Marvel’s WandaVision is the newest weekly craze dominating the increasingly metaphorical water cooler talk among viewers. Each new episode brings something fresh to the table, and among the most recent additions were the return of Kat Dennings and Randall Park as their fan-favorite Marvel characters Dr. Darcy Lewis and FBI Agent Jimmy Woo, respectively. But after being away from the character for so long, it seems that Dennings had to get creative in order to recapture that spark.
In a recent interview, Dennings spoke about playing Darcy again (now officially Dr. Lewis) and what that entailed after so many years away from the role. Specifically, a study of her past performances in the Thor films served to help jog her memory. While she’s still had steady acting work over the years, returning to an old character isn’t exactly like riding a bike, especially after so much more performing experience. So catching up like that was essential.
But not content to simply repeat the same take on the character, Dennings made a point to use those performances as a jumping-off point rather than a target. Everyone changes a bit over the years, and Darcy was now Dr. Lewis, so just reiterating what worked before wouldn’t be enough. “I definitely did watch some Darcy stuff just to remember what I was doing with my voice and my register, and try to bring it a little more down, you know,” she explained to CinemaBlend, “cause now she’s a professional; she’s a doctor!”
By the time Dr. Lewis made her first appearance in WandaVision, the character hadn’t been properly seen in a Marvel project since 2013’s Thor: Dark World. Ironically, once the Thor movies became less serious and more tongue-in-cheek, they lost their most sarcastic character. Still having yet to earn her doctorate at the time, Dennings’ character served as a welcome comic relief to the intense drama radiated by the rest of the story, so fans were understandably pleased to finally see her back again after almost a full decade.
While Dr. Lewis is definitely a well-liked character, she can also be divisive. Some fans may have been put off a bit by her relatively monotone yet somehow “energetic” sarcasm, which tends to be a staple of Dennings’ own performances. Perhaps she took that criticism into account as well when sculpting the new, more mature version of the jokey scientist audiences saw in WandaVision.
On the other hand, Dennings has been around the entertainment world for some time now and knows what works, and what works is her take on the role, which drew some pretty positive reactions when she made her return. So while it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, there’s certainly something special about Dr. Darcy Lewis. She’s become a most enjoyable aspect of the Marvel Universe for many fans, and the effort Dennings put in is readily apparent.
WandaVision is now available on Disney Plus.