‘She-Hulk’ Actor Jon Bass Talks That Twisty Season Finale, Becoming an MCU Villain 

‘She-Hulk’ Actor Jon Bass Talks That Twisty Season Finale, Becoming an MCU Villain 

[This story contains spoilers for the season one finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. ]

In the season finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, misogynistic billionaire Todd Phelps (Jon Bass) is revealed to be the story’s true villain.

He’s HulkKing — the creator behind Intelligencia, an online community of disenfranchised men and web trolls hellbent on hating Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany), or She-Hulk. Intelligencia is motivated by their dislike for Jen Walters (), Tatiana Maslany), or She-Hulk.

Following the show’s final episode, Bass applauded head writer Jessica Gao for how the storyline navigates the action and the comedy, while also tackling issues like misogyny and sexism.

“It’s a privilege to be a part in something that is so funny, so on the nose and without hitting you over-the-head with it,” Bass says The Hollywood Reporter . There’s a point to it. It’s so hard to get the cross section right. But when you have someone as smart as Jessica Gao at the helm, who not only understands Marvel — and writing, to an absurd degree — but also understands human nature and comedy, you’re gonna get a great show out of it.”

And Bass’ character Todd almost succeeds in his scheme. After injecting himself with Jen’s blood and “Hulking Out”, She-Hulk puts an end to the story — literally.

Earlier in this season, THR speculated about the Disney series’ impact on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s fourth wall, considering She-Hulk’s habit of chatting to the audience, along with the upcoming MCU debut of notorious fourth wall-breaker Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). What ensues in the finale episode goes beyond any fourth wall break in Marvel history, as Jen waltzes into the She-Hulk writer’s room demanding to speak to “Kevin.” Marvel fans can only assume she’s talking about Marvel head Kevin Feige. But in She-Hulk, Kevin is actually K.E.V.I.N., an artificial intelligence robot that controls the MCU storylines.

Bass recalls that when she read the final episode’s script for the first-time, her mind “melted.” I was screaming while reading the script. It’s like I went from thinking, “Oh, my god, I transform into a Hulk!” to “Oh, my god, she’s talking with an A.I.” Kevin took away my Hulk powers. It was quite wild.

He adds, “With this world that we’ve now lived in for almost 15 years, it’s like we’ve gotten to a point where the meta has become meta, and we can have fun with that.”

Bass said that he is still processing the shock of becoming Hulk, even if it’s only for a brief time.

“My mind still hasn’t really wrapped around that I Hulked out and that it’s real,” the actor said. “It sort of feels like I’m in a daydream-esque version of life…. There’s sort of craziness to the fact that as a kid, you’re playing pretend, and then all of a sudden, you’re 36, and you’re watching yourself Hulk out on TV.”

In conversation with THR , Bass, Todd discusses the future of his powers, meeting the real Kevin Feige, and being the canonically the shortest Hulk in all of the MCU.

Continue reading for the complete interview.

The She-Hulk finale aired yesterday, and a lot goes down in that episode. What was your reaction to it?

That was quite mind-melting.

You make an appearance in the season when you go on a date to Jen Walters after you met on a dating app. Did you expect the dark turn Todd takes?

I was not granted the part, and then had to sign a long contract as you would when you are in a Marvel movie. The scripts are all written so I received a bunch of scripts. I just read them one by one. My mind began to melt when I reached the final episode. I was screaming as I read the script. It went from me being like “Oh my God, I transform into a Hulk!”, to me being like “Oh my God, she’s speaking to an A.I.” Kevin took away my Hulk powers.” It was quite wild.

Before you took on this role, were Marvel fans a big part of your life?

I am a huge Marvel fan. I have seen every movie and TV series, and have been obsessed with it since the beginning. It was a dream come real to be a part. You can only hope that things will go your way in your career. There is no choice about what you get or what you don’t get. Few actors have the option to choose their roles. This is one of those magical moments when you get the part, and that includes Hulk out. It’s hard to not just accept it. It is a privilege to be a part.

Was joining the MCU on you bucket list?

Actors have to be able to believe they can do anything. It was definitely on my bucket-list. Everything is on my bucket list. I have a bucket list that includes a movie with Paul Thomas Anderson. My bucket list includes a movie with Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinertis. My bucket list includes a movie with James Wan. Everywhere in the world. Marvel is definitely on your bucket list. It’s something you just hope will happen.

You’ve called Todd “a douchey Incel.” What was it like to tap into that type of character?

It’s quite simple, I mean. It’s because it’s in our culture. It is not something you should research. It is something we live with every day. It’s not something you need to do a lot of research on. You’ll find it if you’re online and like Marvel stuff. It’s easy because it’s something we all do.

She-Hulk deals with a lot of issues regarding misogyny and sexism, while also being really funny in doing so. It was exciting to be part of a project that addressed these issues.

It’s very exciting. It’s a great privilege to be part of something so funny and so on-the-nose without it hitting you over the head. There’s also a point to it. It’s so difficult to get the cross section right. You’re sure to get a great show when Jessica Gao, a smart woman who understands Marvel and its writing, is at the helm. Our directors Kat Coiro, Anu Valia, are simply amazing. They never hesitated to let the actors do whatever they wanted. It felt like a partnership.

You share many of your scenes with Tatiana Maslany. Was it fun to develop that character relationship with Tatiana Maslany?

Which character was she playing? (Pauses and then laughs .) Sorry, Todd answered that question. She is the best. It’s easy to fall in love Tatiana, as the whole world knows from She-Hulk. But she’s insane. Professional, extremely talented, and so, so easy to get along. I felt a connection with her immediately and it was so much fun to work with her every day. Nothing was too difficult. She gives 100 percent even when she’s in a full [motion capture (mo-cap)] suit with a green head on top of her. It’s hard to act like this. We can’t look at her in the eyes, because she has a green head attached to her back that is a foot higher than her. You had to look up at her head, so she’s acting with your eyes and you’re acting using this head. It was wild. It was great fun. It was an honor to have had the opportunity to work with her.

Jon Bass

Jon Bass

Courtesy of Sela Shiloni

You mentioned the dotted mocap suit. I take it you wore one of those for Todd’s Hulk-out moment.

Oh, yeah.

What was that experience like for you?

It looked great on Tatianna. That’s all I’ll say.

Did your email also include one of these attachments?

No, I didn’t get an attachment. This is actually canon, but I think I am the shortest Hulk.

That suits Todd’s character.

It’s important to remember this for Todd’s character. I did not get the attachment. I got the complete suit and the camera that takes all the dots from your face. It was so much fun. It was fun, but I can see Tatiana getting tired of it. But I talked to Mr. Mark Ruffalo about it, and what’s so cool is that he still loves it. He is still so excited to do this. It’s exciting because actors can play so many roles. This is just another form of acting. They’re just going to make you look old and green.

After you have filmed the Hulking-out scenes you then hand it over to the VFX crew to do their magic. How did you react to being transformed into Hulk form after the episode was over?

My mind is still not fully able to grasp the fact that I Hulked out and that it’s true. It’s almost like I’m living in a daydream. It could also be due to the fact that COVID is still affecting my ability to function.

Oh, no!

It’s cool. I take a lot of Tylenol. But there’s sort of craziness to the fact that as a kid, you’re playing pretend, and then all of a sudden, you’re 36, and you’re watching yourself Hulk out on TV. It’s crazy.

At the end of each episode, your powers will be taken away. Is that correct?

It is true. Yes.

So, as of right now there are no more powers for Todd.

As of right now, however, even more amazing things have occurred in the MCU. People have risen from the dead. So Todd can grab another bottle of blood. As a billionaire, as we all know, they don’t spend too much time in jail. So I believe there’s plenty of room for Todd’s evil ways to grow.

Now he wants revenge.

Todd has very few things on his mind. One of his priorities is revenge. We know he is good at it.

I know they don’t tell you much about the future but as a Marvel fan myself, where do we go now that Jen has broken the fourth wall on a whole other level?

Well, K.E.V.I.N. K.E.V.I.N. does mention at the end that they have fixed the breaking protocol. She can’t do it anymore. She can’t break the fourth wall. I believe she can still talk to the camera but she won’t have the ability to go to K.E.V.I.N. Never again. It’s a big deal for the show to know that this has happened and to know that it’s impossible. Because she can’t change her story. She may have a little more flexibility, however. Or K.E.V.I.N. K.E.V.I.N. might have a bit more affection for her. It did, however, do a lot to make the Internet less censored and allow us to have some fun. With this world that we’ve now lived in for almost 15 years, it’s like we’ve gotten to a point where the meta has become meta, and we can have fun with that. And I’m just glad that She-Hulk was the one that got to do it, because I think Jessica did it right.

In the writers’ room scene they discuss K.E.V.I.N. Being untouchable and difficult to reach. Did you ever have the chance to meet Kevin Feige and talk about She-Hulk?

No! No! Because I am such an avid fan, I still feel guilty about it. I knew there were only so many opportunities. I didn’t get to speak to Kevin, but I hope to at another event.

Interview was edited to ensure clarity and length.

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