Chloé Zhao Explains Sersi’s Role in Marvel’s Eternals
Several months after her history-making Oscar win for Nomadland earlier this year, Chloé Zhao is getting ready to put her stamp on the superhero genre with Eternals, which finally opens this fall after a year of delays. Naturally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a far cry from Zhao’s previous work. And while the titular immortals work together as a team, it sounds like Gemma Chan’s Sersi is going to be the film’s MVP. In a new interview, Zhao explained how she used Chan’s character to challenge the audience’s expectations of conventional heroism.
Zhao outlined her goals for Sersi in a new profile of Chan for Vogue UK. Apparently, she had been wanting to shake up the status quo for superhero movies for some time. And it seems that Chan’s character provided the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
“It has always been a passion for me to create a nuanced female superhero that is rarely seen in this genre,” said Zhao. “Gemma was very interested in this idea as well and took on the challenge. She is a great actress. Very intelligent and brave. She brought a beautiful sense of gentleness, compassion and vulnerability to Sersi that I believe will invite viewers to rethink what it means to be heroic.”
This actually isn’t Chan’s first dip in the MCU sandbox. She previously co-starred as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel in 2019. However, Eternals finds her taking on a much bigger role this time around. But according to Chan, viewers won’t be able to pin her down so easily.
“First of all, I never expected to be back in the MCU,” added Chan. “So that was a surprise. And then to be working with an East Asian female director — I would never have dreamt of that, even just a few years ago.”
“Sersi is not your typical superhero,” continued Chan. “She’s not necessarily the best fighter, she doesn’t have the most obviously impressive powers. The main thing is she’s an empath. She has a connection with humans, and with the world and the earth. That is her strength, so I leant into that.”
Eternals hits theaters on November 5.
Are you looking forward to seeing Sersi in action later this year? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: The Eternals by Jack Kirby Vol. 1
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