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Why Teyonah Parris was so confused about her WandaVision audition

Heads up: This article contains spoilers for WandaVision

Based on what the critics are saying about WandaVision, Teyonah Parris won't be the last person confused by the program. She was, however, one of the first. That's because the Dear White People star didn't get a single hint that she was going to be on the show until she was already on it.

The story, relayed to ET during a recent interview, goes like this: In the early stages of WandaVision's production, Parris landed an audition for a Marvel project. Which Marvel project? That much was unclear, as was the name of the character that she'd be playing and the role they would take in the movie-show-who knows? Maybe it was an off-Broadway revival of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. 

Confusingly, the chunk of the script that she was allowed to read ahead of time seemed to be for a hoaky, outdated sitcom. "I got some dummy sides for one of the first couple episodes and it was sitcom style so when I got it, I was like, 'I don't get this. Did you all say this was for Marvel?'" Parris told ET. "Usually the sides are indicative of what is happening in the scene, and the note that they had given the actors who were going in for this was, 'It's OK to be big. Too much is OK. Over the top is OK.'"

Wildly, that audition would get Parris one of the hottest potential roles in the MCU's Phase Four.

Teyonah Parris was as confused as the rest of us

All evidence to the contrary, Parris was actually auditioning for the part of Monica Rambeau, and she'd apparently lost track of the fact that she'd even tried out by the time the studio got back to her. "I had forgotten about it!" she continued. "I was like, 'Wait, what Marvel? Wait, that thing I didn't understand? OK, let's go back. I got the part, great. Who am I? What is it?' That's when they told me. And I was floored."

The character of Monica Rambeau was last seen in the MCU during the events of Captain Marvel, depicted there by Akira Akbar as a child during in the 1990s. Jumping forward a few decades, she's now an adult, and looks set to get the full origin story treatment during the events of WandaVision.

If the secrecy behind the audition seems bananas, then you just don't know Marvel. In an interview with The AV Club, character actor Pat Healy described the process of being cast in a background part in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. "I got this strange envelope outside my apartment door that said 'Freezer Burn' on it, which I later learned was the working title for the movie. And inside was a tape recorder and a list of instructions, and it was only to listen to the tape recorder with headphones on, and it was lines of dialogue in Russian." 

With that sort of cloak-and-dagger energy put into the role of "Scientist Number 1 in Deleted Scene," the only thing surprising about this story is that Marvel didn't have Parris audition in a locked bank vault.