Erin Kellyman knew right away that her The Falcon and the Winter Soldier character would be compared to Enfys Nest, her breakout role in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Like Nest, Karli Morgenthau is a powerful masked leader of a resistance movement, and similar to Nest’s Cloud-Riders, Morgenthau’s Flag-Smashers might not be the menace that they’re made out to be. Despite the similarities between the two young women who are both doing what they feel is right, Kellyman wants viewers to know that the differences between the two characters will soon become apparent.
Kellyman tells The Hollywood Reporter: “I think people are finding a lot of similarities with the two characters, and there definitely are some. But as the series goes on and you learn more about Karli, you’ll see that they are quite different.”
Kellyman is also shedding some light on what to expect from the rest of Morgenthau’s series arc.
“Karli, as a person, is very passionate, very determined and very driven, and you’ll see more of that as the show goes on,” Kellyman explains. “She’s not going to stand for anybody trying to come between her and what she’s trying to achieve.”
Karli Morgenthau is based on a comic book character named Karl Morgenthau, who was also known as Flag-Smasher himself. Since there proved to be many variations between Karli and Karl, Kellyman treated Karli like a brand-new character.
“I tried to treat her as a new character, honestly,” Kellyman admits. “There were already so many changes, and I felt differently about her than the way I did when I read about Karl. So I tried to stick with the scripts and go off of that, mainly.”
In a recent conversation with THR, Kellyman also discusses her eagerness to play Enfys Nest again, reuniting with Solo co-screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan on Disney+’s Willow and her anticipation for David Lowery’s The Green Knight.
Well, Disney has been keeping you awfully busy of late. Since they already knew you from Solo, were there slightly less steps involved in landing the role of Karli Morgenthau?
Ooh, I’m not too sure. I had two auditions and then a FaceTime, which is kind of a short process. For Enfys, there were more auditions, and I had to do stunt training as well before I booked the role. So I guess it was a little bit of a shorter process.
So what was your first reaction upon reading that you’d again be wearing a mask during another action set piece atop a moving convoy of sorts?
Oh God, it was so cool. I really, really enjoyed playing Enfys, and I enjoyed playing Karli, too. It was really handy having a mask; I can’t lie. Your stunt double can make it all look really cool, and nobody can tell the difference. (Laughs.)
Out of curiosity, are Enfys and Karli’s masks on display at your place of residence?
(Laughs.) No, unfortunately not. I was too shy to ask for the mask when I was on Solo. But this time, I did ask for the mask, and they said no. So, someday, hopefully.
In Solo, Enfys was introduced as this fierce warrior, but she caught everybody off guard when she was revealed to be a young woman who was forced to grow up too fast. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Karli is introduced as this young woman who’s potentially in danger, but then she took everybody by surprise when she revealed herself to be a super soldier. So I really appreciate the fact that Karli’s introduction was the inverse of Enfys’.
Yeah, I think people are finding a lot of similarities with the two characters, and there definitely are some. But as the series goes on and you learn more about Karli, you’ll see that they are quite different.
Karli Morgenthau is based on a comic book character named Karl Morgenthau. Did you reference the male character from the comics at all, or did you treat Karli as a new character altogether?
I tried to treat her as a new character, honestly. There were already so many changes, and I felt differently about her than the way I did when I read about Karl. So I tried to stick with the scripts and go off of that, mainly.
Like Enfys, Karli is presented in this gray area of sorts. You think you know who she is one minute, but then she surprises you the next. Did Malcolm Spellman and Kari Skogland explain your entire arc in advance so you could plan your performance accordingly?
Yeah, they were actually really great with that. Kari had taken time with me to answer questions that I had about Karli. So it was really helpful to learn about her background some more and to understand that side of her.
Malcolm Spellman described your character as “the glue” that holds the series together. Avoiding spoilers, what general adjectives would you use to describe Karli’s journey the rest of the season?
Ooh, I’m going to try to not spoil anything. Karli, as a person, is very passionate, very determined and very driven, and you’ll see more of that as the show goes on. She’s not going to stand for anybody trying to come between her and what she’s trying to achieve.
Returning to Solo, when Enfys crashed the party during the big heist scene, I surmised that she was tipped off by Emilia Clarke’s character, Qi’ra. She was the closest person to Paul Bettany’s character, and he was supposed to be the only one who had the intel. So did you ever discuss or learn the identity of Enfys’ informant(s)?
It wasn’t so much one person. I think Enfys had a group of people that she was getting intel from. I feel like she had people close to her that would’ve been able to get that information.
Between Star Wars and Marvel, who’s more secretive?
I think they’re probably equally as secretive, honestly. I feel like I was trusted more with the scripts though on Marvel, but they’re probably equally as secretive. But I can’t tell anybody anything. (Laughs.)
Are you thrilled to be working with Solo’s Jon Kasdan again on Willow?
I am! I just saw him the other day. It’s so amazing to be able to work with him again, especially because Solo was my first movie. I was literally a baby; I was like 17 or 18 when I did that. It’s so great to be able to work with him again and have a familiar face on set. It’s a lot of fun.
We really need more of Solo’s underworld characters, somehow, some way. Hopefully, Disney and Lucasfilm brass are listening to this conversation right now.
(Laughs.) I hope so, too. I would love to do more.
Lastly, have you seen The Green Knight yet?
I haven’t! I haven’t seen the whole thing. I’ve seen bits and snippets, and it is really cool. I think people are going to like it. It’s such a visually beautiful movie, and I’m excited for people to see that.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.