Achieving her wildest dreams. Kathryn Newton spent years wanting to play a superhero, and she finally suits up as Cassie Lang in Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
“I saw Iron Man when I was I was 8 or 9 with my dad,” Newton, 26, recalled in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly earlier this month. “We went to the theater, and I remember seeing that movie and being so inspired … I wanted to be the biggest Marvel superhero of all time. It was always my dream. And I think it’s ironic because Cassie Lang literally grows 40 feet tall and shrinks to the size of an ant. So she might just be the biggest one in the MCU. That tells you, you can dream big — but you better be specific.”
Marvel fans met Cassie as a 6-year-old in 2015’s Ant-Man and 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Quantumania, out Friday, February 17, catches up with Cassie as a young adult who spent five years believing her dad, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), was dead during the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. The 18-year-old is ready to follow in her father’s footsteps — even if the adults around her disagree.
“We all have that moment where we think it’s so easy to do good, but we have no idea the power that we wield and we don’t really know what to do with it,” Newton explained. “So she’s learning just as a girl, not even as a superhero, how to harness her power and what to do with it.”
Cassie shares her dad’s talent for science and engineering, and she even has an interest in the Quantum Realm — perhaps a little too much interest. Cassie’s extracurricular activities lead Scott, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) back to the Quantum Realm where they find a war brewing. They’re quickly separated — with Scott and Cassie in one group and Hank, Janet and Hope in another — with no idea how to get back home.
“[Cassie] leads with her heart, but that gets her into trouble. She’s fighting the good fight, but sometimes you have to be the best version of yourself first before you can really help people,” the Big Little Lies alum explained, adding that her character is “a little bit of a mess, but she wants to be like her dad. We get to see that love grow in this movie, and you get to see them reconnect. And the heart of this movie is about a dad and a daughter reconnecting.”
While Cassie’s stubbornness might stop her from listening to her family, Newton has no problem turning to her costars for some words of wisdom. “I always ask for advice. It depends on the person. Paul was very open,” the Blockers actress said. “The best advice I got from him [was when] I was thinking about a couple projects I had [been] offered, and I was not sure what to do ’cause I like everything. I’ll say yes to anything. And he gave me good advice.”
The Florida native recalled: “He said, ‘If there’s no one that you think could do this part better than you, if you’re the only one that can play this role, then you should do it. That way, you’re elevating it. If you can bring something to the role, then you should do it. But if you can’t and, like, someone else could do it better, then just don’t do it.’ And it really helped me. I’d love to only do movies that I feel like only I could do because I’m the only one in the world that could play this part. And that’s how I felt about Cassie Lang.”
When director Peyton Reed and screenwriter Jeff Loveness sat down with her to talk about the character and any suggestions she had, Newton was floored.
“They asked me if I had any rewrite ideas or notes and I looked at them shocked because I told them, ‘You couldn’t have written this role for me any better.’ It felt like I dreamt of being a superhero, but it was better than my dreams.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters Friday, February 17.