WandaVision Unmasked: Olsen & Bettany Talk Filming During COVID
Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen shared stories of filming WandaVision, which premieres on January 15, 2021, with Emmy Magazine, the award-winning official publication of the Television Academy.
In “Not Your Mother’s Suburbs,” the cover piece for Issue No. 12, 2020, stars Olsen (Wanda Maximoff) and Bettany (Vision) talk about filming WandaVision amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss the experience of logging long hours on set because of coronavirus safety rules in order to complete Marvel Studios’ first television project.
In “Under the Covers with WandaVision,” the stars elaborated more about their experiences on set:
Olsen: WandaVision is a story about Wanda Maximoff and her partner, Vision.
Bettany: It’s an homage to American sitcoms. The decades are all represented, and they’re all represented by a style of sitcom that you will recognize.
Olsen: Well, I think that’s what’s so fun about it is we play with a lot of genres. It can be an American sitcom, but then it will turn into the Twilight Zone. Then, it’s also the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Our first episode’s a big love song to the Dick Van Dyke Show. We tried to film it as authentic to that period as possible, so we use lenses from that time, lighting from that time.
Bettany: We shot the first episode in two days because we did it with a live studio audience. And we also had our crew dressed in 1950s costumes. All I can tell you is we all had a ball making this. We were on hiatus when the shut-down happened. We had sort of a planned four-week break. So, it was a longer pause than I think any of us could have imagined. They did a brilliant job, Disney and Marvel, at keeping us all safe. We had not one single positive test.
Olsen: It was tough to go from the complete calm in your own space and own home to being on set. And then you have all these other things you have to be thinking of, like your mask and your shield.
Bettany: It was very strange because you go on set, that shield comes off, and everybody else’s shields go on with the mask. And you do your scene with your partner. There is [crew] whisking you away and putting you in some sort of hermetically sealed trailer. There is no hanging around on set. The way you build up camaraderie with your cast and your entire crew felt significantly diminished. And I missed that.
Olsen: It was strange, and I think we found a lot of the humor in it, and it evolved as we went and got more comfortable with it.
Bettany: Let me say how great it is that it worked because you just felt like the industry can [do productions safely]. So to see a way where it could be [done safely was] comforting and exciting.
I can’t wait to learn more about the behind-the-scenes development of this show and its characters as more news is released. I prefer that to all the trailers. What would you like to know before the series premieres next year?