Captain Marvel exclusive: Brie Larson hopes new film will inspire more women to become pilots

First Officer and BA pilot Helen Geering sat down with Larson to discuss both the film and the experiences of female pilots

Brie Larson on why she hopes Captain Marvel will inspire a whole new generation of female pilots

Brie Larson hopes that her new film, Captain Marvel, can help inspire more women to become pilots.

The superhero origin story sees the actor star as Carol Danvers, a US Air Force fighter pilot who, through mysterious circumstances, becomes imbued with special powers.

In both the US and the UK, only 4% of airline pilots are women, though there has been a move within the aviation industry to improve the gender balance, and the number has been slowly growing over the past decade.

British Airways, for example, will hold a special event on International Women’s Day, inviting 100 girls to visit their Global Learning Academy and test out their simulators.

First Officer and BA pilot Helen Geering sat down with Larson to discuss both Captain Marvel and the experiences of female pilots.

“I think it goes back to that very simple phrase of ‘You can’t be what you can’t see,’” Larson said. “And I think, the feeling of the Air Force is so clear in this movie, too. I really do hope that it inspires girls and women – that if that’s the path that they want to take, that they know that it’s available to them.”

Larson herself visited the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, going up in an F-16 to witness how a pilot acted in the air, while experiencing a simulated dog fight and up to 6.5Gs – “I puked a lot,” the actor joked.

“It really helped a lot. Getting to learn the technical stuff was really helpful, but more than anything it was the spirit of the Air Force and the spirit of being a pilot,” Larson added. “I didn’t realise until I met these people how much that is inside of her. Because, in reading the comics, she has this interesting combo of being very sure of herself and humble, but also has this dry wit.”

“And then, once I was at the base, I realise that’s how pilots are, that there’s this certain level of camaraderie, and sense of humour that I could find everywhere, and that was the pilot in her.”

Captain Marvel is released in UK cinemas on 8 March.

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