Does Brie Larson Deserve All the Hate She Gets From MCU Fans?

Brie Larson won an Oscar even before she went into the MCU so her casting a big score for Marvel. Her initial casting announcement as Captain Marvel was greeted with cheers and her movie made over $1 billion worldwide. So why does Larson catch so much grief from so many Marvel fans? 

Part of the problem may be that people think Captain Marvel is too cold and too full of herself. Another part of the problem may be that many people actually do like her, but the ones that don’t drown everyone else out. The vocal minority then gets mistaken for the majority. 

What do fans say about Brie Larson?

Brie Larson
Brie Larson | John Shearer/Getty Images

The debate sparked on Reddit when a fan asked: “What did she do? Am I wrong for liking her?”

Some fans mentioned that Larson often makes feminist statements, and that doesn’t sit too well with the sometimes reactionary and insular fans.

One person responded: “I think the criticism comes from two main camps: (1) as mentioned, the anti-SJW (Social Justice Warrior  crew reflexively fuming over some of her comments; and (2) people who disliked her performance … A large part of the blame there has to go to the writers for giving her the shallowest of character arcs. Hopefully in future movies they can flesh her out a bit because CM is a very interesting character and Brie has legit acting chops.”

This sounds similar to some fans saying that Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue, a female character unrealistically lacking in flaws. Captain Marvel has been accused of this too. One wonders the criticism would be quite so loud if Rey and Captain Marvel were men. 

The negative buzz around Larson even led to people theorizing that the other MCU actors personally did not like Larson, a notion that Gossip Cop debunked as nonsense. Fans on Reddit noted this is yet another example of the Internet amplifying noise that isn’t as far-reaching as it sounds. 

What does Brie Larson herself say?

Larson sometimes responds to the criticism of her character in novel ways. When some fans complained that Captain Marvel didn’t smile enough, Larson put out a series of pictures with toothy grins on the faces of the male Marvel heroes. 

In an interview with Variety, Larson said she was unaware of some of the uglier criticisms of her, such as YouTube videos that rooted for Captain Marvel to bomb. She said she doesn’t Google herself, which is probably a healthy tip for any performer to take. 

Larson said: “I have genuinely never needed to look at the internet to explain to me who I am. I’m extremely committed to that in my day-to-day life! There is really nothing more pleasurable to me than observing my mind. And interrogating myself. It is a thing I’ve done since I was a child. And I will do for as long as I can.”

Do fans know Brie Larson only as Captain Marvel?

As has been pointed out often recently by people — like Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and Martin Scorsese — the Marvel Cinematic Universe so dominates the marketplace that it creates skewed perceptions. Some fans seem only to be interested in superhero movies, so they don’t know or care to see Larson in movies like Room or Short Term 12. They only know Larson as Captain Marvel, so they think she must be as cold and cocky as Captain Marvel. 

One can reasonably argue that Avengers: Endgame, in particular, reduced Larson to little more than an elaborate deus ex machina. But that’s hardly her fault. She confessed to barely knowing what was going on in Avengers: Endgame because that was her entree into the MCU. Larson filmed Avengers: Endgame before Captain Marvel‘s script was composed so she didn’t know what her powers were.

Fans who look a little closer will find a more playful side to Larson, such as her obvious love for Star Wars. She showed up at the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, went to a screening of A New Hope in Hollywood and enthusiastically volunteered to be involved in the movie. She even posts Instagram stories of herself singing covers of songs she likes, a nod to her past as a pop singer. Fans will find Larson smiling a lot more than they think.