'Captain Marvel' Star Jude Law On His Mysterious Mentor-Type Character [Set Visit Interview]

When Jude Law was first cast in Captain Marvel, it was reported that he was playing Dr. Walter Lawson, a character better known to comic book fans as Mar-Vell. But since that announcement, his role has remained a mystery and Disney isn't commenting. While visiting the set of the film, the mystery continued, but Disney wasn't hiding Law from us. We saw him suit up with Starforce and go into action alongside Brie Larsen's Carol Danvers. We were shown footage of the character training Carol. So if Law isn't playing Mar-Vell, it became very clear that he is playing a character at least somewhat inspired by Mar-Vell – a mentor.

Our full interview with Law may offer a few more puzzle pieces.

Note: this interview was conducted in a roundtable format with a number of other journalists.

Question: So to start can you tell us who is your character and what can you tell us about him?

Law: He heads Starforce which is an elite special forces-esqe group of Kree warriors, he's also a mentor to Carol, Bree's character. 

Question: Is there anything you can tell us about how your character and Carol meet up and a little bit about the origin of their relationship? 

Law: Not really because of the order [laughs] in which the story is told, but their bond as mentor and mentee, pupil and sensei, and how they met and what they offer to each other is very much at the heart of the film and the journey that Bree's character goes on. That really would be the spoiler of all spoilers to be honest [laughs] you hit the nail on the head there. 

Question: We know that the Skrulls are antagonists to the Kree, could you talk about how your character views the Skrulls? 

Law: The Kree and the Skrulls are constantly in conflict, so both communities are living really at high alert and both obviously live with a huge wariness of each other. And obviously as a part of the military, not only that but as a commander of the military, and as a poster boy of the military obviously of the Krees, my character is somewhat judgemental and full of hatred towards the Skrulls. 

The Skrulls to the Krees really represent despicable manoeuvring and manipulation. The Skrulls have this way of simulating other people and turning into other things, so it's this idea of subterfuge where you're not who you really are, whereas the Kree have a kind of purity and honesty to them as I see it. 

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Question: Can you talk about the other members of Starforce aside from Carol Danvers? 

Law: Yes I can. I can talk about Djimon, Korath who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously this is a few years before, so young Korath, he's second in command. Minerva played by Gemma Chan is a sniper and long range specialist. We have Bron Char who is basically a blue giant played by Rune Temte from Norway. Al Gennis plays Atlas another Sniper expert or weapons specialist, have I left anyone out? No, me, that's it, it's very elite there's only six of us. 

Question: Do you get a considerable amount of action sequences? 

Law: Yeah a fair few. Three in total, one of them's been really fun which we already shot which sort of was training. It was really fun because we were out of our suits so it was much more... you know sometimes when you do stunts you're in these suits and they hide quite a bit of the movement. I've been doing boxing and martial arts for years and it's fun to just... we're literally dressed in this kind of stuff (gestures at clothes) you get a lot more hands on, tactical, hand to hand combat. And there are some other fantastic battle sequences. The scene we're shooting today is scene which leads to a fantastic battle. 

Question: How would you describe your relationship with Carol Danver? The mentor mentee thing would you describe it more like a Yoda Obi-Wan? 

Law: [Laughs] I wish, do I look like Yoda? 

Question: Or more of a karate master? Kill Bill?

Law: Yeah, I like that one! Because of the age it's not like a sort of wise old master. I'd say that as leader of the group I lead by example, so he's very much hands-on combat. The relationship really is about containment there's a sort of control to my character, a sense of focus and clarity and discipline, and really that's one of the things of the piece is trying to contain: what is being in control and what isn't. 

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Question: So with most military characters there seems to be an overall focus, and a personal focus so is there something in your character in particular that drives him?

Law: It's interesting, he has a very particular relationship – and any of you who know alot about the Kree, there's sort of a divine element called the Supreme Intelligence – and that comes it play in this. Each of the Starforce, indeed each of the Kree warriors, has a particular relationship with the Supreme Intelligence, and my character has a very particular relationship with the Supreme Intelligence which becomes revealed and is quite complex and ultimately very revealing of what it is that motivates him. I've kind of based him almost on... not a religious fanatic but he's got a sort of Divine sense of purpose because of his relationship with this greater being. 

Question: What's your character or the Kree's relationship to Earth? 

Law: That's a really good question. I think it's a curiosity. It's actually described as a shithole by someone, as is often the case in these we're always pitied, like why would you want to possibly stop there, they're so backwards. It's not much difference, I think on the grand scale of things we're viewed as unthreatening, rather idiotic, and somewhat backwards. Which is not far wrong really [laughs].

Question: How do you put yourself into the mindset of of an ancient space race who have been battling each other for hundreds of years? 

Law: I think that a lesson I learned over the last few years is that when you take on characters with enormous sort of backgrounds or worldviews or situations that seem to be beyond one's personal imagination, it's always possible to play an individual and an individual within that. Whether they're in awe of it or just dealing with it daily, you just sort of root it in simple things: we just talked about one; what's the motivation? What's your relationship with those around you daily? And just try not to get overwhelmed by the scale of what you just described, and obviously you list character traits and you have certain boundaries within that. Sense of humor is a big one, you know, does your character have a sense of humor? Do they laugh at themselves? Do they laugh at all? Is there a sense of irony or not? So you build a set of implements that you can facilitate as you maneuver through the world. I think if you look up to much you can get dizzy from the scale of it all. 

Question: What kind of learning curve did you have to have to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Were you pretty conversant with it? 

Law: Yeah, I was pretty conversant with it, I'd seen most of them. Well the test of it is the Infinity War right? Like if anyone goes and sees Infinity War and says "Who's that? What's that all about?" then you haven't seen them all and I didn't ask that question once [laughs] so clearly I've seen all of them. I actually had a couple of people next to me saying "who's she? what is she doing?" So I was pretty conversant, but with my character in particular there was a question "Should I go back and read up?" This is a very interesting chapter I think in the Marvel Universe, because it's split off in several ways, and I know a lot of them have come out in different guises, but this one even more so. I chose really just to follow the script. 

Question: You mentioned that you box and did martial arts. Was there anything else you had to do to get into Marvel shape? 

Law: Just going to stunt school every morning for months, there's always a level that you haven't achieved because they're asking you to do something that you've never done before.

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Question: Sam showed us a video of Brie pushing a jeep up a hill

Law: I know! I haven't pushed a jeep up a hill [laughs]

Question: We've learned that Carol has been sort of indoctrinated into the Kree army and she thinks she is Kree has sort of forgotten her humanity. Does that apply to you character too? 

Law: Not that I know of, they could always throw a curveball at me. I'm playing it at the moment that he is a Kree. 

Question: You talked about the Skrull being able to shapeshift, could you talk about how that poses a problem for Starforce? 

Law: That's what they feed their insecurity and their paranoia on. There are posters that you'll see around Hala which say "Know your enemy it could be you." There's a great line in one of the scenes where a warrior is asked if he's ever been simmed and he says yes and that he had to kill himself. So it can be psychologically very scarring. 

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Question: Can you talk about some of the abilities your character has?

Law: He's a pistol and knife man. I've got this kind of cool business I can do with gravity. [laughs] 

Question: Can you talk a little about the camaraderie on set with the actors? 

Law: This has been a real joy actually, because on a big piece like this it can be very fragmented so I've done a lot on my own, I've had some great days with just Brie and I. The last couple of weeks are the first time that Starforce have really been together, I knew Gemma before and worked with Djimon several times and it's a nice feeling when you're suddenly putting a team together. If anything only so you can all complain about where our suits are chafing, you know what I mean? Genuinely it's always nice to have that camaraderie, film sets are a fun place to be and you have that camaraderie with the film crew but it's sort of like "Come on we've got stuff to do" so it's always nice to have that support around you and to build those relationships and chemistry is really the highlight of the job for me. 

Question: Your character probably views the Kree as the heroes but do view the Kree as the heroes of this film? 

Law: Yes, because I'm a Kree! You always have to get on the side of the character that you're playing because otherwise no one else will. No, absolutely, the Kree are...

Question: They're a very militaristic society too

Law: No, no, not at all. They're defending themselves and you see lots of Kree civilians too, there's a lovely scene where we're going through the subways of Hala and you get a real sense of Kree society.