There was a brief spell around the mid-Noughties when Brie Larson considered a teen pop career. But, thankfully for cinema-goers, her debut album – Finally Out Of P.E. – performed poorly, and the California native decided to focus on acting.
Having scored a regular high-profile gig playing Toni Colette’s troubled daughter Kate on TV’s The United States of Tara, she graduated to supporting roles in Hollywood, delivering nicely observed turns in 21 Jump Street, Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck and indie drama Short Term 12. And then in 2015, Larson showed the world just how impressive her range is: playing the imprisoned Ma in the harrowing Room (adapted from Emma Donoghue’s novel), she banished any suggestion that she was a teen star lightweight with a devastatingly good performance.
She won the Best Actress Oscar for the role in 2016 and in 2017, Brie Larson will show audiences just how versatile she really is, taking on offbeat comedies and big Hollywood blockbusters. Here’s what to look forward to seeing her in:
Kong: Skull Island (out 10th March)
Before she won the Oscar for Room, Larson had begun shooting her first major studio movie, Kong: Skull Island. Out 10th March, it co-stars Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly and Samuel L Jackson, with Larson portraying the only woman – photojournalist and peace activist Mason Weaver – among a band of explorers who encounter the mythic Kong on a Pacific island. Larson won’t be the first Hollywood actress to encounter King Kong – Fay Wray, Jessica Lange and Naomi Watts have all battled with the beast – but something tells me she won’t come over all helpless in the face of danger.
Free Fire (out 31st March)
Free Fire is the latest movie from the fascinating British director Ben Wheatley, whose previous films include Tom Hiddleston-in-his-pants sci-fi High Rise and the low-budget, deliciously grizzly Kill List. Larson plays Justine, a member of a ragtag gang of small-time crooks, holed up in a warehouse. It doffs its cap to Reservoir Dogs, and viewers can expect copious violence, natty 1970s style and a flirtation between Larson’s Justine and Cillian Murphy’s Chris.
The Glass Castle (release date TBC)
Based on a bestselling memoir by American journalist Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle depicts a dysfunctional family, with Larson playing the daughter of alcoholic Rex (Woody Harrelson) and unconventional artist Rose (Naomi Watts). The role of Jeanette was initially linked to Jennifer Lawrence, and it’s easy to imagine that Larson and Lawrence – two actresses equally blessed with heavyweight talent and easy charm – are often considered for the same parts.
Captain Marvel is the female superhero the big screen has been crying out for.
Avengers: Infinity War (out 2018)
Perhaps the most exciting upcoming role of Larson’s is Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel of the Marvel universe. A jumpsuit-wearing former fighter pilot with half-alien DNA and the ability to fly, Captain Marvel is the female superhero the big screen has been crying out for. Originally called Ms. Marvel in the 1970s comics, her feminist credentials are impeccable and women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem is believed to have been a major inspiration for the character. Catch her first in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, before she gets her own movie in 2019. Could Captain Marvel be the superhero to finally show the world that women can carry blockbusters just as impressively as men? You’ve got to believe it’s possible in Brie Larson’s hands…