Julia Louis-Dreyfus Lobbied Marvel to Change 1 Thing About Her Character

Julia Louis Dreyfus, Marvel, US Agent
By Nathan Johnson Posted:

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine's hair in the MCU is a different color than in the comics thanks to actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Valentina, or Val for short, was first introduced in the MCU in The Falcon and the Winter Solider. In the series, she worked to recruit Wyatt Russell's John Walker to what will eventually be the Thunderbolts team.

In Black Widow, Val made another appearance, this time recruiting Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, who will also be joining the Thunderbolts when the film of the same name releases on July 26, 2024.

Even though Val hasn't been around for that long, her presence in the MCU has been mysterious, yet impactful at the same time. Louis-Dreyfus recently revealed a little bit about what she has personally contributed to the character, specifically when it comes to her look.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Changed Val's Hair Color

In a recent interview with Variety, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus talked about her secretive MCU character, La Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. The character, who had brief appearances in multiple MCU projects, is set to star in the upcoming Thunderbolts film alongside other star actors such as Florence Pugh, Harrison Ford, and David Harbour.

Val, Black Widow, MCU
Marvel Studios

In the MCU, Val has a streak of hair that is dyed purple on the left side of her head. This is a slight alteration from the comics, where her streak is colored white, a change Louis-Dreyfus suggested to Marvel Studios:

"I did this to see if I can get some respect from these people in my family. I thought purple would make it a little more of this world today. And I didn’t want her to look too much like Cruella."

Val, Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Louis-Dreyfus also mentioned how she landed her role in the MCU, which came from a meeting with Marvel Studios President and CCO Kevin Feige and Co-President Louis D'Esposito.

After the meeting, Louis-Dreyfus recalled what she said to the executives, "If anything comes up, let me know.'" She was then contacted for the role of Valentina shortly after.

The actress also revealed that she had some other requests for the character. According to Louis-Dreyfus, she "pitched" the idea of Val having some fight scenes in Thunderbolts. However, the actress doesn't know if she will be allowed to because she "(hasn't) seen the script yet:" 

"I pitched it; I told them I really want to fight. I haven’t seen the script yet — we’ll see if that happens." 

If her wishes were to come true, Louis-Dreyfus would have to endure months of physical training, an idea that she doesn't seem too excited about:

"Ugh. I guess I’d better get in shape."

Marvel Studios Giving Creative Control to Actors

For the most part, actors don't write the scripts for the movies that they star in, especially when it comes to the MCU. However, the directors and producers of the films seem to give some creative control to the people that bring these characters to life.

Changing the color of Val's hair isn't something major, but it shows that Marvel Studios is comfortable with actors putting their own spin on the characters they portray. It also proves that the executives aren't trying to withhold all of the creative power when it comes to making these projects and they are open to suggestions.

Louis-Dreyfus' comments also prove that she is all-in on playing Valentina. The MCU is an extremely successful franchise and one that has a tendency to bring in a lot of money with every release. Due to that fact and the sheer popularity of the MCU, some actors could seek out a role for solely the paycheck and the stardom that comes along with it, but Louis-Dreyfus seems to be excited about the opportunity she's been given.

As far as her wish for fighting at some point in Thunderbolts, anything is possible. She has already influenced Marvel Studios to change her hair color, so perhaps she will get to throw some punches too.

Thunderbolts comes to theaters on July 26, 2024.