Linda Cardellini is having a “pinch me” kind of year. It adds up this way: She starred in best picture Oscar winner “Green Book.” She has a serious hit with the recently released horror movie “The Curse of La Llorona.”
And then there is the little matter of that $1.2 billion smash “Avengers: Endgame,” where she plays Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) wife.
The 43-year-old San Francisco native has been on an Marvel universe gag order for the past year, but she did divulge, “We did a Marvel 10-year anniversary shoot recently where every single place you looked there was another actor you loved,” she said. “Everyone was so kind to me. It’s so much fun to be a part of that world.”
If all of the above isn’t enough, Cardellini is getting raves for her new Netflix series with Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me,” about dealing with grief and friendship.
Review-Journal: What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Linda Cardellini: My perfect one is waking up, going out to breakfast and then walking to the beach to watch my daughter (7-year-old Lilah) play. I love spending time with my family and relaxing.
How tough was it keeping the secret if you were or were not in “Endgame?”
It’s just part of it. But it has been wonderful being part of the Avengers world. It’s so gigantic that you can’t even wrap your mind around it. It’s overwhelming and beautiful. You just can’t tell your friends anything. As for keeping the secrets, you know very little during filming. They let out very little. Even things you think you know … they change. That helps. You can truly say, ‘I don’t know.’ ”
What has been the fan reaction?
Everywhere I go people yell out, “Hey, Hawkeye’s wife!”
Who do you play in “Dead to Me?”
Christina Applegate and I play best friends. We’re both grieving at the same time. It’s this bonding over grieving. On top of it, both of us have these things that no one knows about. The way it was written is really fun. It also takes a lot of twists and turns.
You play a single mother defending her children against the evil demon in “The Curse of La Llorona.” Anything weird happen on the set?
One day, a protective bracelet burst off the hand of one of the actors and the beads split in half. Previously, he had tried to break the beads on cement and they wouldn’t crack. There were the cold chills that ran through the house where we filmed — a place that was supposedly haunted. It made the hair on your arms stand up. The crazy thing was there was no air flow in that house, but this chill would permeate it.
Was it great to play a strong woman who will do anything to protect her kids?
It was fun to be the person who wasn’t just the wife. She’s a single mom who has to defend the household. She’s the last stop.
What was Oscar season like for you with “Green Book?”
It really was so exciting and so much fun. You always have a short time actually making a movie, and a community crops up. You have this amazing time together and then everyone disperses. The idea of coming back together with all of those talented people and truly celebrating winning was an incredible feeling.
Was it true that when you auditioned for “Green Book,” Viggo Mortensen was on set eating a big plate of spaghetti?
I auditioned for the role after coming from the set of this horror film where I did a 12-hour day filming. I borrowed some ’70s era bell-bottoms and a shirt for my audition. When I got there, Viggo was sitting at a table eating garlic bread. And before I knew it we were sitting around a table eating a big bowl of spaghetti together. Instant chemistry.
I was the youngest of four, and an introvert. I was that quiet kid in my (family) who was also the most emotional and I didn’t know what to do with how much I felt. I learned that I loved to put on shows. My way of expressing myself was to play characters. It gave me a place to put all those feelings. And so, I started to act. I could be an extrovert on demand.
I may direct something.
You were one of the few women who dumped Don Draper on “Mad Men,” and you were Emmy nominated for it!
I played his neighbor, Sylvia, who had a crazy affair with Don, but she told him that enough was enough. Goodbye. He even stalked her door. Eat your heart out, Don!