Olivia Colman And Kingsley Ben-Adir Talk Joining The MCU

When looking for an actress to cast as “the most dangerous woman in the UK” – as Samuel L. Jackson has dubbed Secret Invasion‘s MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth – Olivia Colman probably wouldn’t be your first choice. 

But the Oscar winner/all-round national treasure has found herself in that role in the latest MCU small screen series for Disney+. Within the show’s first two episodes, you get a sense of her frosty relationship with Nick Fury (Jackson) and her penchant for elaborate methods of torture.

However, when asked to reveal any more about her character, Colman kept her cards close to her chest, saying: “Her and Nick Fury have a lovely friendship. Although, she does quite like to bully him with her heavies, which doesn’t strike me as too much like a friendship, but they’ve got history.

Marvel Studios

“They trust each other – or I think they do, maybe they don’t. I’m actually not too sure what I can say; she likes wearing red, she’s quite funny, and she’s potentially a little bit not-that-nice sometimes…”

Yes, getting a Marvel cast to reveal their secrets is harder than breaking out of prison, which Colman’s co-star Jackson knows all too well, having been a part of this universe since 2008. During the L.A press conference Zavvi attended, he aimed to throw reporters off the scent of what happens after the first two episodes press have seen in advance, joking that fans can expect the “first explicit love scene in the MCU” between him and Colman.

It’s safe to assume that doesn’t happen, but what will arrive on our screens is more Gravik, the main Skrull villain played by Kingsley Ben-Adir (Peaky Blinders). He’s the rival of Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, having broken away and initiated a wider Skrull invasion of Earth, slowly replacing people in positions of power the world over to get the resources the alien race needs to leave home.

Marvel Studios

The London-born actor was surprised to be approached for a major villain role, saying: “I’m like Gravik only in the sense that I didn’t trust why this was coming to me! This was the kind of part I hadn’t been approached for before, which gave me an opportunity to do something a little bit different.

“During that first conversation, Ben and Sam were the only two attached to the project, but the taster scenes I was given to audition with were a kind of showdown with Sam.

“But I didn’t know it was Secret Invasion at the time – the script was called Zero Zero Zero, and my character was called Manuel – but I kept seeing weird parallels between this and Marvel, especially as I knew they were trying to make a more grounded and darker show.

Marvel Studios

“I guess I took a lot of inspiration from that in how to make him as unsentimental as possible when it came to showing his hatred. There’s something about how much he hated Nick and how much he hated G’iah (Talos’ daughter, played by Emilia Clarke) that was really enticing.”

Expect to dig deeper beneath the skin of Gravik – and find out more about his plans for a secret invasion – in the weeks to come.

Secret Invasion airs every Wednesday on Disney+.

Shop our Marvel merch.

For all things pop culture, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.