Before she was Sue Storm in 20th Century Fox's failed reboot of The Fantastic Four in 2015, actress Kate Mara joined a different Marvel family, appearing in the 2010 sequel Iron Man 2 in a bit part. Billed simply as "U.S. Marshal" in the credits, Mara's total time on screen is about forty seconds and her only scene has her handing Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark a subpoena, setting up his scene in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee which introduced Don Cheadle as the new Rhodey but also brought Garry Shandling's Senator Stern to the MCU. Though those two actors would go on to have bigger places in Marvel's plans, Mara didn't; but in a new interview she reveals that there was a hint that could happen which is why she signed on for the role in the first place.
“I had a meeting with Jon Favreau for that and they had said to me, ‘It’s a very, very small part, but it’s with Robert Downey and Jon, and it’ll be really fun. And a lot of times they bring these characters back into bigger more substantial roles,'" Mara revealed to Collider. "It wasn’t a promise, but it was definitely something that was hinted at to me. So that’s the reason why I even took the meeting was because I thought, ‘Well, if there’s a chance of it, why not spend an evening working with Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau? Great. I love them both. They’re amazing. It’ll be a good experience.’ And that’s exactly what it ended up being. It ended up being nothing more than that, but it really was fun. And we were shooting until like four in the morning. But yeah, it’s a weird cameo that turned into really nothing. But I don’t mind!”
As we know, that didn't happen, and Mara's luck with Marvel didn't fair much better with the reboot of Fantastic Four. Plagued by online controversies over casting and endless reshoots, the film came and went like few other modern Marvel movies, and with some years of reflection now behind her the actress revealed in the same interview what she wished she had done differently on that movie.
"I don’t regret doing it at all, but do regret not having stood up for myself," she added. "I regret that for sure. Because if my daughter ended up acting and was in a situation like that where she felt like she couldn’t speak up – meanwhile, I’m a pretty tough person and I really do advocate for myself. Granted, this was a few years ago and maybe this situation was different, but if I was in that situation today, it just wouldn’t have happened or it just would have been a different environment I think. So again, good learning experience, you know?"
Mara's new series A Teacher is currently streaming on FX on Hulu.