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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Case Files: Series' Director and Stars on Fashion, Episode 5, and That Mask

Series stars Jameela Jamil, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Josh Segarra, and episode 5 director Anu Valia offer background on Titania, Mallory, and Pug and address the "tragic" state of She-Hulk's wardrobe.

by | September 17, 2022 | Comments

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 in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law poster

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

The first half of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has done a good job establishing its characters, creating an internet sensation out of Fort Lauderdale party girl Madisynn King (Patty Guggenheim), and being exactly what it promised: a half-hour comedy/law show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But Jennifer Walters’ (Tatiana Maslany) second tussle with social media influencer Titania (Jameela Jamil) led to a number of questions about the future of the series, the characters, and its next special guest. Thankfully, Jamil, co-stars Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Josh Segarra, and director Anu Valia chatted with Rotten Tomatoes about the episode, that devilish tease at the end, and bringing the characters from the comics to Disney+.

Spoiler alert: The following reveals plot points from She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 5, “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans.” If you haven’t watched the episode and want to avoid spoilers, stop reading here. 

Are Jen’s Suits Really That Bad?

Tatiana Maslany and Ginger Gonzaga on the set of SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

The constant jokes about Jen’s suits — particularly Mallory Book’s (Goldsberry) comment that She-Hulk looks like “a linebacker pleading no contest to a DUI” — led us to wonder just why the jokes land the way they do. According to Jamil, Goldsberry, and Valia, the suits are, in fact, that bad.

“She’s in these big, boxy suits; she didn’t get anything to fit in her size,” Valia said. “There’s no style for her because she’s got to change sizes. I feel like she needs to look good to feel good, baby. Feel that body.”

Jamil added, “Speaking from Titania’s point of view, they’re tragic,” while adding that she personally thought they were fine enough. “[They are] just not what they should be, not what they could be.”

Jamil also thought the seemingly sudden emphasis on Jen’s fashion sense plays into the series’ ongoing satire.

“This whole show is satirizing the way that we look at and objectify and treat women,” she continued. “I think that’s something that we’re constantly playing with throughout the show. This woman who has this feminist arc and doesn’t want to give into these certain things that are expected of her, [but] also still has these pressures to want to impress other people and be desired.”

Jameela Jamil in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

Add to that the growing sense that Jen actually “enjoys the fact that she’s such a babe when she’s She-Hulk, and she likes the way that her hair and her body look” and a discussion of her outfits highlights “this challenge that we all have with navigating patriarchy and how we work through a world that demands it of us, but we don’t completely lose ourselves in it,” Jamil said.

“Does it matter [if they are bad]? Is the question,” Goldsberry added. “[That Jen] doesn’t care, I think, is really illuminating about her. You can be powerful and amazing and not care about whether or not somebody’s going to call you Shrek when you walk into the courtroom. But then there’s also Mallory and Nikki and all of the people that love to look good. So, I think it matters.”

“Look at Nikki,” Valia said. “She dresses how she feels, and when you don’t have the ability to do that, it’s hard to step into yourself and feel good about yourself … also, no one’s designing clothes like that for [She-Hulk]. No one’s thinking about her body — and so much has been made about this woman’s body. So, she needs a good fit.”

She added that the conversation and jokes about Jen’s clothes also speak to the fact she is embracing She-Hulk as a persona, something that will continue to advance in the remaining episodes.

Does It Help To Have Legal Show Experience?

Both Goldsberry and Segarra have legal experience — well, legal show experience, anyway. Goldsberry played lawyers on The Following and The Good Wife, while Segarra is known in more fannish circles for playing former Star City DA Adrian Chase in the fifth season of Arrow. His role may have eventually seen him battling the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), it still occasionally put him in a courtroom. And, as it happens, both felt those experiences aided their work on She-Hulk’s more lighthearted courtroom scenes.

As Goldsberry explained, shooting courtroom scenes is often “pretty daunting.” At the start of any day filming in a courtroom set, there is always the worry about getting through long, complicated bits of exposition or trial dialogue. The hours can easily drag on.

“We’re experienced enough that we’re ready to roll, so that’s there,” she said. “The question [on She-Hulk] is, ‘could somebody break down the courtroom doors and throw everybody around?’ That’s not typically in our sphere, but I do feel like my personal experience of being a lawyer on The Following, where somebody would be cutting my fingers off, definitely helped.”

That somebody was, of course, Segarra, who played Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) follower Hank Flynn. But in regard to playing lawyers in superhero worlds, he added, “When you’re into the comic book world, you just know that anything is possible and anything is allowed. You’re buying into the fact there’s little demons flying around. You’re just buying into all these things. So, once your mind goes there, then the world is your oyster.”

Josh Segarra and Ginger Gonzaga in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

On She-Hulk, the pair play GLK/H attorneys Mallory Book and Augustus “Pug” Pugliese. (Pug is pictured above with Gonzaga’s Nikki.) The characters are derived directly from the She-Hulk comic book run written by Dan Slott. And while their television counterparts share a number of similarities, there are also some obvious differences.

“I love the leap they already took with my character because she looks nothing like how she looks [in the comics], coming from Utah and being from Brigham Young University. So, I feel like that gave me a lot of freedom to really play and be creative,” Goldsberry said.

Another difference is the seeming rapport between Mallory and Jen at the end of the episode. Back in the comics, it takes a long time for Mallory to even accept She-Hulk as a member of the firm, but Goldsberry suggested the speed of the television story necessitated a warmer interaction in the episode’s wrap-up.

“They’re in a situation where they’re thrust together, and she doesn’t carte blanche give respect and trust to She-Hulk Jen, but Jen does earn it by the end of the episode,” she said. “So, I think she has to give it up … and I think she’s got to commiserate a little bit about what they have in common in the world they live in.” But even if the characters have moment of connection, Goldsberry was quick to reiterate Mallory’s summation of their time together: “She has to be clear with her, it doesn’t mean [they’re] friends.”

Whether or not that means a greater animosity will develop remains to be seen.

Segarra’s Pug, meanwhile, resembles the comic book character in one key respect — they’re both Marvel fanboys.

“I think that’s one of the things that defines Pug, his protection of superheroes. [In the comics], Spider-Man saved him, so he will then save them for the rest of his life, you know?” Segarra said. It, of course, remains to be see if the TV Pug will share that exact origin with comic Pug, but the spirit remains on display — from Pug’s willingness to buy “Avongers” merch to his excitement about the  Iron Man 3s. “I’m excited to see what happens. Maybe we’ll get these made into a real shoe soon.”

Are Titania’s Health Teas the Real Crime?

Jameela Jamil in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

One of the chief differences in the Titania of the comics and Jamil’s take on her is, of course, that voice.

“I think [it] suits what this character is,” she explained. “I also think it’s so funny when a villain talks like this, and I love the vocal fry. It changes all of your physical decisions. It’s like you can fight superfast, but there’s also such a slowness to you that I think is so funny with a villain.”

Additionally, an element of Titania’s grift — the dubious tea promoting gut health — comes to the series because of Jamil’s own fight against them online.

“Selling snake oil, selling sham products was already in [the script],” she said. “I think we just leaned in when I was cast because it was so funny for me to play the antithesis of everything I stand for. This is definitely [head writer] Jessica Gao’s iteration of Titania, and I just pushed the envelope as much as I could once I got there.”

She also credited Gao with giving her the freedom to improv and “collaborate over the costumes and the makeup and everything.”

But she is also keenly aware of the Titania (real name: Mary MacPherran) of the comics — from her origins to her relationship with the Absorbing Man, to a cancer bout, and beyond — and imagines some of her journey is there in the television version.

“She’s such a chameleon,  She’s so desperate to be this thing that she aspires to that I totally could imagine her starting off as a wrestler in the Midwest and finding her way to becoming and feigning the identity of an L.A. classic super influencer,” she explained.

It remains to be seen how much of Titania’s story will unfold in the current season, but just as with the character in the comics, Jamil mentioned, “You haven’t seen the end of me. I am here to be a thorn in [Jen’s] side, right? I will be back and I will create more trouble.”

Of course, the nature of that trouble could change from the “emotional violence” of episode 5 to other forms of antagonism.

Did Daredevil Steal the Mid-Credit Scene?

Charlie Cox in Marvel's Daredevil (Patrick Harbron/Netflix)

(Photo by Patrick Harbron/Netflix)

Although Gao previously said not every episode will feature a mid-credit stinger, episode 5 is the first time the credits have run without interruption. According to Valia, she, Gao, and the Marvel team “played around with different versions” of the cut, but ultimately the “double tease” of She-Hulk’s costume and Daredevil’s mask proved the strongest final moment ahead of the credits.

“Some of the episodes will just end,” she added.

Of course, Valia loves the fact the show “subverted expectations in this way.” It continues to play with the emerging Marvel house style in surprising ways — from the use of the mid-credit sting to an unconventional fight between hero and villain.

“The fighting’s happening in the courtroom. It’s definitely different than I think maybe what people are expecting from a Marvel show,” she said. “You can use that to really dive into much more complex, deep observations about identity and the feeling that you aren’t enough. You can talk about stuff in the abstract, but I feel like the show really explores it.”

77% She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Season 1 (2022) new episodes debut on Thursdays on Disney+.

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