I was presented with the incredible opportunity to go to LA to attend the press junket for the Ant-Man and The Wasp movie! One of my favorite events of the weekend was an interview session with Hannah John-Kamen, who plays Ghost in the movie.
Joining the Marvel Family
Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, is a new addition to the Marvel Universe. Ghost is portrayed as a villain in the trailer, but rumor has it that there may be a change of heart in the movie. I guess you’ll just have to see it to find out!
“It’s a huge responsibility to take this amazing character off this comic book page and be the first person to produce it into an incredible movie with incredible cast members, who are heroes in real life.” – John-Kamen
When Hannah was invited to a camera test in Atlanta, she was absolutely thrilled. Meeting the director of the film, Peyton Reed, really calmed her nerves because he was so laid back and she was able to really be herself. “If I don’t get this, that’s ok because I had the best day ever. I don’t regret one minute of it. Then I get a call saying yeah, you got it. Then I think I screamed and danced to Miley Cyrus,” John-Kamen said.
Ghost is Actually a Male Character in the Comic Books
Hannah actually wasn’t aware of this until she googled the character to read more about him. Her agents confirmed – the character was originally a male, but the directors were interested in taking a different approach. “So, to have a male character, and to be the first person to lift it off the page and give her life and make her a strong woman is so important and progressive and onwards and upwards,” John-Kamen said.
Getting into Character
Ghost is a very serious character and Hannah was challenged to channel her “inner rage” to play the part. As always, the stakes were high, but being on the set was enough to get the adrenaline pumping.
“With this film, you’ve got that balance between romance, fatherhood, and action and drama. It taps your funny bone, and you’ll be dying laughing. But it’s also heartbreaking. All of these themes make for an exciting experience as an audience member.”- John-Kame
A Change of Heart
There is a point in the film where the tables turn and it seems like Ghost might not be so bad after all. But, Marvel does a fantastic job of keeping you on your toes. Are characters redeemable? Hannah thinks so. “I think Marvel does a genius job with the villainous characters to really not make it black-and-white. They make it grey. You find yourself wondering… Do I feel sorry for them? Am I on their side? You get confused as an audience member, always anticipating the next move, which is really exciting to me. In the Marvel Universe, anything is possible.”
Truly getting into character means using your special powers as if they are real. Hannah told us that she had the freedom to choreograph the fight scenes as she wished. There weren’t restrictions or people telling her to stand one way or to move her arms a different way – it was up to her.
She told us that she has been doing her own stunts for quite some time. Every Marvel character has their own style of fighting and different powers. Even though she was able to improvise, she still had to be aware of any additions, like cracking a joke, because it doesn’t align with her character.
“I think it’s really important to do as much as you physically can because the character is a result of your efforts – it’s not just an emotional effort, but also physical, especially in this Marvel Universe.”- John-Kamen
The Ghost & Wasp Fight Scene
Hannah said that she really has to get pumped up before a fight scene – and the battle with Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) is no different. The fight takes place inside a van, which made for some interesting adjustments. “So I get a real high off of kicking butt, but every fight scene takes time because you need to make sure you’re being safe as well. These fights are shot in pieces so that you can really nail each move,” John-Kamen said.
Working with Michelle Pfeiffer
Hannah remembers being completely starstruck because Michelle Pfeiffer has an impressive lineup when it comes to her roles in action movies. She played Catwoman in Batwoman Returns and joined Ant-Man and The Wasp as Janet Van Dyne, the long-lost wife of Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym.
Ghost’s costume is made up of several pieces and takes several people to assemble. Hannah said that by the end of the movie, they got the process down to about seven minutes. Putting on the suit for the first time was a powerful moment.
“I suited up, stepped into the studio, and thought ‘I made it!’.”- John-Kamen
We were all wondering… did Hannah have any say in Ghost’s story? She said that it was already set. But, things hardly ever go as planned. As the movie progressed, the script adapted and the characters did too.
Working with Paul Rudd
Hannah started laughing when we asked her how she liked working with Paul Rudd. She said he is hilarious! But when they need to get down to business, everyone is respectful of that.
First and foremost, Hannah said that she hopes everyone has a good time.
“The film has so much heart. That’s what I think separates it. I think that’s actually what was needed after the devastation of Infinity War. I think we all needed a laugh.”
And for all the girls out there… Hannah wants all of you to know that you are strong and you are capable of doing big things!
Ant-Man In Theaters
Make sure to take a look at the teaser trailer!
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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP arrives in theaters everywhere on July 6th!
Also be sure to check out my interview with Michael Douglas!