When the photos first appeared, the internet went crazy. But people were not obsessing over a picture of Elizabeth Olsen kissing Paul Bettany. They were excited that Scarlet Witch was making out with Vision.
“Avengers: Infinity War Set Photos Suggest Things Are Finally Heating Up Between Vision & Scarlet Witch,” one headline read. E! News ran the photos as a “first look” at the film, which doesn’t hit theaters until May 2018, quoting an unnamed eyewitness who said Olsen and Bettany filmed the kissing scene “eight or nine times.” Notably, it was also the first time fans have seen Vision in human form.
“I thought it was frustrating, just because I thought it would be fun for the fans to be surprised by the movie when they see something like that,” Olsen tells The Daily Beast in a new interview to promote her role in the indie comedy film Ingrid Goes West (more on that in our profile next week). “I know there was romance-ish [between Black Widow and Hulk] in Ultron, but they’d never really done [a kiss like] that in the Avengers franchise, so I thought that was a little sad for that be ruined for people.”
After the paparazzi photo started to appear online, the cat was out of the bag and suddenly she and Bettany were allowed to talk about it in press appearances. That explains why Olsen has started to discuss elements of the romantic plot line at events like the D23 Expo this past month and in other recent interviews. As she told the website We Got This Covered last week, “We get to introduce and really explore their relationship. It creates a really exciting arc for me and I’m so lucky I get to work with Bettany all the time now.”
While Olsen says it does feel very different to work on a smaller movie like Ingrid versus a massive one like the upcoming Avengers sequel, she says “you have to approach them the same, because what Marvel does well is they really do try to ground a personal arc and stakes” for each of their characters.
“You just happen to have three minutes in the entire movie to make that clear,” Olsen adds. “So there’s almost more pressure to find authenticity and honesty before you are whipped away to fly 30 feet in the air. That’s the challenge I have with Avengers.”
That ability to be “in the middle of action” and still “deliver the funniest line” is something she admires in actors like Harrison Ford or Chris Pratt, but has not been able to master herself. “I do not have that inherent in me, I do not know how to do that,” she says. “It’s a timing that I don’t have.”
At the same time, Olsen says she is grateful that Marvel is “continuing to give me things to do” as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, especially since “not everyone feels represented in a character arc in these movies, because there are so many.”
Olsen teases that she does have more to do in Infinity War than she did in the previous Avengers films—including the newly-revealed love story—but has no idea what is in store for her character in the still-untitled fourth movie in that series, scheduled for May 2019.
“I think they’re working on the script right now,” she says. “I know my [shoot] dates. And people have explained some things to me.” She has not even received a clear answer from the studio about how many more movies her character will appear in. “They just don’t know,” she says. “Or they don’t want you to know, so you don’t talk about it in an interview.”