Ever since Monica Rambeau was announced to be appearing in WandaVision, played by Teyonah Parris, fans eagerly awaited the moment she would gain her superpowers. Fortunately, that wish was granted, and after trudging through the Hex a third time in the latest episode, Monica seems to have finally gained her electromagnetic spectrum powers.
Instead of Monica's powers being tied to Captain Marvel's, it's actually a direct result of Monica wishing to save Wanda from herself. In a recent interview, Parris discussed Monica's motivations and how it gave her the push to confront the character's own grief with her mother's passing.
BECOMING A (SUPER)HERO
Speaking with Marvel, Teyonah Parris discussed how she got involved with WandaVision, including the scene in which Monica Rambeau finally gained hr superpowers.
When first meeting with Marvel Studios for the show, Parris was shown the storyboards for the scene in question. The actress described her reaction as “I was like, ‘What's that? What happens? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh,’” upon seeing it.
“I saw magical rays, and glimmers, and stuff on the storyboards...and it was my face! And I'm like, ‘How did they do this already?’”
Before Parris even filmed her superhero origin, she was told exactly how Monica gained her powers by passing through the Hex and how it connected and drove the character.
“When I sat down and talked to the [WandaVision team], they explained it to me that through Monica's compassion, through her empathy, and her willingness to put her own body on the line, she sacrifices her own self for what she believes is the greater good [to go back to Westview]. And that happens by passing through this energy field too many times, essentially.”
When filming this sequence of passing through the Hex, Parris said that “[Director] Matt [Shakman] guided me through [the scene],” and specifically telling her what is motivating Monica at that moment, which is the death of her mother, Maria Rambeau.
“He had in his mind how it would all mesh together. I just tried to imagine the grief and the heaviness of Monica losing her mom and not being there, and the heaviness of the guilt. And then essentially at the end, wanting to make her proud, wanting to show [Maria Rambeau] that I will move forward.”
Parris further explained Monica's drive to help Wanda and how it connected to their mutual grief.
“And a part of it also almost felt like, when you don't cry, when you don't stop to grieve and then finally somebody says one thing and all of a sudden, it's just, ‘ah.’ That was Monica's actual physical moment to grieve and to just scream and let it out, whereas before she's been trying to get through it by helping Wanda, by throwing herself into work. But in this one moment here, she got to really sit in her grief and move through it physically. We saw the physical manifestation of Monica moving through her grief.”
The scene itself actually posed a bit of a challenge for Parris as she had to perform it several times in various outfits.
“When we filmed it, that was on a stage [against] a green screen. Basically, I had to wear each of my outfits, get tethered to a rope, and pull to have that motion. And so, there was that technical aspect of it. That was a little difficult, especially the ones in the space suit and then the stockings and heels. I just switched to sneakers!”
MONICA TRANSCENDING MORTALITY?
After Monica received a power-up in the comics, she discovered that not only was she more powerful, but that she had turned into a being of light and essentially became immortal. Monica would struggle for years with whether she was still human or if she would outlive the Earth itself. As for this being the case in the MCU, it would certainly have a bit of irony to Monica's character.
Obviously, when Parris speaks about how “[Monica] sacrifices her own self for what she believes is the greater good,” she's talking about potentially being rewritten again by Wanda and the Hex, but what if it's something further than that? What if Monica losses some of what she believes to be her humanity and her body becoming composed of pure light?
Could these new powers, and potentially altered humanity, help connect her with Carol Danvers again? That hero in particular is someone who may have already been dealing with the drawbacks of her powers, as she didn't look a day over 30 in Avengers: Endgame, despite being at least over 60 years old. After what was done to Danvers, she may never age, which could be the same for Monica now.
It will be interesting how Captain Marvel 2 will reintroduce audiences to Monica Rambeau for those who neglected to watch her debut in WandaVision and how her powers will factor into the movie as a whole.