We know Quicksilver moves fast. You can’t do the classic Marvel superhero on screen without showing his blur-fast speed (a characteristic brought to life in both X-Men: Days of Future Past and, now, The Avengers: Age of Ultron). But does Quicksilver ever slow down? Does he get winded? Basically, does he ever let us see him sweat?

He does in Joss Whedon’s upcoming Marvel superhero blockbuster, and it’s a very funny character touch that I couldn’t wait to talk to Aaron Taylor-Johnson about during the recent Avengers press day. Taylor-Johnson has the distinction of being one of the newcomers to Whedon’s Avengers universe. Our own Eric Eisenberg spoke about Quicksilver’s powers on an Age of Ultron set visit. After seeing the movie, though, I liked how the hero got tired after lengthy stints of super-powered running. And with a hearty laugh, Taylor-Johnson explained how that visual cue came to pass. He said:
There was one point where [Joss] was like, ‘You know, you’ve been fighting. You’re busy. Just, have a point where you have a moment. You have a break.’ I was like, ‘Really? Is Quicksilver… would he, you know, get tired?’ And he’s like, ‘You’ve done a lot, a lot of running. He can be a little bit tired.’ Alright, fair enough!"

Why stop there? Sensing that he had an opportunity to put a unique physical stamp on a character many in the audience will be familiar with, Aaron Taylor-Johnson tells me that he decided to push the envelope a bit with Joss Whedon and ask if they could show Quicksilver sweating. This, in turn, led to several serious discussions about tears in Quicksilver’s eyes, and wet patches in his arm pits. And you think creating a superhero blockbuster is a glamorous affair! The actor told me:
When you read comic books, there’s a moment where he runs so fast that … tears don’t run out of his eyes going that fast. So then I was like, whatever it was that I read or something, I wondered if he even sweats. And Joss was like, ‘Well, he can sweat a bit.’

But what’s nice about that is, it gave me the ability to be a bit more humanized at times, and relatable, and kind of funny. I feel like it’s our job to know our characters really well, to kind of balance those sort of challenges off. … It does allow for those moments, where it’s, like, Quicksilver’s slightly out of breath. Come on, man. You’ve got to pick it up! It’s funny, you know?"

Anyone who knows Joss Whedon and the films he’s made will expect those humorous flourishes in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Though there are a lot of moving parts to juggle in the massive superhero extravaganza, paying attention to the little details Whedon and his actors brought to the characters and the action will make you appreciate their effort – and the movie – all the more.

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