The actress discusses the 'very different Sharon' we meet in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'
Last we saw Sharon Carter in the MCU, she'd stolen Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) star-spangled shield for him and he'd warned her the government was going to come looking for her. And then they kissed -- though it was a kiss that became a kiss off as a handful of movies passed, a global Blippening came and went, and Steve ghosted Sharon for her aunt.
Now, Sharon is back in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, though this version of the one-time S.H.I.E.L.D. agent -- living as a fugitive on the lawless island nation of Madripoor -- is more like to steal from you (and/or kill you) than steal for you. "It's been a minute!" says Emily VanCamp, reprising her role as Sharon. Reluctantly, Sharon is dragged into Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes' (Sebastian Stan) latest adventure as their paths cross over a rogue super soldier serum and a shadowy bad guy known as the Power Broker.
"I'm so happy that people are happy to have Sharon back. You never know. It's a very particular fandom and you want to make 'em proud," she tells ET. "It's really nice to hear that people are glad she's back, because I certainly had a great time coming back to do this."
Following her return in episode three, "Power Broker," VanCamp spoke with ET's Ash Crossan by Zoom to discuss embodying a very different Sharon Carter and why she doesn't need a love interest this time around.
ET: Sharon has lived since we last saw her. How in-depth did you go with Kari [Skogland, director] and Malcolm [Spellman, head writer] about everything Sharon's been doing since Civil War?
I remember sitting down with Kari right before we started shooting -- and we'd talked about it at length with our producers and everything before I even came onboard to do it -- it was like, what are we doing here with Sharon? Are we going to address everything? How is this going to work? And I loved everything they had pitched, which was, "Look, she's been a fugitive on the run this entire time, so when we meet Sharon again, it's a very different Sharon than we've seen before." And I do think they really came through on that. We don't dive too much into where she's been, but you certainly get a sense that it hasn't been easy. It's a hardened version of Sharon. She's not so wide-eyed and idealistic as she once was, because obviously, she's been through it and hasn't gotten that pardon that she wants. She's been on the run, so you can imagine.
You touched on this, but what question did you have about?
So much about where has she been? Why wasn't she pardoned? What has she been doing? How has she survived? Just so many different things. And we touch on it a little bit -- that she hasn't been able to speak to her family. That she's been on the run all on her own, and no one was there to come and rescue her. That's the sort of idea in her mind. And I was just trying to infuse all of that bitterness into who Sharon once was and marry those ideas.
I love that Bucky is like, "Wow, she's kind of awful now." Like, no, she's amazing.
Yeah, and of course, as the person playing the character, I'm like, "Well, you're awful!" [Laughs] You inevitably become protective of the characters you're playing. I love that he says that, because it's true! She's just a very different Sharon, and there's no denying it.
I know you got a lot of love from fans after the episode. Do you think that Sharon was underestimated before?
I wouldn't say underestimated. I just think those movies are so big with so many characters to service and so many stories to tell that it's just hard to fit everyone in. There wasn't so much room to develop Sharon, so I don't think it's anyone's fault, I just think, you know, it's nice that with this platform, they're able to go a little bit deeper into some characters that maybe we haven't gotten to see in the movies, just because of time.
Well, there was the romance between Sharon and Steve that didn't really take off. But now people are sensing some tension between Bucky and Sharon, especially since the first episode focused on him being single. Some feeling Sam and Sharon. Do you think there's a connection there? Does she even need a love interest, honestly?
[Shaking her head] No! She doesn't need a love interest. We already tried that with Steve. It just got way too weird. And honestly, I think that one of the nice things about this Sharon and coming back to play this character is that we get to move away from the sort of love story of it all and explore Sharon as we see her now and what she's been through. It's more about that than trying to establish some kind of love connection. And it also would take away from their journeys, as well. They're both on their own separate journeys and together, and so it just-- I personally [think] there wouldn't have been room for that.
I'm more into where Sharon is going. Are we going to get more insight into how she became this arts dealer hustler in Hightown? I mean, there are a lot of theories floating around about Sharon.
There are! And I love that there are theories already floating around. That means people are talking about it, which is awesome. I can't say anything beyond that, actually. [Laughs] I'm trying to think of, like, what I can say. I definitely don't want to give anything away. I will say there are more characters to come, which is exciting. The beautiful thing about this show, too, is how gray everything is. Even who we might consider to be a villain, there's just a really good handle on every character's perspective and reasoning and I just find that much more interesting than black-and-white villain versus hero.
You're so right. Because I never thought we'd get to a point where people are loving Zemo and hating Captain America!
I know! It's crazy! But that's the cool thing about what Marvel is doing, especially with these shows. It's really interesting.
Do you have a favorite fan theory you've read so far about the show?
Oh gosh. I'm not, like, as knowledgeable as I should be about the comic book world, so sometimes I don't even know what some of the theories are. But no, I'd rather just let everyone watch and see what happens. Because if I start talking too much, then I'll give stuff away. [Laughs]
I'm all aboard the Sharon is Power Broker theory. I love it. If she wants to be, yes. She can have whatever she wants.
Whatever Sharon wants! I love that theory. Just whatever she wants.
New episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stream Fridays on Disney+.