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A lot of weird stuff happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Racoons can talk, human beings can learn to do magic, and Tom Hiddleston is hot. But possibly an even stranger aspect of the MCU is that it’s the men who are the ones with the uncomfortable costumes.
In an interview with NDTV while on the press tour for Ant-Man and the Wasp, titular co-star Evangeline Lilly claimed she might have the best suit in the entire galaxy. “I don’t know if it was just because I liked it so much, and I felt so cool in it and I really wanted to wear it,” she said. “I slept in it. I ate in it. I bathed in it. I never took it off ... ever. I’m very Method.”
But in a separate interview that went viral on June 24th, Lilly posited a theory about why this is. “I have been hearing Marvel male superheroes complain about their suits for years,” she said. “And I got into my suit and I was wearing it, working in it, doing my thing, and I was like, it’s just not that bad! And I was like, ‘Do I have the most comfortable suit in the MCU, or have men not had the life experience of being uncomfortable for the sake of looking good,’” she said while lifting up a high heel.
“And they’re just like, ‘What is this? This sucks! Why do I have to go through this?’ Whereas a woman’s like, ‘I dunno, this is like, normal? I wear heels to work, I’m uncomfortable all day.’ You get used to it, you tune it out!” Lilly added.
evangeline lilly just ended male actors and she f*cking snapped! pic.twitter.com/PM6XOI69JC— gabi blunt (@emilybluntz) June 24, 2018
This isn’t the first time an MCU star has called out her male peers for being costume divas. In a 2013 Entertainment Tonight interview for Iron Man 3, Gwyneth Paltrow responded to Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle’s claims that their suits were “torturous.”
“It was nothing!” Paltrow said, laughing. “It was nothing at all. Women are so much stronger than men, oh my god. I was like, ‘What are they complaining about?’ It’s not as comfortable as yoga pants, but it’s a costume.” Added Paltrow: “Men are crybabies!” Watch her response on this clip at about the 1:25 mark:
Of course, ultimately such interviews are often little more than friendly antics between co-stars who all have a responsibility to promote their movie. And as long as superhero movies have been a thing, their stars — men and women alike — have complained about their costumes being too tight, too hot, too heavy, or impossible to maneuver in for bathroom breaks. Burt Ward, who played Robin in the 1960s, said that his mask “bothered his eyelashes,” while Val Kilmer described his experience of wearing his Batman suit in this highly existential way: “You can’t hear anymore … and then when you call out for help, no one comes.”
Yet many female superheroes, because they are often tethered to their midcentury depictions in comic books, are burdened by skyscraper heels and a mane of perfectly curled hair. In that sense, Lilly’s statement is perhaps notable mostly for the fact that she actually liked her attire. Maybe Marvel should force its male stars to undergo stiletto training before they play any character with “super” in the job description.