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Friday, December 3, 2021

Hawkeye: A Marvel TV show about a superhero with imposter syndrome

ART GALLERY

Who’s the best Avenger? No shade, but when it comes to the Marvel movies, you’re probably not going to find many people who’ll pick the guy with the bow and arrow.

But that’s one of the themes explored in Hawkeye, a new Disney+ TV show in which the Avengers’ archer finally gets his moment in the spotlight.

Jeremy Renner has been playing Hawkeye/Clint Barton in the series for ten years.

“I love the idea that Clint is a guy who has been elevated to Avenger status but is still a human, and I think feels that insecurity and reality,” director and executive producer Rhys Thomas tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“It’s about a man dealing with his self-worth, and there’s almost an impostor syndrome element to it.”

“Coming in and dealing with that identity of Hawkeye being the thing that defines you – but knowing the reality inside” was part of the fun.

Impostor syndrome is when someone continually doubts their own skills, expertise and achievements – usually despite evidence to suggest they’re actually quite good at what they do.

These, according to Jeremy, are the reasons why Hawkeye is such a relatable character to franchise fans.

“I’ve always loved how he anchors the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fantasy because he’s a superhero without superpowers,” Jeremy tells Newsbeat.

“It’s why they’re fighting in the first place – he has a family and children.”

While the big-name Avengers aren’t present this time, Hawkeye teams up with franchise newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, who plays crackshot Kate Bishop.

Kate is a huge Hawkeye fan and an accomplished archer herself.

A flashback at the beginning of episode one shows Kate as a child witnessing the events of the first Avengers film, where Hawkeye helps save New York from an alien invasion.

Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld makes her Marvel debut in the Hawkeye series

Clint Barton serves as a mentor to the young fan and potential future Avenger in this new series.

“I felt like there was a similar dynamic between Kate and Clint as there was between us,” Hailee says to Newsbeat.

“I was very excited and always ready for whatever was thrown at me – very much like Kate.”

Who is Kate Bishop?

Kate Bishop has appeared in Marvel comics since 2005, eventually assuming the role of Hawkeye in some of their storylines.

She was a member of the Young Avengers, a group of adolescent heroes with similar powers and abilities to those seen in the MCU films.

Some of these heroes have already appeared in previous Marvel productions (Wiccan and Speed in Wandavision) and will appear in future productions (Ms Marvel).

Jeremy describes filming the six-hour series as “a little more arduous” than making a movie, but even after a decade in this role, he still enjoys what he does and who he does it with.

“I love this character, this world, this job, and the blessings that come with it,” he says.

“There are a lot of curveballs thrown your way in this type of storytelling, and I don’t want Hailee to feel like she’s a fish out of water.

“‘She’ll inquire, ‘Is this normal?’ And I’ll tell them, ‘I know it doesn’t make sense, but just keep moving forward; all we have is each other.'”

Jeremy Renner, now a Marvel veteran, made his MCU debut in the first Thor movie in 2011

Hailee is no stranger to blockbuster productions, having previously played the lead in the 2018 Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, but working on Hawkeye gave the Oscar nominee a chance to flex her action-movie credentials – and, of course, kick some butt.

“I loved that this role required so much physical preparation, with archery, stunt training, and various types of fight choreography,” she says.

“Being in that stunt room and learning all of these new skills was one of my favourite parts.

“I’d catch him [Jeremy] in the stunt room and be terrified in the best way possible. He could just as easily be a martial artist.”

Jeremy, on the other hand, hints that he’s just using his acting skills to appear to know what he’s doing in the fight scenes.

“A lot of it is very physical, and a lot of time is spent in the gym,” he adds.

“But, hey, it’s a lot of fun. I mean, whether you’re good at it or not, you have to appear to be good at it.”

‘Like John McClane in Die Hard’

Hawkeye follows previous Marvel TV shows centred on its Avengers cast (Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki), all of which were huge streaming hits in 2021.

Aside from Clint and Kate’s on-screen chemistry and the show’s lighthearted, fun tone, there’s one other thing that clearly distinguishes Hawkeye from its predecessors: it’s set at Christmas.

And Rhys Thomas isn’t afraid to throw a festive can of worms into the mix.

“I’m a sucker for Christmas movies, so Die Hard came to mind,” he says.

“I know there’s some debate about whether or not it’s a Christmas movie, but that enticed me, and I saw Clint Barton as a John McClane character.”

“It’s a joyous time of year, it brings a level of warmth, and it’s also like this merry time of year to watch someone go through such a difficult series of events.”

Hawkeye is streaming now on Disney+.

SourceBBC
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