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‘Dudes Who Hate Strong Women’: Samuel L. Jackson Stands Up For ‘Captain Marvel’ Costar Brie Larson Amid Online Bullying

Samuel L Jackson Defends Marvel Costar Brie Larson Amid Online Bullying
Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson Photo by Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Shutterstock

Samuel L. Jackson has no tolerance for online trolls attacking his Marvel costar and friend, Brie Larson.

“She’s not going to let any of that stuff destroy her,” the Secret Invasion star, 74, said of the online hate Larson, 33, received following the release of their 2019 film Captain Marvel in an interview with Rolling Stone published Tuesday, June 20. “These incel dudes who hate strong women, or the fact that she’s a feminist who has an opinion and expressed it? Everybody wants people to be who they want them to be. She is who she is, and she’s genuinely that.”

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Larson starred as Captain Marvel in the studio’s first-ever solo female-led film. In addition to receiving backlash for her performance in the action flick, she was also criticized for using the film’s press tour to speak out about diversity in Hollywood. Not to mention, trolls flooded the film’s Rotten Tomatoes page with negative reviews weeks before its March 2019 release. Despite the hate, the movie went on to gross over $1 billion at the global box office.

“I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of this type of content and to prove once again that representation matters,” the Oscar winner told Variety and iHeartMedia’s “The Big Ticket” podcast in April 2019. “Diverse storytelling matters, the female experience matters, and these are markers.”

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Larson — who confirmed her split from ex-boyfriend Elijah Allan-Blitz in March — addressed the backlash at last year’s D23 Expo in September 2022. When asked by Variety how much longer she could see herself playing Captain Marvel, she responded, “I don’t know. Does anyone want me to do it again?”

In the Rolling Stone profile, Jackson — who will reunite with Larson on screen in the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels — also opened up about the beginnings of his and the Fast X star’s years-long friendship.

“We had done Kong [Skull Island] together, which was not the most wonderful experience for either of us,” Jackson explained. “We became great friends during that particular experience because we were having such a hard time.”

The Pulp Fiction actor went on to appear in Larson’s directorial debut, 2017’s Unicorn Store, though she had been trying to cast another actor in his role. “I was in the makeup trailer with her and was like, ‘Why are you trying to hire this other actor and not trying to get me to do your movie?’” Jackson shared. “She said, ‘I didn’t think you’d ever do it… so, will you?’ And I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Their relationship grew even closer following the 2016 presidential election, during which Donald Trump beat out Hillary Clinton for the presidency. “She was broken, and I was like, ‘Don’t let ‘em break you. You have to be strong now,’” Jackson recalled.

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Last month, Larson was caught off-guard when asked her opinion on Johnny Depp’s film Jeanne Du Barry opening the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. “You’re asking me that?” she said during a May 16 press conference. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.”

After a reporter clarified that they asked her specifically due to her role on the Time’s Up advisory council, Larson responded, “You’ll see, I guess, if I see it. And I don’t know how I’ll feel if I do.” (Depp, 60, sued Heard, 37, for defamation in 2019 after she said she was a victim of domestic violence in an op-ed for The Washington Post. The jury ruled in Depp’s favor in June 2022.)

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