For the first seven years in the MCU, Elizabeth Olsen was happy with her little space as Wanda Maximoff in the ever-growing Marvel universe. As the Avengers were starting to assemble to take on their common foe, Thanos, Marvel Studios introduced the character with a brief appearance in the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where the Maximoff twins were shown exploring their powers.
However, during the fight against Ultron, Marvel writers did enough to underline that Scarlet Witch was one of the most powerful characters in the MCU and teased that she would go on to play a much more prominent role down the road. That’s exactly what happened in 2021 when Olsen was handed a dedicated series on her character. However, the actress had to undergo some miserable moments to make WandaVision happen.
Why Elizabeth Olsen Struggled During the Filming of an Unusual WandaVision Sequence
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany joined hands as Wanda and Vision respectively for Disney+’s WandaVision, which adopted a sitcom-like format to look at the pair’s seemingly normal suburban lives in Westview. As days pass by, the two super-powered beings start to suspect there are more powers around them that they aren’t able to see.
Speaking to Empire in 2022, Olsen revealed that the show came as a surprise to her and accompanied a lot of excitement as well as nervousness.
“It was so terrifying because I got very comfortable taking up my little space, my little lane, in these ensemble films,” she said.
What made things trickier for Olsen was the approach it took, as WandaVision combined the powers of the master of the mystical arts with countless references to several classic television shows. The 34-year-old watched every single show that WandaVision made a direct reference to. Still, recreating classics like I Love Lucy and Bewitched proved to be tricky for the actress as she had to perform in front of a live audience. She told the LA Times:
“I really didn’t understand intuitively how to play to the camera and not the audience with the audience there. And so when I watched that episode, I’m like, ‘God, it’s like I’m like a child at theater camp in this. I’m really playing to the audience.’ But then I remember that they kind of did have an element of playing to the audience in The Dick Van Dyke Show…. It really just felt like it wasn’t an easy transition. It was just like, bam! And you’re just there and you’re failing in front of people.”
However, the approach to move away from just focusing on the powerful mutant sorceress like most mainstream superhero shows and roping in the unique storytelling style that made Wanda’s suburban life equally interesting and entertaining proved to be a masterstroke from Kevin Feige and made WandaVision one of the very few MCU television shows that could be considered a success.
How Julie Bowen Reacted to Seeing Modern Family Reference in Elizabeth Olsen’s WandaVision
The creators of WandaVision followed Olsen’s character’s life in Westview by mimicking a different classic American family sitcom in each episode because Wanda’s idea of a perfect world is that of a classic American TV show. Every episode paid homage to a show from a different decade.
The seventh episode, titled Breaking The Fourth Wall, mimicked Modern Family, which prompted a reaction from Julie Bowen, who portrayed Claire Dunphy in the show. Her caption on an Instagram post read:
“To see our show as a “classic” through the eyes of an incredibly innovative Marvel show left me speechless. (Trust me, and anyone who has worked with me, that’s hard to do.) @wandavision from the breaking of the 4th wall to the fabric on the couch…wow.”
Thankfully, the mockumentary-style Modern Family didn’t have any live audience to make Olsen nervous while filming their homage episode.