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7 Brie Larson Roles To Watch Before She Takes On Captain Marvel

She just may be the star of the first female-led MCU film, so you should get to know her.

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1. Emily Steward on "Raising Dad"


When it premiered on (the network formerly known as) the WB in 2001, "Raising Dad" raised a few eyebrows: Bob Saget as a widower bringing up his daughters? It sounded like Saget was just attempting to recreate the success of "Full House," albeit with a slightly more mature audience. Unsurprisingly to many, the show flopped, and was canceled after one 22-episode season.

Saget and Kat Dennings (as eldest daughter Sarah) were the faces of the show, and much of the conflict was focused on their relationship. But Larson, in her first prominent role, was the comic relief, hatching schemes and pestering her older sister, while also managing to ground the show, taking on the role of spelling out the episode's life lesson.

2. Envy Adams in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"


Though she doesn't show up until almost halfway through the movie, Larson's role was a pivotal one. As the ex-girlfriend of the titular character, Envy was said to have crushed Scott when she broke up with him, which has an effect on his growing relationship with Ramona. When Envy and her new boyfriend, Todd (also an "evil ex" of Ramona's) arrive, Scott must confront his past while taking down his latest foe.

In a movie of hilarious caricatures, Larson embodies the role of rock goddess. She belts out a sexy tune, purses her lips, and tosses her bleach blonde hair. But between her sassy quips, there's a little vulnerability -- especially after the "Vegan Police" strips Todd of his powers, and Scott defeats him. Even in her short time on screen, it's easy to see what Scott fell so hard for Envy Adams.

3. Kate Gregson on "United States of Tara"


From the first episode of the acclaimed Showtime series, Kate is a force to be reckoned with. She rebels as most high school girls do, but she has a secret that pushes her to take things a bit further: Her mother has dissociative identity disorder, meaning that she has a number of alternate personalities. Kate bonds with T, the teenage "alter," and the two get into trouble on a few occasions, but it's often up to Kate to discipline T, putting her in an awkward place.

Throughout the show's three seasons, Kate has many encounters with the alters, while dealing with a lot of ups and downs in her own life. She takes on a various part-time jobs, deals with sexual harassment, dates, stars in a viral video, gets her GED, and eventually becomes a flight attendant. Larson portrays Kate as strong, defiant, and determined, but also shows a caring, sensitive side to the character. This is a cast of talented actors, but Larson stands out.

4. Rachel on "Community"


A tiny but memorable role, Rachel is the coat check girl at a school dance attended by the Greendale Community College gang in season four. While Abed attempts to juggle his two dates in a very sitcom-like manner, Rachel offers to help, and the two find they share a similar sense of humor -- and a love for TV tropes. Larson as Rachel is sweet, funny, and adorable, but Abed is too busy focusing on tricking the girls he's with to realize that Rachel was perfect for him.

After Abed gives an impassioned plea straight from every rom-com you've ever seen, Rachel asks him on a real date. The two continue to see each other off-screen, and Larson appears in a season five episode where Abed asks her to move in with him. She says no, and the two briefly break up before reconciling at the end of the episode. Though we never see her again on screen, it's noted in season six that the two are still dating.

5. Grace in "Short Term 12"


This indie made huge waves when it premiered at SXSW in early 2013. Based on his own short film, writer and director Destin Daniel Cretton drew upon personal experiences to create the character of Grace. A counselor at a facility for teenagers who have run away from home (or have otherwise been abandoned), Grace is a tough but fair leader, who takes a personal interest in each and every kid who comes through. Only a young adult herself, Grace lives with her boyfriend, another counselor, and faces mixed emotions upon discovering she's pregnant.

As Grace does with the teens she works with, Larson throws herself wholeheartedly into this role. Amidst the chaos of daily life, her past is slowly revealed, and it takes a girl named Jayden for Grace to begin to face her own demons. While her characters up until this point were captivating yet fun, this breakthrough lead role shows that Larson can truly tackle difficult subjects and give a nuanced performance.

6. Kim Townsend in "Trainwreck"


The lovechild of rising comedian Amy Schumer and seasoned director Judd Apatow, "Trainwreck" is a female-helmed comedy about a woman who had been raised to believe that a successful monogamous relationship was an unrealistic expectation. Her younger sister Kim, however, didn't heed their father's warnings, and married a responsible (if not dull) man and became a stepmother at a young age. The film juxtaposes the lives of the two sisters, with Amy at first revering her sister's suburban lifestyle, but later becoming envious of the comfort a family can provide.

Kim is obviously considered the more mature of the siblings, the opposite of her "trainwreck" older sister. But as with all of Larson's characters, we see that there's a little more to Kim. Yes, she chose a more monotonous way of life than Amy, but she doesn't look down on her sister so much as worry for her. Larson could be out of place in a matronly role, but she manages to take it on in her own youthful way.

7. Joy Newsome in "Room"


Originally an award-winning novel, "Room" offers a different view to the story of a kidnapped woman and her child born from her abduction. Told mostly from the perspective of Jack, the five-year-old boy who knows nothing of the world beyond the walls of a small garden shed, the film is an engaging tale of a life in captivity, an escape, and what comes next.

Larson portrays Joy, known to Jack simply as "Ma." She spends her days tirelessly working to create a healthy, happy life for her son, while begging "Old Nick," her captor, for the things they need to survive. Despite the weight of this depressing existence, Joy constructs a plan to escape, and with the help of Jack and a very lucky encounter with a stranger, they succeed. Larson displays a range of emotions that's hard to comprehend, and is believable every step of the way. She shows that simply being rescued doesn't erase the trauma that years of abuse can bring, and does so all while conveying that throughout her struggles, Joy is Jack's mom before everything else.

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