Hannah John-Kamen did all her own stunts for Ant-Man and the Wasp — and it only took her 10 minutes to get into her costume
There’s a new breed of Marvel villain in town — and it’s one that’s not hell-bent on destroying the entire world and claiming victory for themselves. Sure, we saw Thanos do exactly that in Infinity War, but he’s just one of *three* villains we’re getting this year in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though it might be hard to think back to Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger (because we miss him a lot, okay?), he didn’t necessarily want to destroy anything; he wanted to help others. And then of course Thanos came along and with a snap of his fingers destroyed most of the world, but that’s not the villain we’re here to talk about today. Rounding out Marvel’s magnificent year is Ghost, the very mysterious antagonist played by Hannah John-Kamen in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Who is she and what does she want? While you’re going to have to wait and see for yourself who she is, what she wants is simple: She just wants to fix herself.
This is very much a brand new type of foil for our heroes, and honestly it’s a stretch to call Ghost a villain. Just like with Killmonger, you very much feel and relate to Ghost and her plight to simply get what she thinks she deserves. And honestly, her reasoning makes sense.
Ahead of Ant-Man’s release in theaters, HelloGiggles sat down with John-Kamen to talk through Ghost and the fact that HJK is damn impressive playing Ghost.
HelloGiggles: I think it’s just assumed that everyone’s gonna end up in a Marvel movie at some point, so did you ever think you’d end up here playing Ghost?
Hannah John-Kamen: I didn’t expect it. I love the Marvel Universe, I really loved the first Ant-Man, and to be invited to the Marvel Universe in Ant-Man and the Wasp, that was overwhelming. I was so excited, and it was daunting at first. I mean, it’s a huge responsibility to play the threat of the movie. Especially with such incredible actors and cast that have joined as well as the original. I had so much fun creating Ghost. She is really badass and also taking, you know, a male character from the comic books and being the first person to give her life and introduce her to the Marvel Universe, it was an honor.
HelloGiggles: Right from the get-go was the character always supposed to be female, or did you come in and they crafted the character to you?
HJK: I know she was always gonna be a female. It’s wonderful and it’s very progressive. [She] was always gonna be a female and that’s great because I don’t think…the character is actually real until it’s come off the page. It’s open to interpretation and also, there wasn’t a great deal of information on the character Ghost. I’ve actually got some of the comic books of the Thunderbolt Team and also with Iron Man — I tried to kind of do some research, but [instead read] the comics and went, “No, screw it, I’m gonna [do my own thing].” There’s not a lot to go on, and I’m gonna bring her to life and completely contribute it in my own way with [director] Peyton [Reed] and we’re gonna create this, so that was awesome.
HelloGiggles: Is there anything you really wanted to include from your research?
HJK: To be honest, this character was completely created from scratch. It was really just amazing to sit down with Peyton and know the story and go, “Okay, so who is she?” And we found it, we really kind of found it. It was so much fun.
HelloGiggles: Months ago, I actually did a set visit to Ant-Man and you came in to talk to us and you didn’t really say anything. I was looking back at my notes, and you wouldn’t even say if you had an iPhone in the movie or not. What are you just dying to tell everyone now?
HJK: It sucks when spoilers come out, and I just think, for me, as a fan myself of watching a movie, I don’t wanna know anything. I really don’t wanna know anything. It’s been very easy to keep that to myself in that respect, you know, a lot of the information on the character. But I’m dying for everyone to see it, I can’t wait for this to come out so that everyone can go, “Oh my God, it came now we can all talk about it.” That’s great, that’s awesome.
HelloGiggles: After seeing the movie, I was super excited that you hadn’t told us much about the character. I just went in completely blind and I was blown away.
HJK: Absolutely. That’s exactly it. She’s mysterious. She’s a mysterious character, it’s Ghost, nobody knows anything and it’s great because it’s like you do go in and you go, “I absolutely have no idea what is gonna happen.” Then yeah, you get very entertained by the whole movie itself.
HelloGiggles: How much of the stunt training and fighting were you doing?
HJK: I do my own stunts. I’m so used to it, I love it, I absolutely love stunts. I have this real adrenaline high of kicking ass. I really feel it’s important, to be honest, to have that physicality with your character as well as you do emotionally and mentally. I always do as much as I physically possibly can because it’s kind of working out [the character and her] style of fighting is because every character has different styles. I remember we’d do some rehearsals, and I’d do some rehearsals in my costume because I wanted to see what was restricting or what we could go further with and what looked really badass and what made sense. That was a real fun part. I remember on set I would do a fight scene with the actors, and then I would do it again just by myself. So that was quite fun, that was kind of an interesting thing, like fighting yourself and it kinda looks like that kind of thing going stop hitting yourself.
HelloGiggles: What was it like to threaten Paul Rudd in the movie?
HJK: Paul Rudd, he’s such a sweetheart. Hey, listen, you gotta do what you gotta do. You gotta do what you gotta do. There’s an objective, the stakes are high, so yeah, it’s never easy.
HelloGiggles: Honestly a lot of the time I wanted Ghost to succeed, because I wanted her to be okay. What was it like to bring that to the character to life? Because just about every other Marvel villain has been about death and destruction.
HJK: When you play a villain, it’s not written that she wakes up one morning and she thinks it’s hilarious to have like world domination. No, it doesn’t happen like that. The stakes are high, and I like that confusion that the audience has about the character because you…I mean, you can’t play a villain as a villain. I don’t think she is the villain, I think she’s a threat, definitely to the characters in the movie. She’s the antagonist, but I played her like no, she’s the good guy and everyone else is bad. So through her eyes, she’s great. Through their eyes, yeah, she’s bad. But through her eyes she’s good and they’re bad. So that’s how I played her.
HelloGiggles: Do you have a favorite moment from shooting?
HJK: Just kind of strutting around in the costume, that was fun. It made me feel like a badass.
HelloGiggles: But what it like wearing that costume and filming Atlanta?
HJK: It was hot, it was really, really hot. I remember the three people putting that costume on and I think we got it down to under seven…10 or seven minutes, we timed it, of taking it off or putting it back on again. Oh yeah, we were on, we were completely on. But in between takes, they’d come with fans and I’d have a cooling suit underneath. They’d put tubes up with, which would circulate cold water. It felt like my chest was peeing itself, it was the weirdest sensation in the world. But yeah, no, it was a lot of maintenance to keep yourself cool.
HelloGiggles: What’s it like to play someone who’s so badass — and have that you already started asking to get on board with the much talked about all-female Avengers movie?
HJK: It’s amazing to be a badass lady. I think, you know, if us ladies could get on and have a sit down, it’d be great and compare our powers; that’d be really fun. I think that’d be a really fun scene actually. But no, it’s an absolute honor to represent and be a strong female badass. I hope little girls, boys, adults, who have the action figure can go, “Yeah, this is a cool character to play with.”
HelloGiggles: No spoilers, but is is possible we could see you back in Avengers 4?
HJK: I think [once you’re] in the Marvel Universe, you know, anything is possible in the Marvel Universe. You never know.