Going from a Middle-earth movie to a Marvel Cinematic Universe one in the space of a year is something most actors could only dream of, but Evangeline Lilly almost turned down the opportunity due to being retired.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the star says Lost was her first speaking role, and she was so uncomfortable with the stardom that once she wrapped up the mind-bending show (and surprisingly decent Hugh Jackman movie Real Steel), she walked away.
She said: “I said, ‘I’m done, I’m never doing this again.’
“I had a baby, I was writing scripts, I had a quiet little life, and two years later – and I mean, throughout those two years, I had no contact with Hollywood at all – I got a covert call from Peter Jackson, who I knew through my relationship with Dom[inic Monaghan] back in the day.”
“I was so torn because I had genuinely retired, I thought I was done, but I really wanted to do the movie. The little 13-year-old girl in me was like, ‘I get to be a woodland elf? What?'”
“As I was finishing press for The Hobbit, that’s when I got the call from Marvel, and I thought, ‘I just need to either draw a very firm line in the sand and say I’m done, or I need to just make my peace with the thing… and do it in a way that makes me feel comfortable and satisfied.’ So that’s what I ended up deciding.”
Her career choice has worked out well for her, being the first female MCU hero named in a film’s title (shared billing, but it’s progress) and word of mouth is she’s the one who really does all the heavy lifting in that film.
She’s also used the promo trail for this sequel to call out Marvel for delaying the UK release date by a whole month, and berate her male co-stars for complaining about having to wear uncomfortable costumes.