Paul Bettany Asked Elizabeth Olsen If ‘WandaVision’ Took ‘A Step Forward in Female-Driven Storytelling’

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen starred across from each other in the first Marvel series to premiere on Disney+, WandaVision. The show dove headfirst into Wanda Maximoff’s emotional turmoil and trauma — and the decisions she took to subdue her grief. During a discussion with Olsen for Interview Magazine, Bettany asked about the show. He questioned Olsen on whether the Marvel installment took a “step forward in female-driven storytelling.” 

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen WandaVision Comic-Con
Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen attend the Marvel Studios Panel during 2019 Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen talk ‘WandaVision’ 

After discussing the state of the world – and the impact Joe Biden’s presidential win had on the American public — Bettany and Olsen made their way to WandaVision. The critically-acclaimed series is quite different from its MCU predecessors — venturing into the world of classic sitcoms (via Wanda’s fractured state of mind) as a foundation for its narrative. Bettany asked Olsen, “I have a question for you: Do you think WandaVision is a step forward in female-driven storytelling? And what do you hope it adds to the cultural conversation?” 

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Olsen argued that the show definitely took a step forward in the female-driven narrative department, sharing: 

“Yes, I think it is. I think anything that is a female-driven story that is true and authentic to anything else’s experience is a step forward. I also think there is something really interesting that, thematically, is in our show about parenting, and the desire to control and create a bubble that I think was burst out of [director] Jac Schaeffer, and is this larger metaphor and experience of what it means to be a parent.”

Olsen | Interview Magazine

Olsen explained that as much as WandaVision is a show about Wanda and Vision, it is also a show about what it means to be a parent. And, despite its supernatural inclinations, it’s quite relatable — the thematic undertones represent the daily parental struggle. She went on to say: 

Like, how much you would want to actually expose your child to, and when, and what age, and how quickly they grow up. I think there is something very maternal about it, as well, which is what I love. Even her birthing this creation from Greece. I don’t really know how much to talk about this show, to be honest, without spoilers. Sorry. What do you think?

Olsen | Interview Magazine

Bettany agreed with Olsen’s assertion, adding in that the testosterone-driven world of the MCU took a backseat in WandaVision. He said, “I do. I think it’s also so nice that this has been born out of films in a genre that is quite testosterone-driven and has a smattering of estrogen. And now we have a show made of estrogen with a smattering of testosterone in it, and it felt really good. This is a terrible pun that wasn’t intended, but I do marvel at what Jac managed to create, and it feels like a beautiful little puzzle box.”