WandaVision’s casting director explains casting details behind the key roles of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). Although WandaVision was primarily focused on Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) grief after losing Vision (Paul Bettany) in Avengers: Infinity War, Agatha Harkness and Monica Rambeau proved to be two pivotal characters in the hit Marvel streaming series. Both Agatha and Monica had prominent Marvel comic book histories prior to WandaVision, but had yet to appear in the MCU. Thanks to excellent portrayals from Hahn and Parris, Agatha and Monica easily became two of WandaVision’s standout characters.
While Wanda conjured herself an entire false reality to avoid dealing with her grief, Monica focused on helping Wanda in order to cope with the loss of her mother, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch.) Just like Wanda, Monica never sought out power. However, she ended up accumulating her own powers in her determination to help Wanda as a result of her multiple trips through Wanda’s hex barrier. Agatha on the other hand, was motivated to steal Wanda’s chaos magic from the start. However, Wanda’s fellow witch ended up ironically motivating Wanda to assume the mantle of the Scarlet Witch, her ultimate magical form.
Long-time Marvel Studios casting director, Sarah Halley Finn, said that Monica and Agatha were, “really fun roles to cast,” in an interview with Backstage. Finn elaborated on her thought process when casting Parris and Hahn in the two important WandaVision roles. Read what Finn had to say about the casting process below:
“With Teyonah, she is an actress that I’ve known for a long long time and admired all her work and had been discussed for Marvel projects before, as is often the case as we’re looking to see what the right role might be. Her energy, her intelligence, her ferocity, her humor, there were so many qualities she had that made her seem like a perfect fit for this character, and she also looked like she could’ve been Akira [Akbar] grown up from the original. So that was an added plus, but really she just brought so much to the role as I think audiences were able to discover.
And Kathryn, it was such a challenging role. It was one we talked about a lot. I’d also known Kathryn’s work for a very long time and I’m a huge fan of hers. To find somebody who has not only the comedic ability to pull off pink spandex and sort of time travel through all of these different eras, but then have the dramatic turns and the weight to pull off the twists and the turns and take us through the story and the darker aspects of it, really, she was perfect. We were so excited that she was willing to come in and join the cast.”
Finn’s casting for Monica and Agatha was spot-on. It’s challenging to imagine anybody else in the roles, because Parris and Hahn owned the characters so well. Monica’s story in particular was tragic in its own right. After all, Monica never had the chance to say goodbye to her mother, who passed away when Monica was a victim of Thanos’ snap. While Agatha ended up acting as an unlikely mentor to Wanda, frustrated with her lack of knowledge of anything magical, Monica was the friend that Wanda really needed, because she understood what the Scarlet Witch was going through grief-wise.
It has been confirmed that Parris will reprise her role as Monica Rambeau in The Marvels. It’ll be interesting to see Monica’s journey progress alongside Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) now that she also has powers. After all, Monica was the first woman to be Captain Marvel in the comics. Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, also made a statement recently where he confirmed that Agatha Harkness would return to the MCU in some fashion.
The future is certainly promising for Monica Rambeau and Agatha Harkness in the MCU. Their stories in WandaVision were just the start of their respective journeys, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go next in the MCU. The women of WandaVision were all written so well, with their own goals, dreams, desires and flaws that made the show a joy to watch.