Robert Downey Jr in a scene from the movie Captain America: Civil War.
Robert Downey Jr in a scene from the movie Captain America: Civil War. Disney

Olsen now an ‘old hand’

NOW a fully-fledged member of The Avengers, Elizabeth Olsen doesn't feel like the new girl in the Marvel Universe.

The actress returns as Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) in Captain America: Civil War, after making her superhero debut in Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

Civil War includes so much Marvel muscle it's more of an Avengers-style romp than a Captain America/Steve Rogers story and there's plenty of time devoted to the development of supporting characters like Maximoff.

"The first day back on set I felt more confident because in Age of Ultron everything had to be established and everything was new," Olsen says.

"My character is still kind of the outsider of the group but she is part of the group now and it makes the dynamic and interaction interesting.

"The Avengers replaced home and family because she doesn't have any of that when we leave her in Age of Ultron."

After causing so much collateral damage around the world, including a particularly traumatic experience for Maximoff, The Avengers are asked to agree to oversight by a United Nations-regulated panel.

Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Rogers find themselves on opposite sides of the moral debate: do the superheroes need accountability or will they be giving up the autonomy that allows them to act swiftly and rise above politics?

"At that point of the film, Wanda's more terrified of causing harm to people than choosing a political side," she says.

"I like the idea of her being terrified of her own abilities and being unsure. She's just as unsure as everyone else is with her but everyone's acting like everything's cool. To be unsure of your own power that is within you is not something I personally relate to but it is something that I find interesting and fun to play.

"She ends up fighting with Cap's team. It was more about being accepted and less about actual political beliefs."

The stand-off escalates into a full-blown battle between Stark, Rogers and their respective supporters.

"Running like Braveheart warriors in a line to attack and things like that just felt very epic," Olsen says.

"Trying to sprint and keep up with the guys was a hard task in heels but we figured it out."

Maximoff's unique bond with Vision (Paul Bettany) is also explored in the film as he also joins The Avengers after his creation in Age of Ultron.

Bettany had previously featured as the voice of Stark's artificially-intelligent digital assistant, Jarvis. "The way that they (Marvel) have intelligently linked them is that they're powered from the same source, so she got her powers from the same stone that gave him his whole life," Olsen says.

"He's so sensitive and sweet to her and they have a great friendship and trust between the two of them. They're two outcasts who are not fully aware of their own abilities."

Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, confidently juggle a large cast of characters and the introduction of Ant-Man, Tom Holland's new Spider-Man and Black Panther into the wider Marvel fold.

Some critics have gone so far as to declare Civil War (or Captain America 3) as Marvel's best film yet, thanks to its more mature, moral struggle driving the mix of action and humour movie-goers have come to love.

"The Russos are definitely in charge. All of their ideas are so specific," Olsen says. "They also want every actor to feel like they're the owner of their character so if there's dialogue that doesn't feel like it fits you right, you get to change it."

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