The roster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s characters continues to grow. Marvel Studios’ latest original series Hawkeye is bridging the gap between the Disney+ original shows and the films and introducing new heroes like the Young Avenger Kate Bishop (Hailee Stanfield), Fra Free’s Kazi, and Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox).
Cassius Life spoke with directing duo Bert and Bertie, who made their MCU debut with Hawkeye’s brilliant third episode. During our Zoom conversation, we asked them about being tasked with introducing Alaqua Cox’s Echo, who will also have her very own Disney+ series. We also touched on the epic car chase scene and the director’s clever use of sound mixing in the episode.
Step into the interview below.
Cassius Life: Episode three, in our opinion, it’s easily one of the best episodes so far in this series because it brilliantly establishes who Echo is and highlights Maya’s touching and tragic origin story. Can you talk about being tasked with bringing this character into the MCU?
Bert and Bertie: Being tasked with it was such a great privilege actually because we knew very little about Maya Lopez’s character going into the show and then finding out more and more about her just was like, oh my gosh, the layers of this human being and her hero status, not only Maya Lopez, but also Alaqua Cox who plays Maya Lopez. They’re kind of mirrored as like real-life superheroes, a non-hearing character from the Native American culture, and an amputee. All of these things Alaqua and Maya Lopez use as their superpowers. So that was wonderful to establish and be part of.
Being tasked with it was such a great privilege actually because we knew very little about Maya Lopez’s character going into the show and then finding out more and more about her just was like, oh my gosh, the layers of this human being and her hero status, not only Maya Lopez, but also Alaqua Cox who plays Maya Lopez.
And also, Marvel allows you to tell emotional stories. And I think that’s what deepens their characters and makes them so beloved. So for us to have the time to spend with Maya in that way, we like telling authentic stories, and it makes her a dynamic and complex villain if you want to call it that. But we’re never purely good or purely evil, and Maya is definitely about that.
CL: True. Now we have to talk about that fantastic car chase scene. Can you break down recreating that scene from Matt Fraction, David Aja, Hawkeye series?
BB: So, it’s months-long of what we did to break that down. We are meticulous planners. We wanted to keep the camera in with Clint and Kate for as long as possible as they’re leaving that parking lot. And just what happens if we stay with them. And we experience that in this 360 revolving camera, which meant that we had to choreograph every piece of action to a perfect time and every piece of dialogue that we come back to and they were able to, as actors just stay in it, and then not until Kate gets out of the window, do we go out the window and that transitions us into this new phase of the car chase.
CL: It was amazing. Finally, another thing we have to ask you about is the brilliant use of sound mixing in this third episode and how you could have viewers experience the challenges of being deaf and experiencing Clint’s hard of hearing. Why is it so crucial that viewers experience that?
BB: For Clint’s story, it kind of really makes you realize that, and in episode two, they really set it up well, that the years of being a hero, which he’s in denial about or not comfortable with, has taken its toll. And you can imagine if it’s done that to his hearing, what else has it done to his body? And we see the effects of a fight playing out on his body, her body, but it makes him more human. So it was very important for us to put the audience in his story in that way, making that phone call with his son more emotional.
And then obviously with Maya, it’s incredibly important because how is she seeing the world and how does she experience the world? And if it can take us out of our lives, our daily lives for that moment, the next time we meet someone who’s either hard of hearing or non-hearing, maybe we’re a bit more compassionate to them to understand what they’re going through. So we wanted to show that because it also ultimately feeds into what her superpower is, which is being observant and seeing the world around her in a way that we never will. So all of these things build into her incredibly complex dynamic character of Maya.
Bert & Bertie also directed episode four and this week’s penultimate episode leading up to next week’s finale.
Photos: Disney / Marvel Studios / Getty Images