'Marvel's Avengers' Actor Sandra Saad Opens Up About Ms. Marvel

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Did you have any fight training or stunt training for the motion capture work?



Well, I did yoga. I did my own stretches and stuff, but I have to credit my amazing body double. She takes on really tough stuff for me, but at the same time, I had to do some stuff. Informing Kamala's abilities by looking at Crystal Dynamics' combat design for her really, really helped. They're really good at showing me what they've got for her.





Had you done mo-cap before?



No.



What was it like?



It was so cool, dude. Like I said, with video games, the biggest thing is you've got to have a great imagination, especially with mo-cap. It's like there's no sound. It's deafeningly quiet. There's nothing, besides cameras and poles and pool noodles.



Everything comes from in here, and having an amazing director really, really helps inform what's around you, and an informative script and stuff. At the end of the day, it's all in your imagination, because you do have all these other things that would normally work against you. You have a bunch of people sitting down having coffee in front of you, and pool noodles and cameras, a ton of people and a ton of cameras and gear everywhere. You've just got to keep in your head what the character's actual surroundings are. It's all in the imagination.





Who directs the motion capture part of it? Is it the overall game director themselves?



[Nodding] Shaun [Escayg]. Man, he's a beast. He's so good. The guy's a genius. He is so great at relating to every different person. He's amazing at knowing how to get into my head, as opposed to knowing how to get into these other people's heads. He just knows what to say to each person. Also he's very tech-savvy, which I feel like you really need for mo-cap. He knows exactly what to ask for from a cameraman versus an audio person, versus his visual effects crew. The guy is very smart.



Were all of the actors filming together, or did you film individually?



We filmed, for the most part, together. I worked with most of them on every single mo-cap shoot, and the mo-cap shoots went for a while. I had several scenes that were by myself, and monologue moments and internal struggle moments, and moments where I'm just talking to myself. Then also there's the ADR stuff. With ADR, I have only had one or two where I'm working with other people, but usually it's just me and the director, and a couple of other guys behind the glass.



You're acting with some of the biggest names in video games — Nolan North, for example. What was it like working with such well-known actors?





Well, it's always really special working directly with actors, especially face to face. Like we mentioned before with ADR, sometimes you are alone, so it's really nice getting to connect with another actor. I'm an actor too, so it's nice to connect. They're all super talented. Like you said, they're giants in the industry, and it's just really nice to experience each one of their different processes on stage and to see them go from person to superhero in seconds.



As an actor, what is the biggest lesson that you learned from this project?



Wow. What all that gear feels like.



It sounds silly. Admittedly, saying that feels silly, but you never think of what all that mo-cap gear must feel like until you have it all on. It took me, probably, a whole day to get acclimated to the weight of it. A lot of it can obstruct from an otherwise natural performance. After working with all those people who've done it a million times, you're quickly out of that. You're quickly, "Oh, yeah. I know. That's fine. I'm just normal Sandra, walking now."



Which also, I feel like, is especially cool about the stunt people. They're stunt people normally, but if they can also be stunt people in all that gear and move like a regular body, It's so impressive.





How long was the shoot?



I don't remember. I'd say a few years, super off and on. It was pretty sparse, for me at least, but I don't know how long they have been working on it. Crystal Dynamics has been chomping away for a while.





























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