Emmy-nominated WandaVision actress Kathryn Hahn is speaking the right words when drawing comparisons between Agatha, her witchy character on Marvel’s first Disney+ series, and a jealous court composer named Salieri, played by F. Murray Abraham, in the Oscar-winning 1984 film Amadeus. Wanda Maximoff equals Mozart, of course.
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony is set to air on September 19, 2021, and in a related interview with The AV Club, Hahn discussed what might seem like an unlikely influence on WandaVision. It will definitely make the ears of Amadeus fans perk up.
Here’s what she had to say about the relationship between Agatha and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen):
I mean, we talked about the Amadeus/Salieri relationship. [Agatha] was this older witch looking at this young, beautiful, innately, profoundly, perfectly natural God-given talented witch. Magic just came to her; she just had it. And it was something that I [as Agatha] had been studying for centuries to achieve—this chaos magic that she just had and I could never achieve. That was something that we really leaned on. It was really important to us to try to investigate. This wasn’t a typical antagonist-protagonist relationship. They could be friends, they could be mentors, they could be mother-daughter. It could be so many different things all at once; I didn’t just have to be a villain the whole time. There was many, many different layers to this relationship all at once.
If you watched WandaVision, you might still have the earworm, “Agatha All Along,” stuck in your head (and you will again if you listen to it below). It’s also up for an Emmy and was penned by Robert Lopez and Kristin-Anderson Lopez, the same husband-and-wife songwriting duo who wrote the music and lyrics for “Remember Me” from Coco and “Let It Go” from Frozen. Considering it’s one of the most memorable parts of the series, it’s certainly deserved.
Marvel is Always Pulling from the Past
Some viewers might dismiss Marvel movies and TV shows as uninspired superhero fare, but as we learned previously with both WandaVision and Loki, Marvel’s shows draw inspiration from all over, including some fun sitcoms and great movies. “Agatha All Along” alone drew inspiration from The Addams Family and The Munsters and Loki homaged the science fiction gem, Contact, in its finale. Marvel’s shows have also become stepping stones for filmmakers to shift over to the big screen, as evidenced by the juicy fact that WandaVision director Matt Shakman will helm the next Star Trek film.
Amadeus won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Abraham beat out his co-star, Tom Hulce, who played Mozart and who also received a competing Best Actor nomination. It also ranked #53 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list. It’s quite the heavy hitter for Marvel to be drawing influence from.
I wouldn’t have guessed that WandaVision was drawing inspiration from Amadeus, but you know what? The Wanda/Agatha and Amadeus/Salieri relationship comparison does make sense. If you haven’t seen Amadeus, go rent it right now, and then see if the comparison holds up for you nerds on Disney+, where WandaVision is currently streaming.
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