvel was willing to poke fun at itself to that degree?
Not really, because knowing Kevin Feige, he just has a creative mischief about him and a curiosity about things. And as a creative, it makes sense to me that he would be up for it. Also, Marvel is doing alright; they’re going to be fine. (Laughs.) It’s not like they’re struggling to get people to embrace their stories. They’re pretty well loved.
I have a theory that Ryan Reynolds heard about your fourth-wall exploits in the finale and decided to announce Hugh Jackman in Deadpool 3 ahead of time. Clearly, he was jealous of what you had planned.
(Maslany plays along.) Yes, that’s such a jealous move, and it’s so obvious he was trying to do that. Thank you for calling him out on it.
You’re very welcome. So Jen has thoughts on a potential season two. Do you also have thoughts on a potential season two?
No, Jen definitely has a stronger sense of herself than I do. I long to always be surprised, and that was why I was so excited to read this pilot and why I was continuously so excited and compelled by the story. Every episode surprised me, what we were doing surprised me, and what we were saying surprised me. And so, for me, it’s just about continuing that tradition, as the spirit of She-Hulk is never being what you expected it to be.
I really appreciated that Jen and Matt (Charlie Cox) hit it off because I couldn’t wrap my head around She-Hulk’s online dates not being interested in Jen. How did you reconcile that storyline where the alter ego was more sought after, I suppose?
To me, it feels really relatable. We all perform, to some degree, a version of ourselves that we feel is worthy of love or attention or whatever. It’s that feeling of, “But if they knew this about me,” or, “If I revealed this side of me.” I think we all get afraid of being ourselves at our most vulnerable and our most unadorned or most undefended. And it’s probably for good reason because we’ve all had our hearts broken; we’ve all been rejected. But it’s ultimately a very relatable notion, and I loved that she was able to express that in that scene with these guys who she doesn’t really know. And something about that lets her divulge it because she’s not with her best friend who knows all parts of her. She’s actually getting to investigate it for the first time, so I just love that scene. I thought it was so true.
Do you hope to pop up on Charlie Cox’s upcoming show, Daredevil: Born Again, to debate superhero privacy some more?
I keep texting him being like, “Am I required for set today?” And he says, “We’ll let you know by lunch.” But he just keeps putting it off. I’ve been waiting outside the set in my She-Hulk costume, so just put me in, coach.
I’m talking to him tomorrow so I’ll apply some pressure.
Yes, tell him!
Jen and Matt’s differing views on superhero privacy could be a future conflict for just the two of them, but it could also be a macro-level conflict for the MCU, picking up where Captain America: Civil War left off. So what are your thoughts on their privacy debate?
I can’t help but look at things from my own point of view. I’m sorry, but as an actor, what am I willing to give over? What is my responsibility to give over, and what can I keep for myself? Because privacy comes into play most when I do press or whatever. It’s that thing of, “Why would anybody want to know the details of me and my life, or think that taking a picture of me is something?” There’s this whole other side of being an actor, which feels incongruous with the job. It’s so much about vulnerability and stepping into another character’s life and exploring it. So Jen’s conflict with privacy and Matt’s perspective on it are very different, but that’s where my brain starts to get sparky around it.
Ginger Gonzaga told me that her neck needs an adjustment after working with She-Hulk and constantly having to look up at her. So did you refer your castmates to a good chiropractor, as a wrap gift?
(Laughs.) A chiropractor worked with us on the show. It was a lot of work, and we were broken for many reasons. So, yeah, we had a set chiro.
I have to wrap, but I must say that the thumbs-up, tongue-out reaction you gave after the X-Men line was iconic.
(Laughs.) That was based off of Jessica Gao’s fiancé, Truck Torrence. He’s a great illustrator and super cool visual artist, and he did these crew hats that had She-Hulk looking like that. (Maslany mimics the expression.) And when I saw that image, I was like, “Oh my god, that’s Shulky at her essence.” So when that moment came up, it just sort of popped out of me, but it was definitely inspired by Truck’s art.
Well, congratulations on a wonderful season, and my fingers will remain crossed for a potential season two, as well as a guest role on Daredevil: Born Again.
Let Charlie know I’m ready!
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now available on Disney+. This interview was edited for length and clarity.
‘She-Hulk’ Star Tatiana Maslany Talks the Finale’s Big Swing and Waiting for the ‘Daredevil: Born Again’ Call