My favorite television series of all time is Patrick McGoohan’s original “The Prisoner,” which is why I never ended up seeing the new AMC version of the show. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch and subject myself to something that would, at best, suffer by comparison and, at worst, infuriate me beyond reason.
What I think I missed by avoiding the series was an introduction to Hayley Atwell.
I’ve seen earlier films she was in, but in smaller roles. It’s TV where it appears she’s had her biggest parts so far, like “The Prisoner,” “The Pillars Of The Earth,” and “Any Human Heart.” Haven’t seen a one of them, though, so when I sat down for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” it was basically my introduction to her, which actually worked for the character she’s playing, Peggy Carter.
Sitting down to talk with her, she couldn’t be more physically different than she appears in the film, and she couldn’t be more excited to discuss the movie, the Marvel Universe, and going to war.
We also discuss her most spectacular scene in the film, and when you see the movie, all you need to know is there’s a red dress involved, and the 3D in that scene alone is worth the ticket price. And to Atwell’s credit, she seems well aware of the impact of that scene, and she’s able to bring real strength to the role while also embracing her role as jaw-dropping eye candy.
As much as we talk about things like action scenes or interpretations of characters when reviewing Marvel movies, what ultimately makes the difference between the on-paper versions of these characters and the movies is the casting. Seeing people actually play these roles makes all the difference, and it’s even better when you discover the actor and the character at the same time. I look forward to seeing what Atwell does next, and I hope this film serves as a major springboard for her moving forward.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” opens this Friday.