‘WandaVision’: Kathryn Hahn’s Grandmother Inspired Her Agatha Harkness Performance

Kathryn Hahn stole hearts and minds as Agnes, a.k.a. Agatha Harkness in WandaVision. After her turn as the clever sorceress who fooled Scarlet Witch and killed Sparky, Hahn earned a new legion of Marvel fans.

Though she is recognized for killing it on screen in every role she’s undertaken, each character is drawn from a different well of inspiration. For Agatha/Agnes, Hahn says her grandmother influenced her portrayal of the charismatic villain.

Kathryn Hahn attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on May 16, 2021
Kathryn Hahn attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on May 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California | Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

‘WandaVision’ cast members dished on their characters

Elizabeth Olsen, Teyonah Parris, and Kathryn Hahn appeared on a special Deadline Contenders panel. All three discussed how they brought their characters to life for the TV series, with Olsen stating that it was a change for Wanda Maximoff to be on her own.

Parris and Hahn complimented the WandaVision costume and makeup crews for helping to guide their characters through various eras in the time-warped show. To nail Monica Rambeau, Parris looked to Marvel’s comic book canon, as did Hahn.

Agatha has a storied history as a menace in the comics, but she’s also been a teacher and ally. On paper, she has kids and grandchildren too. Maybe that’s why some part of her persona reminded Hahn of someone close to her.

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Kathryn Hahn tapped into her grandmother for Agatha Harkness role

Deadline moderator Anthony D’Alessandro joked about whether Larry from Three’s Company possibly served as an inspiration for Agatha Harkness. Though the character was Jack Tripper’s best friend and neighbor, he also had a penchant for making up lies and impersonating Jack when it suited him. Larry had no qualms about pretending to be someone he was not.

There are some parallels and Hahn said she gleaned from a few sources, but her grandmother influenced her work.

“I would definitely say my maternal grandmother. Not even consciously, but I could hear her sing-song voice I think for definitely the ’50s and ’60s,” she said. “Everything kind of ended on a question. So, she was in there.”

Hahn remembered her fondly. “She had a clothing store called the Californian in Lyndhurst, Ohio that sold shirts that said, ‘Paris London Lyndhurst’ and I think she would’ve gotten a real, real treat out of seeing those iterations. She always thought I dressed — she always wanted me to brush my hair and wear high heels. I was just not that granddaughter, so this was for her.”

Hahn says she’ll hold ‘WandaVision’ close to her heart

When season 1 of WandaVision wrapped, Wanda left Agnes under a spell in Westview where she’s trapped within her own mind. There’s no confirmation that the show will have another season yet, but fans would love to see Hahn revel in this role again.

For her part, she loved playing Agnes-Agatha. She said she never did anything like it before, and the experience was incredible. That includes the physical motions they did to make the special effects work.

“The fact that it was able to feel so intimate and like such an ensemble… To feel like it was so performance-based, that it was based in feelings with all that we were describing around, was something I will hold to my heart forever. This one was real special,” said Hahn.