Marvel's first Disney+ original series, WandaVision, has released all its episodes, but the fun is not over yet. The Direct got a chance to talk to Victoria Blade, who has had roles on such series as Doom Patrol, Watchmen, and Brockmire, but is now perhaps best known to MCU fans as WandaVision's "Commerical Lady."
The Direct sat down with Blade to get the low down on what it was like to become part of the MCU.
TALKING WANDAVISION WITH VICTORIA BLADE
The Direct: First off, we want to know about how it was auditioning for this project. Did you know what [your] audition was for [at the time]? What did they have you do?
Blade: I got an audition through my agent for an untitled Marvel streaming project; there was no title, there was no script, there was no information other than, “This is gonna be a show!” and I had read for a different townsperson character that appears in the first couple of episodes; I didn’t read for the commercial woman in my initial audition. That was a self-tape audition, so literally, like, me and my husband in the living room taping the scenes that they sent, and then [I] sent that tape in, and didn’t hear anything [for I think] a couple of weeks.
And then after a couple of weeks I was asked to come in the next day to the table reads with the cast. So it was a little mysterious; I was asked to come in for a day’s work - it wasn’t an audition - and basically help them read through all of the scripts within a week of each other. So I was reading a lot of the smaller roles that hadn’t been cast yet to basically help facilitate. But also, when I arrived, I met the whole cast; I met [Elizabeth Olsen] and Paul [Bettany] and the director [Matt Shakman], and I didn’t even know who I was gonna be meeting that day.
No one told me anything, so it was a really fun surprise, and someone came up to me from the production staff and was like “Oh, we just loved your audition tape; you’re so playful and fun, and that was such nice feedback to get because, you know, as an actor you send out these tapes all the time, and I barely even remembered which tape he was talking about. So that was really nice feedback to get.
But we were like, on the WandaVision set; day one we were touring the set because it was the first day of rehearsals, basically. So that was an incredibly lovely experience because I basically got to sit in on all of the pre-production meetings with the cast as we were exploring the story and the world, and got to hear directly from the writers what the vision was - the WandaVision! *laughs* So it was a blast and then a week or two later I was offered the role of the commercial woman in all of the live action commercials in the show.
The Direct: I’ve never heard of Marvel doing this kind of ‘come onto the set and kind of just see where you fit’ kind of thing. Was anyone else there doing the same kind of thing?
Blade: Isn’t that interesting? I had never heard of it before either! But then once I had gone through that kind of process, a writer friend of mine - I told him what had happened - he was like, “Oh yeah, they just wanted to get to know you and wanted to know where you fit in the world [of WandaVision],” and so that was kind of an interesting perspective that I had never heard before. I think I was the only one in that situation.
The Direct: You read all nine scripts [for the show], correct?
The Direct: Were the commercials already included in the scripts? When you got the role of the commercial lady did you know what the role was going to exactly entail at that point?
Blade: I actually knew exactly what was gonna happen, yeah. They were really clear about the creative vision, so there [weren’t] really any surprises for me.
The Direct: Have you done any actual commercial acting in your career?
Blade: Today I auditioned for three commercials. *laughs* I almost booed a commercial today. Yeah, I’m very active in commercials; I’ve been an actor for a long time, for 10 years, and that whole time commercials have always been a part of my life. So yeah, I’ve done a lot of commercials, I’m very comfortable with that.
And so the experience of those commercials on WandaVision was really similar because the scenes [were] so short and [I was] really there to just present a product in a good light. But I would say WandaVision is a [much] more rich experience, because the show lives on forever, whereas a [real] commercial kind of fades from memory.
The Direct: You didn’t have that much knowledge on Marvel beforehand, but was there anything that surprised you about working with them? Did you have any preconceived notions that [may have been] dispelled [after] actually going onto the set, [especially considering that] this is the biggest blockbuster studio in the world right now?
Blade: I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas about what Marvel would be like. I will say one thing that I loved was getting to sit in at such an early stage in the process. This was the earliest I’d ever been involved in a production, so watching Lizzie Olsen and Paul and the delicacy that they really approached the work with, and the intentionality and the sincerity that they brought to those conversations was really beautiful to watch. Because a lot of times when you show up on a show that’s already in production, you don’t get to hear those beautiful conversations about character, and it’s a vulnerable and beautiful thing.
I was really impressed by the quality of the work, and how seriously everybody was approaching the show was really inspiring to me, because you don’t always think of that when you think of an “action film”. I loved the deep character work that was happening.
The Direct: So now that you’ve done a project with Marvel, would you want to work with [them] again based on what you’ve [experienced with] them so far, and do you have any idea of what kind of project you’d like to work on with them?
Blade: Yeah, of course! I would love to work with Marvel again, especially this creative team was amazing, the director, the writer, I’m a fan for sure of the way they work and the way they created the show. And I’m a huge WandaVision fan, like even from just reading the scripts I was really moved by them.
And I’m not a super action movie-type person, but I love superhero stories. I love good versus evil, and I love the origin stories of superheroes. As an actor, it’s so fun to play a hero or a villain, because it’s really their backstory that fuels the whole story.
So as an actor, I would love to play any type of villain; I just think villains are where it’s at. *laughs* But I can’t think of a specific Marvel villain.
The Direct: [Any from] DC or [anywhere else]?
Blade: I would love to play Poison Ivy! That would be a dream.
The Direct: Since your whole thing in [WandaVision] is commercials, did you have a particular commercial you liked growing up that really stood out to you?
Blade: All I remember about [advertisements] growing up was, like, cereal commercials. I feel like all that I ever saw was cereal commercials. I don’t know if anybody relates to that, being a kid in the 90s, like, cereal commercials were everywhere. Everyone was eating cereal all the time, Wheaties and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
I have this memory of Kermit the Frog sitting on a bed singing a song in a Super Bowl commercial, and just being adorable. But no, I don’t have any specific ads that, like, “inspire” me, I don’t think. That’s a good question. Tony the Tiger, like, that was a big part of my childhood. It was all cereal!
The Direct: Do you have anything else in the works right now, and where can we keep up with [everything] that you’re doing?
Blade: What I have coming up is a new single, a song that I wrote that’s coming out soon. It’s called “Road Trip” and it’s about a road trip that I took with my husband in 2019, and I was actually on that road trip when I got the call from my agent that I had booked WandaVision. So that’s kind of a weird connection, but basically I just so excited about this road trip that I was planning that I just wrote a song about it, and then took video footage of the vacation and am editing that into a music video for the song. So that’s just kind of like a fun [project].
I think it’ll be nice because 2020 was a really hard year, and I think it’ll just be nice for us to think about road trips and fun stuff again. And then as far as where people can find me, I hang out on Instagram. TikTok is new for me, bear with me as I learn how to TikTok; I feel like a grandma on there, but it’s fun. It’s such a fun place to see the fans just being excited. But also, you can go to my website and you can sign up for my newsletter. Just like once a month, or something like that, I’ll send out, like, a new song, or whatever TV show I’m working on I’ll kind of send out little updates.
The Direct: Thank you so much for joining us, we [at The Direct] have all really loved doing WandaVision stuff and getting to cover it.
Blade: Me too! What a great experience.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.