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Tatiana Maslany unleashes her inner ‘She-Hulk’

Bruce Banner never had these issues. As the superhero with anger management issues, he would lose it by turning green and surly.

A woman in the same moss-colored skin? She has a bigger reason to be ticked off, and it starts down below.

Tatiana Maslany is a female Hulk in heels, which could get on any superhero’s nerves. “It was more like shoes to heels to Hulk and back again,” says the 36-year-old Canadian actor, who stars in the new Disney+ series “She Hulk: Attorney at Law.”

Maslany, best known for playing multiple characters on the series “Orphan Black,” is now doing double duty as attorney Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk.

Based on the Marvel comic created by master Stan Lee and artist John Buscema, She-Hulk debuted in the 1980s. Just like the new series, it revolves around a lawyer who is injured and receives an emergency blood transfusion that changes her life in a major way. Let’s just say there is no personal injury settlement in the world that will make it up to her.

Large and in charge, She-Hulk doesn’t just strike out. She’s in physical and emotional control while maintaining her sense of humor.

“I think we all have an inner She-Hulk inside of us,” Maslany says.

Review-Journal: This role is based on a comic that’s one of the more obscure ones in the Marvel Universe. What made you want to bring She-Hulk to life?

Tatiana Maslany: It has all of those Marvel elements to it, but it zeroes in on real-life dynamics. There are big set pieces. However, we also deal with dating. She has a family and friends. She has relationships. And we deal with her helping her dad carry stuff into the garage. So, there are sweet moments combined with the action. She’s she-human, but very real.

And you show that a superhero can have mundane moments.

Exactly. I wanted so badly to audition for this because it’s not only so funny, but it has the mundane, small moments of life. I always dreamt of watching a superhero show that had the in-between moments where she would be checking her phone. The whatever moment. It’s engaging. And then there are the bigger moments when she’s upset and her Hulk personality comes forth.

What makes She-Hulk unique?

She has an awareness of her sides. She can go from being Jen to She-Hulk with a seamlessness. Her consciousness stays the same. She is also aware of the audience watching the show. That feels like her superpower which is engaged in the meta element. It’s an extension of her power. It’s like she’s saying, “I know I’m talking to the camera. I know you guys are watching this.” We break that fourth wall with humor.

What was it like to do scenes with Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk?

It was easy when Mark came to set. It felt very natural to do the scenes where we’re ripping each other, but the characters also love each other.

Did he give you any Hulk advice? Show you any Hulk tricks?

Mark was so open to whatever my process was with this series. He came to “She-Hulk” without prescriptive advice. But one thing, I did witness him do was lay down on the ground outside as Bruce Banner. When he stood up, he was the Hulk. He would do it fast. He was suddenly up and in Hulk mode. It looked completely inhuman how he did it. He could stand without moving his arms from being on the ground. I was like, “Oh, that’s what 10 years of playing this character and physically embodying him and being so inside him does to a person. You learn how to do cool stuff.”

How did it feel to see yourself green?

I felt so alive in the role. It was that moment of thinking, “Oh cool! So this is what the show is.”

She’s triggered by anger and fear.

Or as she says, the baseline of any woman existing.

The teasers show that dating has been a big struggle for Ms. Walters. If you were to set her up with another superhero who would you call?

It would have to be Batman. Adam West. I love that show, and I’d love to do scenes with him.

Part of doing genre work was your big debut at Comic Con in San Diego in July. Did you feel like a rock star?

(Laughter.) I think I blacked out completely. I was shaking before we got out there. I was also just buzzy, giggly and excited. Most of all, I’m thrilled I get to do this work. Also, it was wonderful to face this really warm crowd. They know everything about this Marvel universe and they’re happy to see you.

Who knows more about how this all tangles up in the Marvel Universe — you or the crowd?

The crowd knows way more. I even took a quiz the other day with a co-star and we both failed.

No matter, you’re still starring in this summer’s show about female empowerment.

What I found most interesting was that this female lawyer in the show has built this life for herself that she doesn’t want to let go of because she has worked so hard to be a lawyer. And she has had to constantly prove herself. So, she’s on this path. And then when this thing happens to her and she becomes a superhero, she has to contend with a whole other perception being placed on top of her. She also must deal with the expectations societally of how she should be and who she should be — and shouldn’t be. You don’t have to be a superhero to face those issues.

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