‘She-Hulk’ — Tatiana Maslany plays it larger than life

Disney+ comedy is part deep. part goofy

Tatiana Maslany of ‘She-Hulk’ on Disney+

Q: One of the most important parts about the series in particular is Jennifer’s new identity as She-Hulk and how that affects her both physically and also mentally, in her career and her dating life. Can you talk about how she deals with that?

A: That conflict is so fun to navigate because Jen has had her life planned out for her and has worked really hard to get to where she is as a lawyer. And to have this thing happen to her that sort of derails everything, it is a bit of an identity crisis.

And what I find really compelling about this story is how … she’s treated very differently than when she’s Jen. There’s a lot of having to really affirm her intelligence when she’s Jen and sort of assert her role and try to get respect. Whereas when she’s She-Hulk, there’s this inherent sort of like awe inspired by her. And I think Jen has a conflict with that.

Q: “She-Hulk” is a show about transformation and different ways of being seen. And it’s also about a woman’s experience. So how did feminism and the specific feminization of the Hulk character, which is a very masculine archetype, influence your crafting of the character.

A: Her anger, her largeness, like her taking up space in a room, all of that is fertile ground for us to sort of play — and play with it comedically, too, to like flip the standard on its head so that you can laugh at it but you’re also aware that it’s the truth of every woman walking into a space. And the sort of duality of her two bodies I find so compelling.

What is it to walk into a room as a 6-foot-7 woman and what is it to walk into a room as a 5-foot-2 woman? It’s so rife. And I think because our culture is so fixated on women’s bodies, whether it’s aesthetically or politically or in terms of rights or in terms of autonomy. I think what we do in this show is touch on all of these concepts but through Jessica’s hilarious brain. So it’s really deep at the same time as it’s goofy.

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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