Marvel-ous Facts About Brie Larson
Captain Marvel hit US movie theaters on March 8, 2019, and had a worldwide opening of $456.7 million — the sixth biggest in history! The film has already surpassed the lifetime grosses of several other superhero flicks, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Justice League, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With a superstar cast, the movie is led by actress Brie Larson. While Brie has been acting since childhood, her role in Captain Marvel is making her a household name. We know she kicks butt on-screen, but Brie is a force to be reckoned with off-screen too. Check out Brie’s rise to fame along with some marvel-ous facts (see what we did there?) about the star that will make you love her even more.
Her Name Was Inspired by Her Favorite Doll
Lots of celebrities change their name to something that’s easier to remember, including Brie Larson. Brie was actually born Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers on October 1, 1989, in Sacramento, California. Since her birth name is difficult to pronounce, she changed it, adopting her great-grandmother’s maiden name.
Besides ‘Larson’ being a name that was already in the family, she was also inspired by her favorite American Girl doll, Kirsten Larson. A girl after our own heart!
She Was the Youngest Person Ever to Be Admitted to a Prestigious Acting Program
Some kids know early on in life what they want to do, and Brie was one of them. At the age of six, the kindergartner told her parents she wanted to be an actress. She became the youngest student accepted to the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Her first big role was playing the character Emily, the daughter of Bob Saget’s character in the WB sitcom Raising Dad. The comedy only lasted for one season from 2001 to 2002. She went on to appear in several minor roles before cementing herself in Hollywood.
Her First Onscreen Appearance Was Alongside Jay Leno
These days, we’re familiar with Brie Larson thanks to her roles in movies like 21 Jump Street and, of course, Captain Marvel. But Brie made her first on-screen appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 1998 when she was just eight years old. She appeared in a sketch for a product called “Malibu Mudslide Barbie.” The commercial involved pouring mud on top of Barbie dolls as their heads popped off.
She followed this up with minor roles in TV series including Touched by an Angel and Popular. She also landed a role in the FOX sitcom Schimmel.
She Signed a Recording Contract at 13
In addition to acting, Brie became passionate about music at the age of 11 when she learned how to play the guitar. Shortly afterwards she started writing her own music and posting it online. She soon signed a record deal with Tommy Mottola of Casablanca Records.
In 2005, at the age of 16 she dropped her first album, Finally Out of P.E. She co-wrote the music with other songwriters. She named the album after her experiences in school, including a gym teacher she didn’t get along with.
She Went on Tour With Jesse McCartney
One of Brie’s most popular songs was “She Said.” The tune was big on MTV’s Total Request Live, and it was one of the most-played videos on the network. It hit number 31 on the Billboard Hot Single Sales chart. Brie also toured with Jesse McCartney in a series of mall concerts.
Despite a promising start, fans only purchased 3,500 copies of her album. Brie later recalled that she was dissuaded from writing her own music and that music executives didn’t like her American girl image, which consisted of sneakers instead of high heels.
The Reason She Nearly Gave Up Acting
As a teenager, Brie struggled to find work. Her 2006 film Hoot was poorly reviewed, and she often ended up taking small roles because she wasn’t offered larger ones. She lost out to Evan Rachel Wood in the 2003 film Thirteen and Ellen Page in 2007 film Juno, which was very disappointing.
Brie focused her attention on a literature magazine that she created and worked as a DJ to pay the bills. She considered giving up acting but instead persevered, landing a role in the Showtime comedy United States of Tara.
She Has Some Unusual Hobbies…
When Brie isn’t acting, she focuses on a couple of unusual hobbies. During a Reddit AMA she revealed she is passionate about mycology, which is the study of mushrooms and other fungi. And one way she relieves stress is by making different fonts, which she did while making the film Short Term 12.
“I have graph paper and gel pens, and I would do the alphabet: just do ‘a’ over and over again until I got it perfect, and then go to ‘b’ and then ‘c’; I definitely look like a weirdo with scraps of paper everywhere and the alphabet over and over again,” she revealed during an interview with The Guardian.
She Also Writes and Directs Films
Brie isn’t content to just act in front of the camera; she also likes to get involved behind the scenes. In 2011, she wrote the short film Weighting. She also wrote the 2012 short The Arm, a story about two teens that is told entirely through text messages. The film won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
At one point, the creative star also considered a career in animation. When she was very little, she drew nearly 300 scenes based on The Lion King. It included the film’s major scenes as well as new ones.
She Embraced Every Sexual Assault Survivor at the 2016 Academy Awards
In 2016, Lady Gaga performed her song “Til It Happens To You” at the Oscars from the film The Hunting Ground. The film examined rape on college campuses. The pop star’s performance featured several sexual assault survivors on stage, and it was a very powerful moment at the awards event.
When Gaga completed her song, the victims left the stage and Brie gave each and every one of them a hug before they moved on. The scene did not air on the live broadcast, but someone recorded it on a cell phone, and it proved how much Brie cares about other people.
She Made a Powerful, Silent Protest Towards Casey Affleck at the Oscars
In 2017, Brie was tasked with presenting the Oscar for Best Actor. When Casey Affleck won the award, Brie, an advocate for victims of sexual assault, did not appear too pleased with his win and refused to clap. She didn’t applaud the success of a man who has been accused of sexual harassment by two women.
When asked in 2019 about the incident, Brie told the Hollywood Reporter: “I won’t talk about it. It’s not my story to tell.” She had previously related to Vanity Fair: “I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself. I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic.”
She’s Been Broke ‘A Dozen Times’
During a 2019 interview with Sunday Today, Brie talked about how she never reached a point where she felt she had made it in Hollywood. That included a time when she struggled to get work after a TV show she appeared on was cancelled. “I’ve been broke a dozen times,” Larson said.
“When you look at it, it kind of makes sense, or my IMDb maybe looks consistent, but really there’s large gaps of time with three auditions a day — still.” She added that she was even “stressing about money” before the 2015 film Room came out. “It’s not that long ago at all!” she continued.
Many celebrities are vegetarian, including Brie. She is reportedly meat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. She shared her lifestyle with co-star Shailene Woodley, whom she met on the set of 2013’s The Spectacular Now. The pair hit it off, and Brie said of their friendship, “We’re both trying all the time to be truthful. And that can be exhausting.”
Woodley later told New York Magazine she and Brie were “venting about things we are supposed to do and don’t want to do. Then we agreed the that the biggest issue is to pick films that are honest and not detrimental to girls.”
She Was Engaged to a Rock Star for Three Years
In January 2019, Brie and her fiancé, actor and musician Alex Greenwald, called off their engagement. The couple got engaged in May 2016 after several years of dating. Greenwald was a staple at several red carpet events, including the 2015 thriller Room. But in general, the couple was very private about their relationship.
Following the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2016 she told Entertainment Tonight: “He’s the other half of the equation – how can you explain support? I mean, it goes beyond anything. He’s just my person, he’s my best friend.” Greenwald is the lead singer of the rock band Phantom Planet.
She Was Still Insecure After Winning an Oscar
In 2016, Brie won the award for Best Actress at the Oscars for the film Room. The next day, she called her pal Jennifer Lawrence, also an Oscar winner, for advice. “I was like, ‘I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel better about myself. I still don’t feel like I’m a good actress,'” Larson told InStyle magazine.
“She was like, ‘Oh, yeah. That’s totally normal. I’ve had the same thing. Don’t think of it like that. Think of it as, like, you got your Ph.D. You’re certified; that’s it. It doesn’t change anything. You can still [expletive] up. Every judge is still human.'”
Her Worst Job Involved an X-Rated Film Set
Hollywood can be glamorous, but it can also be rough. Brie once had an experience that she’ll likely never forget. “I’ve always been an actor, so anytime it’s been a bad job it’s been like a really horrible set,” she told Yahoo in 2014.
“One time I was an [assistant director] on an industrial commercial, and I thought that the sound stage was pretty weird and then I discovered it was [an adult film] studio,” she continued. “It was sketchy. And then when the owner of the place is giving me his card I got really scared.”
She Dated a Tow Truck Driver, but It Didn’t End Well
Like many people, Brie has had a bad date now and then. In 2012 or so she met a really cute guy, but it didn’t end up working out. “Well, it started off good and then it went bad,” she revealed in a Yahoo interview. “I got a flat tire a couple of years ago. I called a tow truck company and the guy who came to change my tire – I ended up thinking he was pretty funny.”
She continued, “We went on a date afterward, but he Googled my name and then kept asking me about movies and stuff. And I was like, well, that defeats the whole purpose of dating a tow truck driver. It ended after that.”
She Was Hesitant About Starring In Captain Marvel
Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, is Brie’s largest role to date, but the actress wasn’t sure she wanted the role. “I had a meeting with Marvel and what we discussed was they wanted to make a big feminist movie,” she told Mashable in 2018. “I remember going home and being like, [expletive], am I going to do this?”
In a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, Brie admitted it took “a really long time” for her to decide on the role. The actress/feminist eventually realized it was “kind of everything that I’ve wanted.” It enabled her to present a powerful image of female representation.
Online Trolls Tried to Derail Captain Marvel
A number of online trolls tried to sabotage the success of Captain Marvel, decrying its female lead. Some said she was anti-men, while others spread rumors she was fired from Avengers: Endgame weeks before the film’s release. The trolls even tried to “review-bomb” the film on Rotten Tomatoes.
Their tactics backfired. After just 10 days in release the film made nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide and is on track toward a billion-dollar box office. Captain Marvel may possibly become the first superhero film to earn that much money as the first on-screen appearance for a new hero.
She Did Her Own Stunts In Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel is Brie’s first action film, and the actress trained for nine months before she got into costume to play superhuman Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. “I just assumed everybody did their own stunts, but it turns out they don’t,” she told USA TODAY. “It was happy ignorance, I guess.”
She worked out twice a day, and by the time filming started she could dead lift 225 pounds, do 10 pull-ups in a row, and hip-thrust 400 pounds, something she never thought was possible. She was doing so much, the producers actually told her to slow down!
She Has Many New Projects on the Horizon
Brie will reprise her role as Carol Danvers in Avengers: Endgame. After that, she’ll return to the big screen in 2020 in the film Just Mercy alongside Michael B. Jordan. The film centers on famous civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson and a case of a condemned death row prisoner.
Brie is also working on the film I’m Thinking of Ending Things about a woman who tries to figure out how to break up with her boyfriend. The film is based on Iain Reid’s 2016 novel. The film is being adapted and directed by Charlie Kaufman for Netflix.