When the opportunity to interview someone who worked on a Marvel movie came up, I could not say yes fast enough. And boy did I get a good one! Sharon Blynn is an interesting, tough, intelligent, and inspirational woman and getting an opportunity to ask her a few questions was an absolute pleasure. Keep reading to see what she had to say about her experience on the set of Captain Marvel, what it’s like to be a Skrull, and her fantastic organization, Bald Is Beautiful!
First off, how did you get involved with Captain Marvel?
My road to being part of Captain Marvel came by way of the uneventful, standard path of doing an audition (and then going on with my day), followed by a directors’ session (and again going on with my day and life, trying very hard not to think about what just happened!), and a few days later getting that fateful phone call from my rep telling me that I booked the gig (and then still trying to get on with my day and life even though it now feels like I’m in an alternate universe)!
Are you a comic book fan? Have you read any of the Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel comics?
I am indeed a comic book and cartoon and movie fan, and any permutation of those therein. I’ve specifically been a fan of Marvel since I was a kid, and although I wasn’t as familiar with Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel as I have been with other MCU characters throughout the years, I am aware of the various iterations and evolution of that character going back several decades. I am thrilled to see the Carol Danvers version of the Captain Marvel story get such a huge platform and positive audience response!
What does it mean to you to be a part of the larger Marvel Universe?
Um…everything. It means everything. I’m sure you can tell at this point how huge a fan I am of the MCU, and I have cherished every moment of this glorious ride. It is truly a bucket list item that I could not have imagined would ever be checked off! That’s how I felt when I actually met Stan Lee two years ago at LA Comic Con; I thought that was going to be the extent of my Marvel dream come true. But much like a Marvel movie, the end credits are never the end!
What was your experience like on set?
Being on set for this movie was beyond compare. There was impeccable detail and care in every part of the set designs we were working within, so after getting my make-up and gear on, I felt truly transported to another reality from the time I got to the soundstage. Then to continually realize just exactly what I’m a part of here was surreal. And it was just so much damn fun! The camaraderie amongst the cast and crew across the board was palpable, and that made it all the more special.
What was it like working with Ben Mendelsohn? Did you get starstruck at all?
Working with Ben was amazing. I thought I might be a little starstruck and maybe even a bit daunted by the prospect of acting with him (and Brie as well, for that matter). Not so much because of the celebrity thing, but more because of the caliber of his acting and wanting to rise to that occasion. The vibe of the shoot was totally relaxed, open, and inviting, so there we were … Skrullin’ together from day one!
How long was the makeup process? What was your least favorite part?
The make-up and prosthetics application took about two hours each time, and that’s the first thing I would do upon arrival! I sincerely did not have a least favorite part — I loved every millisecond of the experience. Even my make-up guys (shout-out to Chris and Mike, and the awesome lens techs Bob, Brittani, Melissa et al!) thought I would get annoyed or bored with the process after the second or third time, but I never did. As a fan, I was not only peeking behind the velvet curtain like one of my favorite shows How It’s Made, but I was working with the very artisans who create the sci-fi beings that I’ve loved watching in movies — total geek heaven! As an actor, having the opportunity to be part of this story, especially in such emotionally rich and impactful scenes and working with actors like Ben and Brie [Larson], was sublime.
The movie is so full of female empowerment. Was it like that on set as well? How was it working with Anna Boden [director]?
Working with Anna Boden was inspiring. Her energy is very comfortable and she’s just a cool woman; she’s smart, warm, funny, patient, and kind. I also loved the collaborative dynamic between her and Ryan [Fleck], which really set the tone for how everything flowed during filming. There was an egalitarianism and balance that was infused into the shooting process, and that made is easy to settle into the emotional groove I needed to be in during my scenes. I also saw quite a number of women in all areas of the crew that contributed to the overall chemistry on set.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I don’t have details I can announce just now, but readers can follow me on the interwebs and social media for updates on what I’m doing.
I love the message behind your organization, Bald Is Beautiful. Can you talk a bit about why you started it and what you’d like everyone to take away from it?
Thanks! I appreciate the good vibes for Bald Is Beautiful! I started Bald Is Beautiful because of my experience with ovarian cancer, and losing my hair and ovaries. My initial response or feeling about those “side” effects (not very “on the side”, really) made me reflect on how I was defining myself and my identity as a woman. And I met many women along the way as I continued with treatments who had a much more difficult time with hair loss than the chemo or cancer itself — this was way out of balance to me, and I wanted to change that. I understood the impact that images in the media have on how we perceive ourselves and each other, so acting and modeling became one of the ways I wanted to create a paradigm shift and expand what people are shown as “beautiful” or “feminine” by introducing a bald gal to the visual media scenario.
Interestingly, just as you reference everyone having an “inner nerd” on your website (I love that, by the way!), Bald Is Beautiful is, in part, about encouraging women to find their “inner bald woman”! What that means from my perspective, is learning to love and embrace ourselves from the inside out, so that if and when our bodies change either temporarily or permanently, from illness or physical challenge (or just good ol’ sands of time), we remain grounded in our wholeness and beauty from a deeper place, untouched by what happens with our physical bodies. And an understanding that while we can’t always control what’s happening in our bodies, we can determine how we move and live through those experiences.
Our website is called Talk Nerdy with Us and we love to ask everyone, what do you nerd out about?
I nerd out about sooooo many things, on a daily basis! First off, I’m a word nerd! (I mean that literally — I’m a professional proofreader and copy editor.) Other than that, if I have to come up with something in the now (and this is going to sound like an odd combo), I’ve recently been nerding out on Columbo reruns (I just happen to have seen the Johnny Cash, Leonard Nimoy, and Dick Van Dyke guest star episodes within the last couple of weeks), and I can also watch endless hours of the classic game show, Match Game! Things get a little weird in my insomniac world.
If you haven’t seen Captain Marvel yet, go now while it’s still in theaters! You can also keep up to date with Sharon/Bald Is Beautiful by visiting the website or following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Photo Credit: Alexis Dickey