Secret Invasion Put Emilia Clarke In A Complicated Car And She Nearly Killed Samuel L. Jackson
Episode 1 of “Secret Invasion” introduced us to a much more somber take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this John le Carré-inspired spy thriller, Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury slinks around in true George Smiley fashion. But rather than trying to preserve Queen and Country, Fury is trying to thwart a group of clandestine green aliens known as the Skrulls, which makes for an odd tone as Kevin Feige’s latest streaming series tries to balance its grounded ambitions with its fantastical subject matter.
Still, thus far the show has proven to be better than 90% of recent MCU projects, and we’ve had a lot of them — focusing more on its characters and their relationships rather than relying on spectacle to propel its story. Alongside Jackson’s Fury, there’s Ben Mendolsohn, who’s characteristically compelling as one of the good green aliens, Talos. Then, there’s Emilia Clarke as Skrull G’iah, who isn’t given much to do in the early episodes but will no doubt come to play a big part in the unfolding story, as Kingsley Ben-Adir’s extremist Skrull Gravik executes his plan to take over Earth (ok, it’s not that grounded).
Working out of an abandoned nuclear plant south of Moscow, Gravik leads G’iah and his group of rebel Skrulls as they plot to re-establish their own society on the humans’ planet. And while the derelict Russian location lends some Cold War vibes to the proceedings, emphasizing the le Carré-esque tone, it seems the Russian setting also almost indirectly led to disaster.
Fury’s mission almost ended before it began
Emilia Clarke recently spoke to Yahoo about “Secret Invasion,” where she revealed that at one point she almost ran over Samuel L. Jackson. According to the “Game of Thrones” star, a scene required her to drive a very old model Lada — a Russian car that The Wall Street Journal referred to as “a symbol of Russia’s self-reliance since they began rolling off assembly lines during the depths of the Cold War.” In the scene, she was supposed to hit the brakes and stop right in front of Jackson’s (very tired) Nick Fury, but her unfamiliarity with the outdated car’s controls nearly led to disaster. As Clarke explained:
“I got in and I was like, ‘Hey, what’s with the six sticks up in here? Which one am I using? Why have I [got] 10 pedals?’ It’s [like] a tractor. […] I know how to drive. I know how to drive stick. Anyway, not enough time. They’re saying, ‘We’ve gotta go. We’re shooting. Come on honey. Just go. We’re gonna go.'”
After psyching herself up, Clarke recalled how she went ahead despite being completely bewildered by the Lada’s controls, adding, “We get up to it. The camera is right there. Sam is right there. And I pressed the wrong thing, I pressed the accelerator rather than the brake.”
Luckily, Clarke didn’t actually hit the veteran star, who she said was “very gentlemanly and lovely and nice” after almost being mowed down. Unsurprisingly, Clarke herself was slightly shaken and remembered how she “cried a little bit” before someone else took over for the next take.
Put it in H
While this isn’t exactly one of those times “The Simpsons” made a prediction that actually came true, I can’t help but imagine the whole debacle playing out like that scene where Homer tries to buy a car from “Crazy Vaclav’s Place of Automobiles” and can’t figure out the controls. In other words, Emilia Clake should clearly have just put it in “H” and she would have been fine.
Almost killing the star of her own show aside, Clarke has delivered a suitably understated performance thus far, fitting nicely into the MCU’s take on a spy thriller (even if she hasn’t really done all that much yet). We’re hoping to see a lot more from her as the series goes on, especially considering G’iah is actually Talos’ daughter. That suggests there’ll be some sort of intense, emotionally fraught moment where she has to make a final choice between staying loyal to her villainous leader Gravik, or switching sides to stand alongside her good guy father.
However things play out, with The Avengers well and truly out of the picture for this one, you can expect “Secret Invasion” to end the way it began — with plenty of shocking twists and interpersonal drama. Let’s just hope if G’iah makes it through, and becomes an ongoing part of MCU projects, that Clarke is spared from any more potentially hazardous driving stunts in the future.
“Secret Invasion” is streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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