Marvel's Werewolf By Night is now streaming on Disney+, and without a doubt it is the biggest introduction to the horror and supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we've seen. Besides the titular Werewolf (Gael García Bernal's Jack Russell), Werewolf by Night also introduces some brand new occult-powered characters from Marvel Comics that are now making their MCU debut.
One of Werewolf By Night's biggest breakout stars is no doubt Irish actress Laura Donnelly, who plays the role of Elsa Bloodstone. Elsa is a relatively new character in Marvel Comics lore, having been introduced in 2001 as the star of her own series. Elsa Bloodstone was created to be the next generation (daughter) of Ulysses Bloodstone, an immortal monster hunter. Ulysses got his long life, power, and many victories as a monster hunter from the Bloodstone, a mystical gem that crashed to ancient Earth as a meteorite; Werewolf by Night chronicles the milestone event of Ulysses Bloodstone's death, and the right of succession to inherit the Bloodstone.
Who Is Werewolf By Night's Laura Donnelly?
Laura Donnelly has made a name for herself in UK/Irish productions like Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Jamie Dornan's (Fifty Shades of Grey) cop vs. serial killer drama The Fall, Starz' hit time-travel drama Outlander, the time travel drama Britannia, and the biopic Tolkien.
ComicBook.com's Marvel podcast Phase Zero got a chance to speak with Laura Donnelly about Werewolf by Night, and she talked about just what it' been like joining the MCU. Specifically, Donnelly spok then, doing so through such an experimental piece of content like Werewolf by Night, Marvel's first "Special Presentation" feature, crafted by an first-time feature director (Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino). According to Laura Donnelly, Marvel Studios' street cred as a good place to work is very much intact:
"I know a couple of actors, who have been in the universe in different capacities and everybody just had nothing but brilliant things to say about working for Marvel," Donnelly explained "So you know, 'cause I did a little asking around, whenever I first got offered the role, I was like, 'What was your experience?' And everybody just said, 'Oh my goodness, it's just like a family and people are thrilled to be there and everybody's so enthusiastic.' And that was absolutely my experience of it as well."
What may have set Werewolf by Night apart from the other productions that Marvel actors have worked on is that it was the only one of its kind. Therefore, Donnelly got a very different experience than most Marvel actors have – one that made work to remember that this small story is but a tiny corner of a much bigger universe:
"What I actually loved so much about it is kind of contradictory to that, which is that it didn't feel like this big Marvel project, it felt like this really interesting, experimental, creative, little indie movie that we were making," Donnelly said. "So I kept kind of having to remind myself, that we were a part of this bigger universe, that I'd watched so many of the films and have been such a fan of. And yeah, I kept just having to think that over and over, because it just felt so creatively free and so collaborative and that made it really fun and that was really unexpected for me. So that was the best bit."
Donnelly also talked about how Marvel Studios' creative process is so secretive that even she was never really sure what was going on during Werewolf by Night's production – especially with some of the other projects that were in production at the same time and place.
"I caught a little glimpse of other sets of other movies and you know, some people, but I didn't get to meet any of the other actors who were working at the time and I think there's something, just even within that context, everything is so locked down and secretive," Donnelly explains. "So that excites me, 'cause I still remain a fan of those things and so I almost don't even wanna see that, because I want to stay a fan."
Based on the ending of Werewolf by Night, it's safe to say that Elsa Bloodstone has a bigger story to tell in the MCU, and that fans will be all in on Laura Donnelly holding that role.
Werewolf by Night is now streaming on Disney+.