Training For Captain Marvel Taught Brie Larson To Love Working Out

In a bright and airy dance studio on an austere stretch of Melrose Avenue in late January, Brie Larson is mid-spin, her face a mask of concentration, the faintest glow of perspiration on her brow. In dance, as in life, Larson gives things her all, especially when the disco ball is turning and the Chaka Khan track hits.

Her hoodie tossed to the side, Larson is following the man she calls her "dance sensei" as he leads her in a simple ballet turn known as a chainés, some attitudinal walking and a move where she tilts her body back and thrusts her chin up imperiously, a la Gloria Swanson preparing for her close-up in Sunset Boulevard.

This dance studio is where Larson comes to feel empowered — occasionally via the out­stretching of jazz hands — and that means you can spare her any "you-go-girl" lines or confetti cannons full of condescension. Yes, she is playing the title role in the more than $150 million >Captain Marvel, the 21st movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and first ever from the wildly successful Disney division to be fronted by a woman. But, three years after she won an Oscar for her performance in the indie drama Room, the 29-year-old actress is confident enough to reject your media narrative about box office stakes and the fate of women and blah blah blah because Larson has read this story before and she knows how it ends.

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