It involves some good old-fashioned subterfuge.
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Season 1.]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has taken to social media to reveal how she managed to keep her top-secret cameo as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier under wraps, and all it involves is some good old fashioned subterfuge that saw the eleven-time Emmy winner shrouded head-to-toe in a black cloak that wouldn’t look out of place at Hogwarts.
Grainy set photos have become the bane of many high-profile productions in the social media era, where images can be shared and circulated all over the world, blowing countless major surprises, reveals, cameos and spoilers in the process. As the most commercially successful franchise in the history of cinema that’s now expanded onto television via its roster of Disney Plus exclusives, the Marvel Cinematic Universe faces a tougher time than ever in keeping a lid on things.
That only makes it all the more impressive that an actress of Dreyfus’ caliber showed up in Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier completely out of the blue, and that’s doubly true when you consider that she was originally scheduled to make her debut as the Contessa in Black Widow before it wound up being delayed by fourteen months.
Marvel Studios don’t tend to cast big names unless they’ve got significant plans in store for them, and even though Dreyfus only appeared in two very brief scenes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it’s clear that she’s got some grand designs in mind for Wyatt Russell’s freshly rechristened U.S. Agent, with fan theories already making the rounds that her reference to Daniel Brühl’s Zemo will see comic book antihero unit Thunderbolts brought into the MCU in the not too distant future.
In the pages of Marvel Comics, the Contessa has plenty of history with Nick Fury as well, so there’s also a route directly into the upcoming Disney Plus event series Secret Invasion, which stars Samuel L. Jackson’s cycloptic head of S.H.I.E.L.D. As always, Kevin Feige and his team have left several plot threads dangling for the fandom to latch onto and dissect, but it’s comforting to know that we’re destined to see much more of Dreyfus going forward.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently available to stream on Disney+. You can see how Dreyfus was smuggled onto the set below:
The filmmaker reflects on the film’s enduring legacy and goes deep on why they changed the ending.
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