The Real Reason Carrie Coon Joined The MCU

Fans of gripping live theater, searing indie dramas, and prestige TV are probably already very familiar with celebrated Tony and Emmy-nominated actress Carrie Coon, best known for her role on HBO's The Leftovers. Her latest role finds her starring in the simmering marriage drama The Nest alongside Jude Law. While making the press rounds for that film, Coon spoke with Perri Nemiroff on Collider's chat show Ladies Night, where she fielded a question about one of the biggest — but most unusual — entries on her resume: Avengers: Infinity War.

Nemiroff pointed out that Coon's role as the villainous Proxima Midnight, a henchwoman to Thanos (Josh Brolin), is a far cry from the parts she usually takes on. When Nemiroff asked if Coon had any apprehension about joining the biggest franchise in the universe, the actress admitted, "There was some idea of having come from a pretty auteur television world to jumping into the most commercial project that ever existed. There was a little bit of soul searching about that."

However, Coon ultimately came to a pretty decisive conclusion. "It was a really unusual opportunity that most actors would kill for," she reasoned. "And who am I to say no to that?"

When Marvel comes calling, it's hard not to pick up the phone. And as Coon revealed in previous interviews on the subject, she got the gig because directors Joe and Anthony Russo were fans of her work. Here's the full story of how she wound up at the right hand of Thanos.

How Carrie Coon was cast in Avengers: Infinity War

During their interview, Nemiroff brought up the fact that in becoming a cast member in the MCU, "you are also committing to get asked about it in like every interview you do."

She wasn't wrong in that assessment. Coon has been asked about her involvement in Avengers: Infinity War multiple times during interviews. In one with PeopleTV's Lola Ogunnaike, she explained exactly how she got the gig in the first place. According to Coon, what she thought was an unspecified voiceover job quickly morphed into something else: "My agents came back and said that it was for Avengers, and that the brothers who were directing it, they knew my work from television, from Fargo and The Leftovers — I think Fargo fans, primarily, if I'm not mistaken — and they were excited about the possibility of me actually physicalizing the character, as well."

Before she knew it, she was flying to Atlanta to do motion capture work for one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. As Coon revealed in a different interview in Entertainment Weekly, she had previously done motion capture work for video games in the early days of her acting career, so the experience wasn't as strange as it could have been.

In addition to not wanting to turn down a good gig, Coon has also shared some insightful thoughts on the role that superhero franchises like the MCU play in society.

Carrie Coon's thoughts on the significance of the MCU

After revealing exactly how she got involved in the MCU, Coon also offered her thoughts on the storied entertainment empire during her interview with Nemiroff. Just because Coon is mostly known for tackling more arty projects, that doesn't mean she can't see the value of blockbuster entertainment like the MCU. She said of the substance behind the CGI explosions, "They're really smart! And they're trafficking in some really large ideas."

Coon then went deeper about the correlation between the MCU — not to mention the modern phenomenon of superheroes, in general — and the ancient traditions of mythology. For her, it's about so much more than box office numbers and action figure sales. "Let's face it: they're our Greek gods. There's this spiritual life that people choose when they look to those franchises with such reverence," she said. "It's not just about commercialism. It's about gods and goddesses. It's about something bigger than us."

Carrie Coon has another big franchise on deck

The MCU isn't the only blockbuster franchise that Coon has joined recently. The actress is starring in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a direct sequel to the '80s classics that sees her playing Callie, a single mom with a familial connection to the original films. Similar to the consideration she put into taking on a role in Avengers: Infinity War, Coon told Nemiroff during their interview that she didn't jump on the part right away, because she didn't want to take on a thankless mom role with little to do.

However, with filmmaker Jason Reitman behind the project, that didn't end up being a concern. Coon praised the Juno director (who also happens to be the son of original Ghostbusters helmer Ivan Reitman) and she assured Nemiroff that the role had substance. "Jason is the next generation, and he wrote a lot of fun for all of us, and it was one of the reasons I said yes to it," she enthused. "You know, she actually has a personality, a sense of humor, and she does get in on the action. And that was really fun for me!"

The moral of the story is, whether you want a painfully real portrayal of the struggles of marriage or a thrilling blockbuster adventure, there's a Carrie Coon performance that will be just right for you.