‘She-Hulk’: Patty Guggenheim on Bringing Madisynn to Life
Yes, Madisynn could probably defeat Thanos.
Have you heard? Madisynn has taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe by storm – and that’s Madisynn with one Y and two N’s, but it’s not where you thiiiink. The breakout character from Episode 4 of Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk, played by Patty Guggenheim, is the perfect foil for straight-faced green lawyer Jennifer Walters and also TV-binging buddy and Sorcerer Supreme, Wong. Does she remember where she lives? No! And that’s not going to stop her from stealing every single scene she’s in.
Marvel.com hopped on a video chat with Guggenheim to talk through all things Marvel and Madisynn. She’s also got big ideas for where Madisynn could go next — explaining that she’s currently living in Chris Hemsworth’s old apartment, she jokes that “I think it would be fun to do anything with Thor. Just because I wanna be in that world, but also I wanna give him his mail.”
But what about watching TV with Wongers and the recent Madisynn memes? Dive into the full interview below
Marvel.com: The most important question right off the bat is how does it feel to be everyone's new favorite Marvel character?
Patty Guggenheim: I don't think I’ve fully processed what that means. It feels fun to know that something I did resonates with people on a few different levels. First of all, people are excited about life in general right now, people wanna just be present. I feel like people see themselves in her because she falls into this world and then she's hanging out with the Sorcerer Supreme. It's been really fun to hear people's excitement about her and the memes are hilarious.
Marvel.com: Going back to the very beginning, how did you first get involved with She-Hulk and Madisynn?
Patty Guggenheim: Kat Coiro [who directed Episode 4], and I had worked together on a show…so she knew about me for this role. She called me in and I auditioned on video chat and that's how I got into this world. [It was] during the pandemic and you're auditioning on video chat and you never know what's gonna happen. In one of the last takes, my cat jumped up onto the desk and was in the scene with me. [Laughs] It was fun to involve my cat.
Marvel.com: What is your cat's name?
Patty Guggenheim: JW Stink.
Marvel.com: Oh, that's a good name.
Patty Guggenheim: He's a good cat. He has a lot of personality.
Marvel.com: When you first read the scripts, what was your initial reaction to Madisynn?
Patty Guggenheim: [Her description in the script] was the key to everything. [In the script it said] “always a problem” and it unlocked something in me. I think all of the episodes are uniquely very funny. This episode really hit me in such a deep way. I actually ended up knowing the writer, Melissa Hunter. When I found out she wrote it, I was like, oh my gosh. We talked and she was excited that it was someone she knew and I was excited that it was someone I knew. I was just blown away. She is brilliant. Then [head writer] Jessica Gao and Kat, I just felt like it was such a good combination of brilliant minds bringing something to life.
Marvel.com: It's hard to not notice that so much of the behind-the-scenes team with She-Hulk is female. What was it like in that kind of environment?
Patty Guggenheim: It was really nice. You feel like [there’s] a shorthand with communication, and especially with working with Kat…it allowed for us to play a lot. It was just a very playful environment, which can feel rare, too, and fun. I love seeing women, showrunners directors, producers, like they really were there and like looking out, looking out for you, which was really nice.
Marvel.com: How did you work with the creative team to pinpoint Madisynn’s exact annunciation of words? Every single line you say as her is just the funniest thing I have ever heard.
Patty Guggenheim: I just went into a place that was me in a lot of different situations, you know, like college or a tipsy lady. I think that when you see something on the page that's like, “Madisynn with two N’s and one Y, but it's not where you thiiiink.” There were even extra I’s in the word [in the script]. You’re like, ‘yes, I know who this is.’ Kat really let me [expand]. We would do it a few times and then she was like, just do as much as you want. I think that freedom gives you places to discover. It gives you a chance to discover things that you don't plan on.
Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite line read out of everything? The internet has clearly chosen its favorites, but do you have a favorite?
Patty Guggenheim: I love the one line that's like, “Oh yeah. I will for sure.” And then the last scene with Wong, him saying "yak milk" because that was all improvised. He said "yak milk" and I almost lost it. And the way he says it, and is so like confident about this delicious drink mixture, and then I'm like, “Do you have any of that here?”
Marvel.com: I wanted to ask about that last scene, because when I talked to Kat, she mentioned that it was completely improvised on the day and you had some extra time shooting and she was like, just go for it. Can you talk about filming that?
Patty Guggenheim: She had this idea to put this tag on. She literally grabbed [a blanket] from her daughter and was like, "We're gonna use this." I was like, "Yes, yes we are." [The crew] made popcorn and then we sat down and you know, Benny [Wong] is so game and fun and cool. We were like a little bit like, what are we gonna do? [Kat] was asked, what would they be talking about? Brunch came up. So it just started this like back and forth of me trying to explain what brunch is to him. Then it morphed into these drinks and it was just so fun. I feel like we could have done that for seven weeks straight, just like going back and forth about the silliest stuff. We weren't sure what we were gonna be watching [on the TV], I just love how it was a little slice of what their hangout was like in Kamar-Taj.
Marvel.com: Now everyone I've talked to about Benedict Wong has just raved that he is the nicest person to film with. What was your experience working with him as your scenes partner?
Patty Guggenheim: He's a dream scene partner. I love him so much. He is cool. Funny, talented, and professional. He has this thing where he's very present and you just kind of wanna know how he's gonna react to things. You just wanna throw things out there so he can react because he's just so brilliant. He was like, yeah, go for it, do your thing. And then from there on it just kind of opened the floodgate for this silly girl trying to get into that steel trap of a man.
Marvel.com: And now I've seen lots of photos and videos of you and Jameela Jamil hamming it up off-screen, too. What's it like doing that with her and kind of bringing your characters to life outside the fourth wall?
Patty Guggenheim: I met Jameela at the premiere and we instantly [clicked], like, let's go. She's brilliant as well. And has, you know, as well as everyone else in this cast, she was just like, I wanna play as these people. Let's just play. And I was like, yes, let's go. And so it's been a really fun, different opportunity. Of course they get together and make TikToks. I wanna do so much more with her. She's just so much fun.
Marvel.com: The fan reaction has clearly been through the roof. Is there anything you've seen that has just made you laugh or anything where you’re thinking, I can't believe the internet thought this up and it’s about me?
Patty Guggenheim: So many things. I mean, Thanos and me. And did you see that one?
Marvel.com: Yeah. Do you think she could defeat Thanos?
Patty Guggenheim: I know she could! It's just funny to see the Infinity Stones with a drink in her hand, those really made me laugh. It's been very, very entertaining and very fun.
Marvel.com: Are you prepared, for probably the rest of your life, for people to stop you and spell out MADISYNN?
Patty Guggenheim: Yes. I'm ready right now. If I'm 95 and it's still happening, maybe not. I think it's just awesome. That’s what's so fun about the Marvel universe, in general, is everyone's invested and interested and excited and it just is a breeding ground for energy. It feels like real-life magic when people are excited about things like that. Yeah. So I would, I would love that and I'll [spell Madisynn] with them.
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