Captain Marvel star Brie Larson trained for nine months to complete her transformation into Marvel’s cosmic-powered superhero, turning her body into “a weapon and a tool” made of “pure muscle.”
Larson admitted to the Los Angeles Times she was “never particularly active” before taking on the role of the half-human, half-Kree warrior who promises to be the most powerful of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s legion of super-beings.
“Carol is a trained warrior and I can barely walk in a straight line,” Larson said. “So for me to get to the point where I can do all of the things that were required of me meant really putting myself to the test and dedicating a lot of hours to it.”
Larson underwent a rigorous nine-month training process that saw the 29-year-old actress engage in daily 90-minute workouts for six months, followed by an additional three months of intense two-hour workouts twice a day.
To build muscle, Larson performed such exercises as 215-pound deadlifts, 400-pound hip thrusts and single-leg lunges that saw her wield 40 pound weights with an extra 10 pounds strapped to each leg — workouts a proud Larson captured on her Instagram account.
“I’d do an hour and a half of cardio or strength training, go eat a bunch of food, pass out for an hour and then put on another set of exercise clothes and go to the stunt gym to do fight training and wire work stuff for another two hours after that,” Larson said.
“There were moments where I cried, there were moments where I thought it was too hard, where I got pushed beyond my comfort zone, but those were ultimately my favorite moments. At the time you're like, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ And then afterwards you feel so proud of yourself.”
Larson’s efforts impressed veteran stunt coordinator Jim Churchman, who in recent years put in work on Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 and Doctor Strange.
“Brie certainly works very hard, there's no doubt about it,” Churchman said. “She took her bumps and bruises and kept going. Often to the point where the conversations with the producers were, ‘Hey, do we have to limit her training a little bit?’ She did some intricate wire work, she did tons of fighting and she was all in.”
In addition to her transformative workouts, Larson trained in a mix of tae kwon do, judo and boxing to prepare for the fight scenes — most of which Larson performed herself, save for the times stuntwomen Joanna Bennett and Renae Moneymaker stepped in as doubles for certain scenes.
“She learned very quickly,” Churchman said.
“Her biggest asset was being invested in the character and in the work needed to pull it off. Certainly her physical fitness escalated during the shoot but the bottom line is, you can be the most physically talented person but if you don’t have the discipline and the mental state to push yourself and commit to it, you won’t perform. And she did.”
“I was usually pretty dead after around four hours of exercise a day,” Larson added.
“It’s really a full-time job. I completely turned my body around. I was just pure muscle by the end of all that. But I do think it’s important to say that it took a nutritionist, two different trainers, a paleo meal delivery service, a lot of mozzarella sticks and a lot of sleep and water.”
While Larson admitted she never wanted her body to “be a part of the conversation,” she takes pride in reclaiming her body as part of her journey towards becoming Marvel’s first leading female superhero.0comments
“I just wanted to disappear. And so I never paid attention to it or put thought towards it because I didn’t want anybody else to think about it,” Larson explained. “So getting to take my body back and own it and make it a weapon and a tool was really powerful.”
Captain Marvel opens March 8.