Why Grace Caroline Currey Plays Mary's Shazam Form in Fury of the Gods
The actress tells Inverse there were plans for her to play her super alter ego from the beginning.
When the Shazam Family first got their powers in DC’s Shazam!, its ensemble of young actors were transformed into — or rather, played by — grown adults in colorful costumes. Not much has changed for the sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, except for one.
Grace Caroline Currey, who played Billy Batson’s older foster sister Mary in Shazam! and returns for Fury of the Gods, now steps up to wear the cape herself after Mary shouts the magic word. The 26-year-old is the only actor in the cast to have a dual role, credited as both “Mary Bromfield” and “Superhero Mary.” In the 2019 predecessor, Michelle Borth (Hawaii Five-0) wore Mary’s costume.
As part of a wider interview with Inverse, Currey reveals there were conversations among the producers to have Currey play her superhero form in Shazam! and that it was a “tricky situation” to pursue those plans for the sequel.
“On the first one, they were weighing on whether or not they were going to have two actors for Mary, considering she is around 18,” Currey tells Inverse. “When I was cast, they were saying they don’t know yet if they’re going to have one actor for Mary and Superhero Mary. Even early on, those conversations were going on. There was a phone call from my team before we shot, letting me know [the answer].”
Currey expresses gratitude to Borth for her work in the 2019 film, revealing they had a collaborative process in fleshing out the two versions of Marys as a single character.
“It’s a tricky situation, because Michelle did such a beautiful job in the first one,” Currey says. “It’s never lovely to have someone from the family not be in the next one. So when I got the call, it was a little hard to be excited. I felt like I don’t want to be taking anyone’s spot. But she was so beautiful on the first one, wanting to make sure that what I was establishing as Mary in her human form, she was being mindful of. It was really lovely that she was so mindful.”
There’s no answer provided in the movie as to why Mary looks like, well, Mary in her superhero form. But Currey offers up her own theory. “It’s really the kids’ persona of the characters, right? And then the adults carry that into adulthood.”
Suiting up as a superhero for Fury of the Gods gave Currey confidence in her work she never knew she would have. “We’ve got legends in our cast,” Currey says, referring to actors like Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren, who play the villainous Daughters of Atlas. “It was a funny feeling to be with everyone [and] not in my suit. To kind of go, ‘Gosh, that super suit really gave me some power.’ When you don’t have the suit anymore, it’s like, Hey, it’s me, Grace! The whole experience is everything you think it is. It’s a childhood dream come true.”
She adds, “I felt like I was in an episode of the animated Justice League. You know? Like, time to go to work with my super pals.”
Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in theaters on March 17.