Purple has become her second skin during the production and promotion of her highly anticipated series "Hawkeye." Steinfeld kept seeing the color splashed across the "thousands" of pages she read of the Hawkeye comics, which she enjoyed so much she keeps them on display at her home. Both her character, Kate Bishop, and Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, have purple suits - and it was obvious her chats with the wardrobe department on "Hawkeye" would have a singular focus.
"It's so funny because, I of course obviously knew about the purple walking into this ... but I guess maybe I didn't. Because it has become my world," Steinfeld told The Washington Post. "But I'm not mad about it. I do love the color purple."
That's probably a good thing, because Steinfeld as Bishop just might be the next big thing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In "Hawkeye," which debuts Wednesday on Disney Plus, she stars as a master archer and a worshiper of Renner's Barton, who wields his own bow and arrow and would much rather spend the holidays vacationing with his family in New York than be avenging anything in his post-Thanos life. This six-episode series is Steinfeld's MCU origin story, and although she plays the adulating sidekick, she will probably see her status rise - and could potentially even take on the Hawkeye title herself.
For Steinfeld, the series was a chance to be a Hawkeye apprentice in front of the camera and behind it.
Renner made his Marvel Studios debut in the first Chris Hemsworth "Thor" movie in 2011, and then played the Black Widow's BFF throughout the "Avengers" franchise. But now, like co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, his days as an MCU superhero could be coming to an end. On the set of "Hawkeye," he was a willing teacher in the ways of Marvel Studios, including CGI arrows and the fandom - despite his worn-out and now hard-of-hearing character's lack of interest in an apprentice.
"Having been in the universe for over a decade, he was very helpful, and it was very much appreciated," Steinfeld said. "I found that there were a few similarities between us personally and the characters that we were playing. I did look to him for that guidance, and he very much made himself an ally. He made it very clear he wanted to be there to support me and help me through all of this, because it's wild."
Bishop's comic-book DNA suggests Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige may be making plans for her future. Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung created the character, who first appeared in the 2005 Marvel comic "Young Avengers" No. 1 - a title that gives a clue as to what she may become.
Other members of those "Young Avengers" comics include Speed and Wiccan, the children in Disney Plus's biggest Marvel hit, "WandaVision"; Eli Bradley, who debuted on "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier"; Kid Loki in "Loki"; and Cassie Lang from the "Ant-Man" movie franchise. But if the Young Avengers are assembling, Steinfeld isn't talking about it just yet. The most important muscle for a new MCU superhero is their vocal cords - it keeps them quiet when it comes to spoilers.
"I can say that I've gotten pretty good at it," Steinfeld said with a laugh.
A superhero role adds to the range Steinfeld has brought to the screen since she was a young Oscar nominee for 2010′s "True Grit." She's recently been seen in "Dickinson" on Apple TV Plus, in the role of 19th century poet Emily Dickinson. But she's no stranger to big budgets and special effects, having starred in 2018′s "Bumblebee," a spinoff of the "Transformers" franchise.
"Hawkeye" is loosely based on the quintessential and very purple Hawkeye stories from writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja's Eisner Award-winning comics of the 2010s, which focused on what a super-powerless Avenger does when he's not being a hero.
One of the executive producers overseeing the adaptation was "Saturday Night Live" alum Rhys Thomas, who directs the first two episodes and the last one. It turns out purple has never struck his fancy. He even admits to going out of his way to make sure the color didn't have much of a presence in previous works, which made those initial Hawkeye costume design meetings quite awkward. Despite reading the Fraction and Aja run and loving it, it didn't dawn on him how much the color would appear in "Hawkeye," including the posters and the opening credits.
"We started doing the costume concepting and it was like this whole purple thing hit me square in the face," Thomas said. "I think we found shades of purple I was comfortable with, ultimately."
The first episode places Steinfeld's Bishop right in the middle of a major event in the MCU past that defines who the character is in the present day. He said walking into a decade-plus of ongoing adventures is intimidating and leads to a bit of "stage fright" when trying to add to it. His goal was to focus on the growing pains of the relationship between Steinfeld and Renner's characters, knowing that Marvel Studios would be there to assist to make sure his plans fit into the larger narrative.
"Part of the fun for me was figuring out an approach that really exploited that kind of grumpy, world-weary aspect of Clint's character and yet finding a way for Kate to grow on him," said Thomas. "You want that kind of chalk-and-cheese beginning and you want to watch this mentor-mentee thing develop. Ultimately it's kind of a big-brother-little-sister kind of dynamic."
"We had trouble writing and, for a while, finding that voice" for Bishop, Thomas continued. "Hailee grounded it in a way. That type of character can become annoying quite quickly. They can become too naive and it's too hard to invest in them. But Hailee brings this other quality. ... The moment I started reading with her and talking with her it was like, oh, OK, we're OK. It's going to be OK."
Steinfeld said that while running around New York shooting imaginary arrows alongside Renner, she felt as if she were filming one of the many superhero Marvel Studios movies she enjoyed in her youth. "Hawkeye" won't be seen on the big screen, but she said that doesn't make it any less of an authentic MCU moment.
"Growing up and watching these movies in a theater, it never failed to feel like an absolute experience and one that sometimes was hard to articulate," Steinfeld said. "That cinematic element is still very much there regardless of how or where you're watching it."
Published : November 25, 2021
By : The Washington Post