Lia McHugh, star of Eternals, gives her take on why her character Sprite betrayed Gemma Chan’s Sersi during the action-packed final battle. Eternals was the 26th film to be released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the third MCU feature film to debut in 2021 after Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The story of the film revolves around the superpowered alien beings known as Eternals who were created by ancient cosmic entities called the Celestials. After thousands of years in hiding, the Eternals are forced to emerge after the resurfacing of their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
Eternals features an ensemble cast with Game of Thrones alumni Richard Madden and Kit Harington, along with Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, and Lia McHugh, who plays the role of Sprite, an Eternal who possesses the power of projecting life-like illusions. The film received mixed reviews and was the first MCU film not to receive a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 48%. However, it managed to be a success in the pandemic-affected box office having grossed $400 million worldwide.
Now, in a recent interview with Inverse, Lia McHugh spoke at length about her breakthrough role as Sprite in Eternals, including her character’s “motives” regarding her betrayal of Gemma Chan’s Sersi in the climax of the film. She pointed out Sprite’s “hurt” and “wanting to forget” as two major factors for her decision. McHugh also stated that the character’s “pain” had reached a point where it was unbearable, which Sersi was able to “understand,” leading her to “find forgiveness” for Sprite. Check out McHugh’s full quote below:
“Sprite’s motives in the ending were driven by her hurt and wanting to forget. A lot of what she did she would have never done. She wanted Arishem to emerge, she wanted our memories wiped. She wanted to forget her pain because it was so awful and so deep that she just couldn’t bear it anymore. She needed to forget it and forget Ikaris. But Sersi is her sister. She knows her very well. She understands how awfully hard it is for Sprite. I don’t think she blamed her. She found forgiveness for her as much as she did for Ikaris.”
Sprite’s love for Ikaris (Madden) drives her into choosing to join him in stopping the rest of the Eternals from preventing Tiamut’s birth that was set to destroy the planet. The climactic battle that takes place on a volcano on the Indian Ocean included a moment where Sprite stabs Sersi in her attempts to break her off, showing how far she’d go to free herself of the pain she’s been harboring. However, Sprite changes her mind eventually and helps the remaining Eternals form the Uni-mind, providing Sersi with the power to turn Tiamut into marble. Following their triumph, Sprite requests Sersi to use the remaining Uni-mind energy to turn her into a human, ending her childlike state.
Having lived on Earth for thousands of years among humans and her fellow Eternals, along with having to witness Ikaris and Sersi’s romance bloom over that timespan, it’s quite understandable as to why Sprite wanted to live a normal life. McHugh’s comments make perfect sense as the fact that Sersi’s “forgiveness” for both Ikaris and Sprite comes from her kind and compassionate nature as a character and a hero. While it’s unclear whether Sprite has a future in the MCU, fans can revisit McHugh’s excellent turn as the likable character now that Eternals is streaming on Disney+.
Next: Eternals Was Made Worse By Avengers: Infinity War And Endgame
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