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Eternals Star Gemma Chan on Unexpected Second MCU Role After Captain Marvel

Gemma Chan gets a second chance at the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Eternals, where the Captain Marvel actor stars in the leading role of Sersi. Chan, who played the Kree sniper Minn-Erva opposite Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, is part of a small list of actors to play different characters in the cinematic universe expanding with Marvel’s new team of superheroes. On her second MCU role as the empathetic and humankind-loving Sersi, Chan reveals how Marvel Studios President and producer Kevin Feige reached out after her supporting role as a blue-skinned alien in 2019’s Captain Marvel: 

“I am very lucky in that this is my second time; I feel very fortunate. It was as much of a surprise to me, as to probably everyone else, but I feel very, very lucky to be part of this film, and amongst this incredible, talented cast,” Chan told Coup de Main Magazine. “I certainly wasn’t expecting to be back. I had run into Kevin Feige on the awards circuit when I was promoting Crazy Rich Asians and he just came up to me and said, ‘Oh, we loved your work in the film, and we would love to have you back.’ And I just thought he was being nice. I thought: ‘Who knows if that will ever happen? And maybe sometime in the distant future… you never know.'”

“I wasn’t expecting to be called in. I did a screen test for Sersi quite late in the game,” continued Chan, adding Sersi and love interest Dane Whitman, played by Kit Harington, were the last characters to be cast. “It just caught me by surprise, but I was really, really happy to get the call.”

“I was a fan of the MCU before joining it; I never dreamed I’d be part of it, let alone twice,” she said.

Harington is an MCU first-timer, playing a human destined to become the armored Avenger known as the Black Knight. For now, the Game of Thrones alum is happy to be part of an “exciting” new cast of characters — and a new phase, Phase 4 — of the MCU. 

“It’s really exciting to be part of a new phase. A great part of the appeal of this was entering something entirely new — the fact that it wasn’t part of an older phase, that it was a really fresh, new look at what Marvel were doing,” Harington said. “And that’s how it was described to me, and that’s how it comes across. When you see the film, it’s a mass new introduction to loads of exciting new characters, and I was happy to kind of be the slight tag-along in the movie, as it were. That seemed like a good deal for me.” 

Also starring Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, and Angelina Jolie, Marvel’s Eternals is now playing in theaters. 

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