The Female Lead

Meet The Girl Behind The Costume

Eight-year-old Illie stole the hearts of the nation at the Captain Marvel Premiere last week!

Dressed in a red, blue and gold suit and microphone in hand, Illie stood on the red carpet and interviewed the stars of the film. Brie Larson, asked her mini-me “Are you running the carpet tonight?” It’s safe to say she definitely was.

We partnered with Disney for the release of their first female led Marvel film and surprised eight-year-old Illie with tickets to the premiere and the chance to meet her real life superheroes.

So who is Illie and why was she chosen?

With a post on Facebook to say we were on the hunt for a young marvel superfan, Illie was nominated by Bucky, the brightly-coloured, bubbly life-long Marvel fan, who also happens to be the only female comic book store owner in the UK.

Just like Bucky, Illie’s love of comics started when she was very young and both were introduced to the comic world by their dads.

Dimi, Illie’s amazing mum, shared with us about the recent passing of Illie’s dad, Matt, in 2017. Matt and Dimi both loved superheroes and passed this love onto their two young children.

Marvel is a favourite in their house, which was obvious when we first visited with posters and figurines to be seen everywhere.  Dimi told us that Illie was always really excited about the Marvel movies and was hooked from the first one she saw, despite being so young.

“What Illie loves most about superheroes is the strength of the characters and that their back stories often show them as normal people. For her there is a special connection, as many of the superheroes don’t have a parent, which is something she is going through at the moment.”

Both Matt and Dimi encouraged Illie to believe in her own strength. They wanted Illie to know that she can be anything she wants to be and do whatever she wants to do.

 

“You can’t be what you can’t see. Role models allow young people to believe in their own power”

The Surprise

When we arrived, we told Illie we were looking for girls who loved superheroes for us to interview.

Much to her surprise, we revealed to Illie that she and her Mum would be going to the Captain Marvel Premiere and that she would be walking the red carpet and interviewing the stars of the film.

The Premiere

On the night of the premiere, Illie arrived wearing a Captain Marvel costume and told us she was “half nervous, half excited”.

Illie spoke to Brie Larson who plays Captain Marvel as well as cast members Jude Law, Gemma Chang and Samuel L. Jackson. Illie also brought her Captain Marvel comic book, which Larson and the cast autographed for her.

Larson, 29, later posted a photo of herself and Illie to her Instagram with the caption:
“I did it for you, superstar.”

View this post on Instagram

I did it for you, superstar

A post shared by Brie (@brielarson) on

Illie meeting her real life superhero just goes to show how important it is for young people—especially young girls and women—to see themselves reflected in the media they consume.

Dimi told us that “Illie is a superhero all of her own, I’ve know it since the moment she was born. And after meeting her own heroes she’s starting to see it herself. It a wonderful thing to see you daughter’s dreams come true, watching her face light up as the amazing cast took the time to speak to her, making her feel like she was the most important person there. The media coverage after the premiere has been incredible and has given her the confidence boost that she needed to see her own potential. We’d like to thank everyone involved in making this happen. It has been the experience of a lifetime, one that she will never forget”

Our Founder, Edwina Dunn was moved by the moment shared between Brie and Illie commenting “You can’t be what you can’t see. Role models allow young people to believe in their own power”.

Captain Marvel is released in cinemas today, on International Women’s Day.


Images: Disney