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Why Lia McHugh Didn’t Read Marvel Comics To Prep

Eternals finally hit theaters last night and features a massive cast of MCU newcomers playing a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years. While there are many big names on the line-up like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, there are also a couple of fresh faces in the mix. 14-year-old Lia McHugh plays Sprite, who has the ability to cast illusions. “Her powers are utilized in a lot of creative ways in Eternals that become very relevant to the story,” McHugh previously shared with Total Film. When it comes to playing a Marvel hero, all actors have a different process. Some folks deep dive into the comics to learn their character’s backstory while others prefer to stick to the film script. During a recent chat with ComicBook.com‘s Brandon David, McHugh shared that she didn’t read up on Sprite before making Eternals.

“I did not read a lot of the comics,” McHugh revealed. “I think I might’ve read one when I was auditioning for the part, but I don’t really remember it. I was… Because of the storyline is a lot different than the comics, as far as I know, cause I haven’t read the comics, I thought it was best to just focus on the film and the script and what I was discussing with Chloe about my character and the layers to her and her past.” 

Recently, Hawkeye star Hailee Steinfeld had a chat with SFX Magazine and revealed that she took the opposite approach to McHugh when preparing to play Kate Bishop. Steinfeld compared reading Marvel Comics to reading the poems of Emily Dickinson, who she also plays in the Apple TV+ series, Dickinson.

“As far as the comics go, yes,” Seinfeld answered when asked if she’s been catching up on Marvel history. “Again, it’s kind of like Emily and her poetry: having this world of endless information. I’ve always loved comics. I’ve always been a very visual person, and a large book with anything over 200-250 pages has always intimidated me, so comics have always been something I’ve been drawn to because of the visual aspect of it. So I’ve had so much fun reading these comics, and going through them and discovering these elements of Kate Bishop that are in there that we’re bringing to life in the show, and other elements of the comics.”

Eternals, which was helmed by Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao, stars Gemma Chan as Sersi, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Kit Harington as Dane Whitman.

Eternals is now playing in theaters. Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ on November 24th. 

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