During the third day of Fan Expo Canada, Canada’s very own Evangeline Lilly took the stage for a panel. During the panel, she was joined by artist, Rodrigo Bastos Didier so the pair could discuss Lilly’s children’s book series, The Squickerwonkers.
The rapport between the pair was great and they were constantly joking with one another. During the panel, fans learned that Didier was asked to do the artwork found in The Squickerwonkers after he posted some fan art on Lilly’s Facebook page in relation to the book and its characters (note to self and everyone: remember to post your work – you never know who might see it). It was also Didier’s connections in the publishing world which helped Lilly land her first publication deal for the book series, telling the audience, “He had such a loving energy. I just wanted to work with him.”
Of course, Lilly knew that any audience questions that would be addressed to her during the panel would encompass more than just her writing career, but also speak about her best-known characters like Kate from Lost and Hope Van Dyne from Ant-man and the Wasp, women and diversity in film. Here are some of the highlights:
Q: What was more fun to shoot, Ant-Man or Ant-Man and the Wasp?
Evangeline Lilly (EL): I am controlling and suddenly, I had to share this character with an entire team of people – including a huge team of stunt people, I had three stunt women on the movie; with the special effects team, with the editors, with the post-production team, with the producers, the director and everybody had so much more of a say, and work to do to create this character. So, I felt that at the end of the day, I was responsible for only 25% of her and that was so hard for me, to let go of that control and say, ‘Okay, I trust you guys. I’m sure it’s going to be amazing!’ I kept kind of grasping at her like, ‘No, give her back. I wanna do it!’ So, Ant-Man was more fun for me.
Q: Are you a fan of any of the other talent in attendance at Fan Expo Canada?
Rodrigo Bastos Didier (RBD): Ya, all of the cast of Back to the Future! Evangeline Lilly and John Byrne, the artist from X-Men.
EL: I got to meet Michael J. Fox this morning and I’m not ashamed to admit that when I was a little girl, I had an enormous crush on him; almost as big as my crush on Kirk Cameron, so that was very cool! And I’m also a big fan of Jason Momoa. *cheers from the audience* His way of living, just who he is is something that I love and I dig. He lives close to the earth and he raises his children like little wild animals and I love it!
Q: If we get an all-women Marvel film, what would you like to see?
EL: What I can say on that is, I saw Avengers: Infinity War and there’s this moment where one of the female Avengers, I believe it was Scarlet Witch, is trapped in a trench and that horrible Thanos female villain lady – I can’t remember her name – she was going to kill her and she says something like, ‘What are you going to do now, you’re all alone?’ And then what happens next? She’s not alone, b*tch! Sorry! And I got up and yelled, “Yaaahhhh!” It was just an amazing moment of women supporting women and that feeling in my gut, I didn’t mean to but I was on my feet before I knew it was happening. So, Paul Rudd was looking at me like, ‘What are you doing?!’ But, that’s what I want to see – women supporting women.
Q: What is some advice you would give to a fellow woman who wants to break into the industry as a film writer?
EL: That’s a good question – it’s a big question right now, because of course, we’re in the midst of this mobilization of women in Hollywood and across the continent, really and I’m very curious to see where that’s going to leave us. I hope that if you make your dreams come true, like I’m sure you will, that the environment you step into will be very different to the one I stepped into 15 years ago when I started in this industry. What I’ve seen from a lot of female filmmakers and producers is a hardening that’s happened because they’ve had to not just keep up with the boys and the boys club, but they’ve had to so far exceed their talent and intelligence in order just to be given a modicum of respect. So, there’s this hardening to get where they’ve got because it’s been so very difficult and I really hope that one day, you and I might meet each other on a film, and you’ll tell me the story about getting a job – all just feeling very normal for a female to walk into a place and say, ‘I wanna make movies!’