Carrie Coon, who played Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War, says she joined the MCU because it's about something bigger than all of us. Coon's casting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a departure for the actor, who is better known for starring in straightforward dramatic fare. Her feature film debut was in David Fincher's Gone Girl, playing Ben Affleck's twin sister. She's also appeared as the lead in several critically acclaimed TV series, including The Leftovers and Fargo season 3.
However, she's since moved into blockbuster territory, providing the voice and motion capture for Thanos henchman Proxima Midnight in Infinity War, and playing Callie, the mom in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Coon has spoken about her fear of being typecast thanks to appearing in the latter movie but is also clearly looking to make the transition to bigger movies to secure her future as a movie actor. She has said she'd be open to playing the role of Proxima Midnight again if the character were to reappear in the franchise at some point.
Now, Coon tells Collider that despite her initial hesitance to join the blockbuster franchise, she ultimately joined because of the "large ideas" in the MCU, and the fact that "it’s about something bigger than us." Coon admits that she was worried about being in the most commercial project ever after years of starring in high-concept TV, but that the writing won her over. She also adds that the movie put her on a different level of stardom, revealing she's signed more autographs because of Infinity War than she has for all her other roles combined. You can read her full comments about why she decided to take the role below:
For me, number one is always the writing. Number two is whether it challenges me in a particular way, and then number three, of course, has to be what are the considerations more broadly for my career? Because, frankly, if you want to have longevity, you have to think about it. So there was some idea of having come from a pretty auteur television world to jumping into the most commercial project that ever existed. There was a little bit of soul-searching about that. But ultimately ... it was a really unusual opportunity that most actors would kill for! And who am I to say no to that? I’ve signed more autographs for that movie than I have for all of my other work combined. They’re [MCU movies] really smart! And they’re trafficking in some really large ideas. And let’s face it, they’re our Greek gods. There’s this spiritual life that people choose when they look to those franchises with such reverence. It’s not just about commercialism. It’s about gods and goddesses. It’s about something bigger than us.
Coon certainly did the role justice, repaying the decision to cast a lesser-known, but more dramatically accomplished actor in the type of role usually reserved for stunt performers by lending Proxima Midnight a genuine sense of dread and gravitas in Avengers: Infinity War. And clearly, the actor found the process rewarding, as she revealed in August that she would have reprised the role in Endgame if it wasn't for scheduling issues.
Her comments also reflect what many fans believe about the MCU, and one of the main reasons for its success: Mainly that it's not just a crass commercial franchise, but rather a modern myth-making exercise that happens to take place on-screen. Sure, the movies are all made with a focus on being as commercially viable as possible. Still, the reason the MCU has resonated with audiences more than any other movie franchise is because the filmmakers treat the source material, and the universe they're a part of, with respect.