[This story contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode five, “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans.”]
She is heavy director Anu Valia has directed 22 TV episodes since 2020, which is an impressive feat considering how challenging drama production has become during the pandemic. Three of those episodes include Marvel Studios’ She is heavy, and Valia, like many, assumes she knows what a Marvel movie would be like. Instead, she discovered that there was more creative freedom than one might expect from the greatest franchise of all time.
“It was a collaborative, creative experience, which may have been something I didn’t realize when I went through it. You think Marvel is like this giant machine, but it really isn’t. Kevin [Feige] cares a lot, but has more freedom than I really expected,” said Valia The Hollywood Reporter.
In a recent conversation with CHEAPValia also addresses the confused way Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) has been treated since becoming She-Hulk.
So who gets credit for the genius title card, She-Hulk: By Titania?
I think it is [head writer] Jessica Gao. The idea of the whole show is to play with your expectations of what you think the show is going to be and keep doing it. And so it’s fun to play with title cards that way.
Before getting the job, what did you answer most about the relevant document?
When I read the script, I said, “Oh my God, what they’re doing with She-Hulk is really fun.” First of all, the problems Jennifer Walters experiences in her daily life are very modern and authentic. And then add to that, this new identity she didn’t ask for. So I just felt so close to her when I read it, and it was just such a deeply humorous show. I said, “Oh my, I really want to join.” And then you’re just trying to get that job, baby. (Laugh.)
Did you see behind the curtain at Marvel? Did you see their FBI board with all the red wires connecting their various projects?
(Laugh.) Well, there are a lot of different things to keep in mind. Once you get there, you will download the content for you and then you learn what you need to know. But they don’t tell you what you don’t need to know. There are a lot of smart minds out there.
Every job has a series of firsts, so what are those for you? She is heavy?
Yes, you learn something in every job. This show went on for a while, and I learned a lot about technique. This is my first time working with a full CGI character as a host. And just working in the program, I learned how to balance the timbre. I also learned a lot from the actors. It was a collaborative, creative experience, maybe something I didn’t realize when I went through it. You think Marvel is like this giant machine, but it really isn’t. Kevin [Feige] cares a lot, but has more freedom than I really expected.
I’m really crazy that She-Hulk dates, such as Arthur, don’t care about Jen Walters at all. I just can’t wrap my head around that.
It’s funny when you say that because I’ve thought about that a lot too. What we are discovering is so beautiful, how painful it is. It’s not like she cares about that guy [Michel Curiel’s Arthur] That’s all, but the heartbreaking thing is that he won’t like Jen. And the way Tatiana plays is beautiful and real. But I understand what you are saying. It’s like, “You don’t like Jennifer Walters? She’s hot!” So I hear you about that. I don’t buy either. (Laugh.) She’s great. But the essence of what is being discovered is, “You like this side of me, but not both? That’s me too. “It’s hard to understand.
Hopefully, Matt Murdock doesn’t treat her that way. It doesn’t sound like his style. Does your Daredevil end tease hint that you have to work with Charlie Cox?
(Laugh.) You don’t want me to actually answer that, do you? Of course, I’m afraid to answer some of these questions, but I really think the fun of this show will be tuned in next week. So I don’t want to share what you’re about to learn.
Renée Elise Goldsberry was on fire in this episode. That line of football players was funny. Can you feel that she is in the area on set?
She is an amazing actress. A lot of her stuff is actually lying on the cutting room floor, which is unfortunate since it’s a half-hour comedy; All cannot get in. But she’s funny and she’s just an all-star actress. I love her.
Since 2020, you have directed 22 TV episodes and your 20 episodes have aired since 2020. How did you do this at a time like this?
I do not know! (Laugh.) In a show like this, I’m the guest director. Other directors, hosts, and creators laid the groundwork and hopefully, I can join and supplement and find my own personal connection to the story, which I’ve done so much. much She is heavy. And hopefully what I give will be returned. I’m lucky to work on shows where I feel very close to the main character or the plot or the larger themes. So I’m really lucky. Who knows, maybe the job will take off, so I have to get it while I can get it. (Laugh.)
Given your previous collaborations with Sarah Goldberg, why haven’t you directed yet? Barry but? You directed everything else, so who do we blame for this?
Oh my God, I love directing Barry, but listen, Bill Hader is doing it all, honey. (Laugh.) He doesn’t need another director.
She is heavy currently airing on Disney+. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.