‘Loki’: Disney + Marvel series cast includes actor with Alabama roots

Twenty-five minutes and 43 seconds after the first episode started and, poof, there she is.

Originally from Alabama, Erika Coleman has a small but cool role in “Loki”, the new Marvel series streaming on Disney + about the Avengers archivillain, God of Mischief and Thor’s brother.

New episodes of “Loki” arrive on Wednesdays. The show stars Tom Hiddleston, who brings his delightfully pretentious impetus to the lead role, a character he has played in seven Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Owen Wilson brings his own “aw, shucks” charm to the role of Time Variance Authority agent Mobius M. Mobius. Like most Marvel productions, “Loki” looks awesome and is a fun watch.

The first season of “Loki” consists of six episodes. If you haven’t seen episode one yet, which dropped on June 9, a slight spoiler here: Coleman appears in a flashback scene as Florence Schaffner, the real flight attendant who’s occupies a mysterious – and, to this day, never found – DB Cooper hijacker plane, which was actually… Loki? Just watch the show. Coleman also appears very briefly in the series trailer.

Other recent actor credits from Coleman include the Netflix sci-fi sensation “Stranger Things”, Apple’s reboot “Amazing Stories” and the $ 800,000,000 box office comedy-adventure blockbuster “Jumanji: The Next Level “. Born in Los Angeles, her father’s family is from Alabama and she grew up in places like Elkmont and Madison. She graduated from Austin High School in Decatur.

Recently, I contacted Coleman for a phone interview. She called from the Atlanta house she shares with her husband Mike Whaley, an actor who has appeared on TV shows like “Atlanta” and “Homeland” as well as over 300 commercials, and their young daughter August and their recently born son Hendrix.

Erika, can you explain to us how you got the “Loki” gig?

Yes of course! It’s what we would call a daytime player role, when you only have one scene and you start and end in one day. It just went through my agent. We had an audition probably a few months before the shoot. And when the audition took place, it was just like that in the scene. And for this role, in particular, I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. Sometimes they don’t give us that information about what you’re actually on set for.

Wait, didn’t you know it was for “Loki”?

I had no idea. I don’t even remember what they said it was for. Same thing with “Stranger Things”, and I also didn’t know I was auditioning for “Jumanji” when I booked this role. They keep things very, very calm.

So basically I just handed my audition tape to my agent, and then probably about a week later they offered me the part. And I was like, “Cool, that sounds good!” Then I went through a bunch of fittings and still had no idea what I was equipped for. I had no idea I was shooting for Marvel until I walked into the makeup trailer and saw Tom.

Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) star in Marvel Studios’ “Loki”, exclusively on Disney +. (Photo by Chuck Zlotnick)

You interact with Tom Hiddleston several times in this “Loki” scene. What was it like working with and being on set?

Tom is a complete gentleman. It was great to work with him and just amazing to work with him. And for me to start working with such experienced people, they also totally respected my job and asked, you know, how the scene should play out. And Tom gave his opinion on how we should start, the rehearsals and everything. We had a good laugh. He shared some really fun experiences with me that were really great, like little chats. But other than that, we were very professional at the start.

And it was just a joy to be a part of the whole experience. It was shot in a huge studio, Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. And they had this huge… It was about half of an airplane that I don’t know exactly if it was built on the set, but it looked like someone had just cut up an airplane and put it in. studio. And that’s where we turned. But it was like a real plane.

Kate Herron is the director of “Loki”. What did you take away from working with her?

Not only do I want and hope to work with her again, but she has completely inspired me that, wow, this might be something that I would love to do someday. Just looking at her in her art of what she does, and how easy she is to work with, she completely inspired me as a director.

How did the adjustment process go to have a costume made to measure for you, on such a big budget Disney + and Marvel project?

I had about four or five fittings for this hostess outfit. And too bad, I couldn’t keep it. [Laughs] But when you go through the process of fitting a bespoke wardrobe, it really puts into perspective, “Wow, it takes a long time to delicately construct and craft each piece. ”

For example, the producers and the team that designs everything, they went back and forth for a while on the height of the cleavage. And then once I put it on, they were like, “Oh, that should be a lot shorter, a lot longer. Just simple things like that. Where the pockets should be. How many buttons have to go through or down. I’ll never forget, in the makeup and hairstyle trailer when we were getting ready they were going to paint my nails and they probably spent a good half a dozen nail polish to get the right red to match the clothes.

So it takes a lot of time. And you have a lot of people who have a complete idea of ​​what the end product will look like. It even counted under the wardrobe, the underwear we wear too. When you fully enter the wardrobe, you are fully in there from head to toe, underwear and everything. [Laughs] It was fun having 70s style underwear and everything in between.

I’m sure this all helps you get into the mood for the character and the scene.

It does!

Has your phone exploded since the premiere of “Loki”?

Yes. And all that love came at the right time. Whenever you welcome new children into the world, it’s a time when you just need to slow down. And it affects you a bit because you want to get back to work so quickly, and you forget you need to rest. But the record of having so much love sent by all “Loki” fans, especially internationally, absolutely amazes me. Sending me love from India and Switzerland, Australia, Mexico and different parts of South America, and just people saying to me, “Hey, I’m from so-and-so and I loved you in the role ”, and they’ll send some funny screenshots and some of them shared with me what the scene is like in their country, because it’s a whole different language. But yeah, it’s just that it’s really amazing how much love I got from it.

What was your first acting experience that made you think: “This is what I want to do with my life”?

I think the very first experience I had with television and film was actually based in Huntsville. Matt, do you remember when “Constellation” was filmed in Huntsville? I think it was (released) in 2007.

I was working in South Carolina for a media at the time. But I remember when this movie was shot in Huntsville and I have a few questions about the “Constellation” for you. You have been chosen as the daughter of Billy Dee Williams’ character.

Yeah, and unfortunately that scene didn’t make the final cut. But just being with Billy Dee and Gabrielle Union was also part of it. I admired her and when I saw her on set and got to meet her and be a part of the whole experience with “Constellation” it really started and it all started there.

Zoe Saldana, who went on to star in the “Star Trek” reboot movies and a lot of other big stuff, was in “Constellation” as well.

Yeah, so I played the younger version of Zoe. It was also really cool to meet her in person and be in this world with them. And Zoe, she’s an A-list actress now.

How do you remember having worked with Billy Dee Williams?

When you are on the set, you have a lot to do. There are a lot of moving parts. And Billy was so calm and cool and serene – that’s just his whole personality, from what I remember. When I met him he was just very humble, kind of had that very welcoming energy. A very sweet person to be around.

The TV and movie industry in Atlanta is really booming. What impact does this have on the city and the actors like you who live there?

It has changed dramatically since we’ve been here. And it evolved. A lot. When I first moved to Atlanta and started doing TV and film here, a lot of network shows got kicked out of Atlanta, which as a person who wants to be at TV and film, you definitely want to try participating in network shows because not only do they pay well, but sometimes they lead to more opportunities. Not that the independents don’t. But a lot of freelancers were here in Atlanta, so it was difficult to get your name started, it was difficult to be part of the union, SAG (Screen Actors Guild).

a lot of times they would bring these huge productions from LA or New York, and they would shoot them here, but they wouldn’t launch here. Even though you were here, it’s like, okay, well, you got to move to LA and get picked in LA, and then you come back to Atlanta. It’s almost funny how many of our friends literally picked up their stuff, moved to LA, and the next thing you know, we were like, ‘How are you doing there? And they say, “Well, we’re back because it’s all spinning here.”

Instead of launching in Los Angeles, they’re now launching here in Atlanta, which helps the industry grow and helps actors grow because the talent is definitely here in Atlanta. So that’s just awesome. More work for everyone. Because it takes a lot of team members to put together a production, especially with everyone behind the camera, so it creates a lot more jobs. Help the economy a lot more. I have nothing but good things to say about it.

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