At one point in the upcoming pilot to Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) sneaks into the bathroom of a scummy bar. She’s been in an accident. She’s bloody, bruised, and four women she doesn’t know walk in. What happens next may not seem like a crucial moment in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but, for head writer and executive producer Jessica Gao, it was a crucial moment for her show.
“That scene was so important to me, and there were so many times it was on the chopping block because a lot of people didn’t understand it,” Gao said during a recent press conference. “And I was like, ‘This is the single most important scene to me in this entire episode.’”
Why was it so important? Because the women who Jennifer doesn’t know immediately jump to her aid. All they want to do is help this woman who they can see has been wronged in some way. “Truly, the women’s bathroom in any club, bar, strip club, I don’t care, any public women’s bathroom is the most safe, protective, and supportive environment,” Gao continued. “It’s the truth! And women are so often depicted as being catty and bitchy and that can be true outside in the bar, but once you’re in the inner sanctum of the bathroom, these women want to help each other. If you went into a bathroom and said ‘This man was bad to me,’ you would have an entire army of women ready to go and kill him.”
The scene speaks to a larger aim of the new Marvel show. It’s hoping to show us a superhero as a real person, something the movies don’t often let you do because of time constraints. “I think the beauty of television is, unlike the movies, we actually have time and space to really, like, sit with a character and learn more about them and really get to know them as a fully fleshed-out person,” Gao said. “And what’s great about Jen Walters/She-Hulk is that [Maslany] was able to immediately, from day one, make this feel like a real human being. You feel like she’s lived a life. She has life experiences. She has relationships. She has a family and she has friends. And also, she changes. She might feel different in the morning than she does in the evening. She might feel different today than she does yesterday. This is a real person who actually feels things and processes things. And, like most people, has highs and lows.”
“It really is a little bit of a peek behind-the-curtain at the everyday, sometimes even mundane life of a superhero, which we do get to experience in this long-form series,” added director and executive producer Kat Coiro. We’ll have much more on She-Hulk leading up to, and after, its Disney+ premiere on August 18.
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