Star Lia McHugh opens up about why Richard Madden found Ikaris’ Eternals powers hard to act out in comparison to their co-stars in the film. McHugh and Madden made their Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts as Sprite and Ikaris alongside Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Angelina Jolie as Athena and Salma Hayek as Ajak. Eternals also saw the return of Gemma Chan to the MCU, though this time around starring as Sersi after previously appearing in Captain Marvel as Starforce team member Minn-Erva.
Eternals explored the origins of its titular characters as they are created by the ancient Celestials and brought to Earth to 7,000 years ago to protect humanity from the Deviants. When the events of Avengers: Endgame sparks an event known as The Emergence as well as the resurfacing of their evil counterparts, the Eternals must reunite after being divided for the past 500 years to protect humanity once again. Eternals proved to be a mixed bag for Marvel, becoming the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2021 with over $402 million grossed at the box office while simultaneously becoming the lowest-reviewed installment in the MCU.
While speaking with Inverse for the latest MCU film, Lia McHugh offered some insight into the challenges of her and her co-stars bringing the Eternals to life. McHugh recalled the difficulties Richard Madden found with Ikaris’ powers and how his acting compared to that of the rest of the cast. See what McHugh shared below:
“It was different for each of us. Like, Richard [Madden], it was hard for him because lasers are shooting out his eyes. He’s literally like [eyes widen]. He can’t do anything to show that. It was easier for the rest of us, because we had our hands and we could physicalize it.”
Ikaris’ powers proved to be something of both excitement and humor for audiences going into the Eternals given the trailers specifically name-dropped Superman as a point of comparison to the character. Those familiar with the comics found this to be a bit of an oddity, given a closer comparison from Marvel’s history would be Hyperion. The film itself saw Ikaris’ powers even further linked to DC’s Man of Steel as many of his comic book abilities were left out from Madden’s portrayal, namely his telepathy, transmutation and teleportation, instead settling on super strength, flight and cosmic eye lasers.
McHugh isn’t the only one to speak about some of Madden’s difficulties portraying Ikaris for Eternals. The star himself spoke in multiple interviews in the lead up to the film’s release about the physical toll playing the character brought on him, particularly criticizing his flying scenes as looking dumb on the set itself as he would hang from wires in his superhero costume. Though Eternals seemingly wrapped the character’s arc in the MCU, it will be interesting to see if Madden returns as Ikaris in the near future and if his time will be easier the second time around with the character.
More: Why Ikaris Is The Only Eternals Who Can Fly
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