Ant-Man and the Wasp Hannah John-Kamen interview

Hannah John-Kamen played Ben Mendelsohn’s number two baddie earlier this year in Ready Player One, but she’s graduating from henchwoman to supervillain in Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp. The British actress plays Ghost, a character who…well, who we don’t really know much about at this point. Marvel is trying very hard to keep this character’s details under wraps, which made for an interesting dance during our interview with John-Kamen on the film’s set outside Atlanta last fall.

Read on for our full Ant-Man and the Wasp Hannah John-Kamen interview, and see if you can pick out any secrets hiding in plain sight.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Ghost 1

Ant-Man and the Wasp Hannah John-Kamen Interview

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding your character. What can you tell us about Ghost?

Well, she’s certainly a mystery. She’s the female antagonist of the movie, and…I can’t really say anything else. It sucks, I know, but she is the antagonist of the movie. She is a she. Because in the original [comics], it’s the opposite sex, and obviously in this modern world, changing it up and having a female character of Marvel’s Ghost is really, really cool and definitely forward-thinking.

Did the comics still serve as inspiration or were you mostly just using script?

It’s the script. But I’m such a fan of Marvel, I love all the comics and the original comics and looking at the similarities or differences in comics and the movies.

What was it like to have a character who has a blank slate?

I think with any role it’s always a blank slate to carve anything, whether you’re playing a superhero, a villain – anything from any comic, I think it’s important as an actor to have your own interpretation of that anyway. So it’s been amazing, it’s been so much fun to work with Peyton on that.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Ghost 4

What have been the challenges of getting into the costume?

It’s been fine. I mean, the costume is amazing. It’s absolutely amazing. I think the more you get to know your costume, the more you wear it, the more it kind of fits and molds to your body. So it’s been great.

Did you have to do a lot of stunt fights or are you going to let your double do them?

I love doing my own stunts, a hundred percent. I think it makes such a difference when you as an actor do your stunts. So it’s been really fun having that experience and training because if you just let your double do everything, you’re not there to help choreograph the movement of your character. It’s so nice to have the freedom to be able to go, ‘You know what? Let’s find the movement of the character and see what actual moves will work for that particular person.’ So I’ve been doing mine, which is great.

Can give you give any sort of adjective about your movement?

Yeah. Definitely, uh… (long pause) ghosty. (laughs) That’s all I’m gonna give you.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Ghost 3

Your character doesn’t have an alter ego and is obviously very mysterious. Is it freeing to play this person who, beyond the suit, we and Ant-Man and Wasp won’t have a personal and intimate connection with?

It’s very freeing. It’s very freeing to play this character and whether you were in the suit or not or what the perception of the character is, it’s a new character. And when it’s a new character, there is freedom with that. So, yeah.

What is Ghost’s relationship with technology in this movie? Does the character retain the hacker status from the comics?

No comment on that one. I can’t honestly, um – that’s a tough one to try and get around.

Can you tell us who is she for our readers who aren’t familiar with the source material without getting into spoilers? Anything beyond ‘she’s the female antagonist’?

I mean, we’ve just like…it’s so, it’s…I know, it sucks. It’s super – I know. But the thing is, it’s one of those things where of course I’d love to give you more of who she is. But then that’s just gonna spoil it for the movie and the fans. And you want to wait and see that stuff.

What does it mean to you to play a character who was male in the source material?

Definitely that’s been amazing. I think that the kind of gender-swapping from male to female is, you look at graphic novels, you can look at comic books written so long ago. And they’re like 50 years old or 40 years old. And it’s nice to like go, ‘Do you know what? This is a modern world.’ It’s, again, freeing, to be able to take that character and go, ‘Yeah, that can be played by a male or female,’ and that’s definitely forward-thinking. And that’s been amazing to be able to do.

Especially considering that there hasn’t been a female villain that we’ve seen very often in these films.

Yeah, there’s not been, yeah, so it’s definitely fun to do.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Ghost 2

Are there any books or movies you’re watching as inspiration or prep or that [director] Peyton [Reed] has the cast digging into for tone?

Peyton’s amazing. It’s so good to work with a director who is such a fan of the world that we’re all working on, and for me personally, I’m a huge fan of Marvel. I’ve watched every Avengers, Captain America, everything. And yeah, the tone of the show and the first Ant-Man as well and I thought it was amazing, the first one, the way that it had the comedy as well. And it’s important. So, for myself, my own research, what I do is what I do, but just in terms of the tone, I’m already a fan of Marvel. So that’s definitely something that I’ve done before.

When you were auditioning for this character, how much was actually given to you, what were you working with, what conversations were you having? What’s the process there?

The process is amazing. It’s a very open process. Everybody has such an open dialogue. Everyone is so open and wonderful with each other and Peyton’s always there to discuss everything: the script, the character, even the set. I already feel like it is freeing to be able to do that with everybody who’s part of this process.

***

I speculated a bit about Ghost’s possible identity in /Film’s primary set visit report, and I’d encourage you to read that piece to learn much more about the making of this movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in theaters on July 6, 2018.

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