Eternals star Lauren Ridloff reveals the romance between Makkari and Druig was not in the original script and came about due to the actors’ chemistry.
The romance between Makkari and Druig in Eternals was not in the film’s original script. The latest entry in the MCU has many close relationships at its center, from Sersi and Ikaris, to Gilgamesh and Thena, and Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and his husband Ben. The romantic angle has been the focus of much of Eternals‘ marketing, with plenty of publicity surrounding Marvel’s first sex scene and the addition of a same-sex couple being behind the film’s banned status in several countries.
One of the most surprising aspects of Eternals was the romance between speedster Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Druig (Barry Keoghan), the group’s resident mind-controller. Given Druig’s more sinister nature in the comics, often serving as one of the main villains in the original material, the budding romance was a surprise to many viewers. The pair’s chemistry even proves a shock to the other Eternals, as both Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) and Phastos are shocked at Makkari and Druig flirting with one another.
This new fan-favorite romance between Makkari and Druig apparently wasn’t in the film’s original script. In an interview with Discussingfilm, Ridloff explained that the romance came about during the rehearsal phase when director Chloé Zhao recognized the chemistry between the two actors. The actress expanded on why the two characters are drawn together, saying they both have “a lot of power” and are instructed to “hold themselves back,” but they are also both very “fun.” Check out the comments from Ridloff and Zhao below.
Ridloff: “I think the relationship between Makkari and Druig really comes to a surprise… within the scripts, you know, when you first go through it, it wasn’t really something that was so apparent. But Chloé, under her brilliant direction, wanted us to imply that there was a lot more to Druig and Makkari. And I feel like what actually brought them together is they both have a lot of power. They’re very powerful individuals, and they’re told to hold themselves back. And I think that for Druig and Makkari, you know, they’re mischievous, they also have fun.”
Zhao: “I don’t know if Lauren, you remember, it was your first time meeting Barry, the two of you started to just riff. You know, you started to improvise. And I go, what’s happening? I see sparks everywhere! Because initially, that was not the intention. I think really it was from you guys meeting that we saw that and went, maybe we should let play into it?”
While Eternals has only been in theaters for a couple of days, the chemistry between Makkari and Druig has generated plenty of positive reactions from fans on social media. Considering how popular the pairing has become, Marvel Studios will likely capitalize on the two characters and expand on their romance, either in an Eternals sequel or in another MCU entry. The dark tormented Druig and the playful free spirit of Makkari could become a major power couple in the MCU moving forward, whose romance would likely be a major selling point for audiences who become invested in the relationship beyond just Eternals.
The added romance in Eternals shows that, while the script if a movie is important, it is also a blueprint that can be built upon. From Indiana Jones shooting the swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark to Han Solo saying “I know” instead of “I love you” in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (both improvisations from Harrison Ford), some of the most iconic moments in film were only created once the actors and director got to set. In fact, much of the MCU’s greatness has come from a sense of improvisation and spontaneity. Iron Man famously didn’t begin with a full script, and Taika Waititi has admitted that Thor: Ragnarok was 80% improvised. The addition of Makkari and Druig’s romance in Eternals shows Zhao’s ability to recognize the strength of her performers and bring an added dimension that wasn’t originally on the page; a decision that has paid off as a heartwarming addition to the latest MCU blockbuster.
Next: Eternals Review Bomb Proves Marvel Is On The Right Track
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